School district approves service dog for boy
SUNRISE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy is beginning his first day of kindergarten with the help of his mother and a service dog.
"He's new in school, new teacher, new everything," said the boy's mother, Monica Alboniga.
Five-year-old Anthony Marchante has lived with the service dog since January. The dog can sense when Anthony is about to have a seizure and also carries his medication and oxygen tanks.
Anthony's mother enrolled him at Nob Hill Elementary School to begin his studies. Initially, the school district informed Anthony's mother that her son could not attend school with the service dog without liability insurance.
However, over the weekend, the Broward County School District changed their mind and said her son and the service dog were welcome to the school on Monday, as long as he has a handler. "I'm nervous, and I'm happy," said Alboniga.
This is the first time a service dog has been allowed to accompany a child to school. "This is a historical moment for Broward County in bringing the first service dog into an elementary school," said trainer Tracy Dulniak. "We hope that this opens doors for other people with disabilities."
Anthony's mother said she is prepared to serve as her son's handler on his first day of school and thereafter until the school can provide him with one.
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