There are so many examples of Christians behaving badly that they barely register anymore, but this one is pretty damn cruel.
Anika Bjornson, a fifth-grade student in Tualatin, Oregon, has a severe case of juvenile diabetes. It’s so severe that she has to bring a trained service dog with her to school so it can (amazingly, to me) let her know when her blood sugar is too high or low and she can take steps to correct it.
In a public school, that wouldn’t be a problem.
The Americans with Disabilities Act says that certified service animals are allowed to go anywhere the public is allowed to go, and that includes public schools.
The problem for Anika is that she attends Horizon Christian Elementary and they want nothing to do with her dog:
They’re allowed to do this, because it’s a religious school not bound by federal laws. But that doesn’t mean they should. You would think a private Christian school would try to do even more than that — if for no other reason than to show the public how much they care about all of their students.
That’s not happening, though. The one time Anika needs support from her community the most, the school administrators just run away from her problem. It speaks volumes about their character.
Anika will be transferring to a public school now. While my heart goes out to her for having to change schools mid-year, she’s going to be in a better place — and not just because of the dog situation. She’ll be at a school where education is prioritized over “being right with God.” She’s already receiving a warm reception:
“The teacher requested me,” she said. “He wanted me in his class because he loves animals.”
It’s good to see she’s being welcomed with the type of love she didn’t find in the Christian school.