Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vet Kicked From Class On Vets Day

On Veterans Day, a day we typically honor veterans, an Iowa two-time Iraq war vet was being kicked to the curb by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) staff.  The veteran was turned away from class at the Ankeny campus because he had a service dog assisting him and the teacher felt it may be a distraction to other students.  By law service animals must be admitted unless they are behaving inappropriately.

DMACC Professor:
"Screw you, baby killer, and
your little dog too!"

The dog helps the veteran with his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Nicole Shumate, the executive director of a local nonprofit that trains service dogs explains:  "A lot of times what the dog will do, is sometimes they will stand right in front of you so no one can approach too closely. They will watch behind you so if someone approaches behind you they will wag their tail, so the recipient will only see the tail wagging and it's just awareness that someone is close behind you.”

Although the instructor has since apologized, local veteran's groups remain livid.  Harry Goldsmith, president of the local VFW post told us, "I can't believe my generation fought the Japs, Krauts, and both Italian soldiers for some fascist shenanigans like this to... Zzzzzzzzzz."  The commander of the Des Moines chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Association, Huey Smith said, "I'd like to frag that teacher's commie ass!"  The Des Moines chapter of the Fraternal Veterans of the Great War did not return our calls.

Mr. Snuggikins:
Dreaded scourge of academia
 However some were supportive of the teacher's decision.  Richard Johnson, spokesman for the DMACC Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Attracted to Sock Puppets Alliance (GLBTASPA) told Ben and Bawb's Blog that the teacher made the right call.  "Our group was sponsoring our second annual Carmen Miranda dress-up week.  One of our members was in that class and had adorned his shoulder with a colorful live macaw, which would have been frightened by that big brute's dog."

Check back here often for fair and objective reporting on this and other issues.

[Proffesor's quote based upon actual words he has probably spoken in the course of his life, though probably not all once.]


Anonymous said...

This issue of service animals on campus can be tough. Essentially, almost anyone can get a doctor's or therapist's note saying that a service animal helps them deal with emotional stress. So, if I feel I have PTSD because my dog died when I was eight, I can probably find a therapist who would support me bringing my miniature horse to live with me in the dorm. Many disabilities aren't evident and it is sometimes difficult to make judgements between legitimate requests from students with real issues and frivolous demands from entitled students who are not familiar with the word "no".

In this case, the student was going to a play, probably a fairly crowded venue where the dog might be stepped on or otherwise antagonized and possibly be a danger to other people. I know this does not fit in with your narrative of all academics necessarily being military-hating peaceniks who begin every class by burning the flag, but it seems likely to me that this was an honest mistake by someone who wasn't aware that this was a legitimate service animal. The instructor in question has apologized to the student (and the play no doubt sucked, so the guy was probably not harmed).

Jim Fryar said...

After Vietnam our veterans were treated disgustingly but there has been a massive improvement since then. I hope this is not indicative of the of the standard over there.

Ben said...

Jim, in all seriousness, I think our country too has learned from the mistakes of the Vietnam era and is actually pretty respectful of our vets.

Anonymous, I fully realize that most academics don't "begin every class by burning the flag." Due to strict fire codes, most colleges and universities have had to switch to defecating on it (and the Bible) at the beginning of every class.