The family of an autistic child has collected about 34,000 signatures on an online petition that urges to allow the 8-year-old boy to bring his service dog to school with him.
"Allow Sean Forsyth to bring his autism service dog to school," states the petition on change.org that people from across the country continue to sign.
Change.org It is "a non-partisan organization that empowers anyone, anywhere to start and win campaigns for social change," according to the organization's website.
at his side 24 hours a day, including when he is in school. The second grader at has Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.
trained his service dog, Sophia, to recognize and stop obsessive behaviors, prevent emotional outbursts and detect low medication levels.
In a written statement the school district said, “We have not denied the family request for a service dog. This specific request is being made under the American Disabilities Act. To fall under ADA guidelines, certain criteria must be met.
"In our letter dated on January 30, 2012, we requested that the family follow up with us on the specific criteria, so we could make a determination on whether the request falls within those guidelines. Once we receive that information from the family, we can determine whether a service dog is appropriate in this case."
But Jennifer Forsyth, the boy's mother, said the district has all of the information it needs to make a decision. She has spoken out to different media outlets about the situation and created the online petition.
Below is the wording of the petition:
Eight-year-old Sean Forsyth suffers from autism. The Pine-Richland School District has used stalling tactics and other unprofessional behavior with the Forsyth family to discourage them from asking that Sean's service dog, Sophia, be allowed to attend school with him.
The petition will be sent to the superintendent and other officials in the hopes public opinion forced them to follow the law and allow Sophia to attend school with Sean under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Sophia is Sean's best friend and biggest helper. Having her in school with him will help give him the best educational experience possible.