Justice Department Settles Service Animal Case Against Connecticut School
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that The Learning Clinic, a private school in Brooklyn, Conn., has agreed to pay $35,000 as compensation to a family for denying a child access to the school with his service animal. The school also has agreed to train its employees and adopt new policies to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Learning Clinic is a private school in Brooklyn that offers educational and clinical services through residential boarding and day school programs. The settlement resolves a Department of Justice investigation into the school’s service animal policies and practices under the ADA and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The Department of Justice initiated this investigation after the parents of a minor child attending the school alleged that the school discriminated against their child on the basis of disability by denying the child equal access to the school’s campus with his service dog. The school failed to provide reasonable modifications to permit the child to attend school accompanied by his service dog and to live with his service dog in his room on TLC’s campus.
Under Title III of the ADA, schools are places of public accommodation and must reasonably modify policies, practices, and procedures, to allow children with disabilities equal access to education, school services, and school facilities. In addition, the FHA prohibits discrimination in school housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.
This matter was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Ndidi Moses of the District of Connecticut, with the assistance of the Disability Rights and Housing Sections of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of discrimination can file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney’s Office by calling 203-821-3700. Additional information about the ADA can be found at www.ada.gov, or by calling the Department’s toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TDD).
Complaints about housing discrimination can also be made by phone to the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt.
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