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Family says student threw rock at dog’s face; they want accountability from school

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. -- A family wants accountability from a school after they say a student threw a rock at their dog’s face – costing hundreds in veterinarian bills.

“She is my four-legged granddaughter,” Ann Gallagher said.

Ellie is a rambunctious lab-border collie mix. Gallagher dog-sits for her son and allows the pups to roam free in her fenced-in yard. But one day this fall she heard Ellie yelp in pain.

“I heard Ellie wince and so I got up, came outside and saw three boys walking away. I was yelling at them, please come back here, what happened?”

A fence separates the family’s yard with Pennington Elementary. After calling the school, Gallagher says the assistant principal showed up with a student. She says the boy confessed that he used a rock to hit her dog.

“I said where did it hit her? And he said in the face,” Gallagher said.

Ellie’s owner, Shandy Nantz, said the force of the rock cracked and chipped Ellie’s tooth down to the root.

“This was $650 thereabouts that was very unexpected,” Nantz said.

The family says the school should foot the bill.

“I think it’s something the school should own up to. Since it was during school hours. They were being supervised by teachers,” Nantz said.

The Problem Solvers reached out to the Jefferson County School District which said the student was disciplined, and that they cannot take financial responsibility for every wrong action a student takes.

The district provided this statement:

"We recently finished investigating a report on this incident. The school district declined to pay the vet bill because of the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.  

Sometimes students make poor choices, and sometimes the poor choice happens during school hours. In this instance the student was disciplined for his behavior. In talking to those involved it is evident both the school and the district staff are upset by the situation (we love dogs), however, we need to follow our policies to best serve our entire school community."

But the family says that sends the wrong message.

“How can they teach kids to be responsible if they’re not responsible?” Gallagher said.

 

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