Muslim threats force out disabled teacher with dog [Excerpts]
A Muslim high school student's intolerance for a service dog needed by a student teacher with a disability has reportedly prompted the student teacher to abandon the last 10 hours of his scheduled assignment at TechnicalHigh School in St. Cloud, Minn.
The St. Cloud Times online said the situation developed with student teacher Tyler Hurd, 23, of Mahtomedi, who hopes to teach special education.
He's a student at St. CloudStateUniversity, and was assigned to TechnicalHigh School in the St. Cloud district for his 50 hours of student teaching, and took with him his service dog, Emmitt.
The newspaper said Hurd needs a service dog because of a childhood injury that leaves him with seizures, sometimes happening as often as weekly. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has a seizure.
The school district told the newspaper it wasn't really a threat.
"I think it was a misunderstanding where we didn't really prepare either side for possible implications," Julia Espe, curriculum director for the public schools, said.
Hurd, however, reported a student threatened to kill his dog. He said the threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim. Minnesota has a large Somali population, mostly Muslim, and they have been involved in issues over their religion in the past.
Islam forbids its adherents from touching dogs.