Students at George Washington University are demanding that a professor who wouldn’t let a “service” pit bull into her classroom be fired. Well over 4,000 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of Professor Marie Matta, who argued with student Liza Malinsky in class late in January about the dog’s presence in class.
Malinsky, who describes herself as a “disabled Black woman with a history of trauma” and “crippling anxiety,” claimed on her Instagram page that Matta “humiliated” her and acted illegally by “expos[ing] confidential information about [her] accommodations and disabilities in front of all of [her] peers.” One of Malinsky’s cheerleading teammates, Carly Shaffer, started a Change.org petition on February 1st calling for Matta to be fired for engaging in “racial and ableist injustices.”
Say what?! How “disabled” and riddled with “crippling anxiety” could Malinsky be if she is a cheerleader?
In any case, campus police showed up while Malinsky and Matta were arguing. Malinsky then presented the email she received from Disability Support Services stating she did not have to show any paperwork in order to attend class with “Charlie,” her pit bull. Apparently, Charlie isn’t actually a service dog and Malinsky trained him herself, which she claims is “all legal under [Americans with Disabilities Act] law.”
However, the ADA specifically notes, “emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals” do not qualify as service animals. There is an exception, however, for “psychiatric service animals” which serve to calm those with anxiety attacks.
The Disabled Students Collective issued a statement of support for Malinsky, saying: “We wholeheartedly support and believe the victim of the situation, as well as every other student with accommodations on our campus.” Huh?
You can probably guess the result of this disagreement. On February 2, Professor Matta capitulated and sent an emailed apology to Malinsky acknowledging that “her actions were a mistake.”
Great. So, what about my “support” alligator or tarantula? What about your “service” rottweiler, grizzly bear, hyena, rattlesnake, emu, lobster, or water buffalo? Won’t let them in? Fire the professor!
Just like in the world at large, this kind of
tolerance will lead to total chaos, lawsuits, and physical danger to others. This
kind of thing gets me so upset, I…I…I feel an anxiety attack coming on right
Fortunately, I’ve got Bucky my support badger to get me through it. Come here, Bucky!
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