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Volunteer with Service Dog Banned from Columbus School

COLUMBUS-- (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) -- A school volunteer has said her service dog has been unfairly, and perhaps illegally, banned from the building.

Rose Wilson, 71, had been volunteering at Georgian Heights Alternative Elementary School in Columbus for a couple years before the school took an issue with King, Wilson's service dog.

Wilson uses King to assist her with balance problems caused by a medical condition.

Even though the school had not had problems with King, the principal banned the service dog after "others tried to bring animals to school and it caused alarm."

"We want to make sure the dog has had training and the owner needs it for service purposes," Columbus City Schools spokesperson Jeff Warner said.

Wilson was not satisfied with that rationale -- especially because she has documentation showing King is a service dog.

She has an Ohio Handicapped Assistance Dog license from the Franklin County Auditor, which requires documentation showing the dog has been trained. She also has a letter from her doctor stating that she needs the service dog.

The school's decision could result in legal action.

Disability Rights Ohio, a non-profit group advocating for people with disabilities, said it is against federal law to require owners to produce documentation for the service animals. 

Attorney Kevin Truitt said they can ask if the dog is required because of a disability and what task it performs.

Warner told ABC 6 that CCS would agree to review the documents with Wilson. 

Wilson became emotional when saying that King means everything to her, and that she just wants her volunteer job back.
 
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