A deaf teenager should be permitted to take his service dog to school, New York state's commissioner of human rights ruled Monday.

John Cave, 15, had wanted to take his Labrador retriever, Simba, to classes at W. Tresper Clarke High School, but school officials refused to allow it, saying they were concerned about the health of other students and staff.

The ban on Simba will remain in effect while the East Meadow School District appeals Monday's ruling by state Human Rights Commissioner Kumiki Gibson, said Superintendent Leon Campo.

John and his parents have argued for more than a year that the teen needs Simba to help him with his studies.

Gibson noted in her ruling that the state's human rights law "prohibits educational institutions from denying access to their facilities to people with disabilities."

The boy's attorney did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

A federal judge dismissed the family's $150 million lawsuit against the school district last year.