Diabetes alert dog banned from class

Tue, 04 Oct 2011
Teacher Christina McCurdy, who has hypoglycaemia and type 1 diabetes, has been told she cannot take her alert dog into the classroom by school officials. Christina, 29, who works at Bettye Mae Jack Middle School in Morton, Mississippi in the United States, has argued that her boxer dog, called Jinx, is a diabetic alert dog and could help save her life, and has requested mediation over the problem.

The dog can warn Christina if her blood sugar levels are about to undergo large swings, which could lead to organ damage, seizures or even death if she does not quickly have an insulin injection or take glucose tablets. The dog can smell the change, and warns McCurdy by putting a paw on her leg.

McCurdy said "Jinx is a service dog, the same as a seeing-eye dog. She does what my body can't do any more. I have a hard time feeling my blood sugar dropping."

Her employers, Scott County School District officials, have so far not admitted the reasons behind the dog ban, so McCurdy is seeking mediation through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to try and clear up the issue. The request has been supported by officials from the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, who say they have been thoroughly impressed by the accuracy of the certified diabetic alert dogs.
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