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Illinois' attorney general sides with family in service dog case

By jim Published: October 2, 2009
In this photo taken Aug. 14, 2009, Carter Kalbfleisch, 5, of Columbia, Ill., who is autistic, poses with his service dog, Corbin. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, attorneys for Carter's family and a southwestern Illinois school district that balks at letting Cater attend school with his dog, said the legal fight will press on even though the boy will attend classes at another school. (AP Photo/Belleville News-Democrat, Zia Nizami)

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' attorney general is siding with a family suing their southwestern Illinois school district in hopes of allowing their autistic son to bring his service dog to school.

Lisa Madigan has filed papers with the Mount Vernon-based 5th District Appellate Court in support of Chris and Melissa Kalbfleisch (KAHLB'-flysh).

The Columbia family claims that state law entitles their 5-year-old son, Carter, to bring the service dog to their home school district.

A Monroe County judge in August entered a preliminary injunction to let the boy bring his dog into his elementary school — something the district says would harm at least one other student allergic to animals.

The lawsuit is one of several, including one in central Illinois, California and Pennsylvania, challenging the refusal by schools to allow service dogs in the classroom.

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