Disability rights advocates cheered last week as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a disabled student. The decision, Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, is a technical one and not likely to widely affect disabled students and their parents. The student, a kindergartner, has a severe form of cerebral palsy. She sought to bring her service dog “Wonder” to school. The district refused her request. The family withdrew their daughter from the school, began to home-school her, and sued under two federal laws that prohibit discrimination against disabled people. As the case wound its way through the courts, the school district argued that the family’s filing was premature because the law required that they first exhaust all of their claims under the federal special education statute. Exhaustion is a legal doctrine that will sometimes require parties to finish suing under one law or in a particular forum before they are allowed to proceed in another. In this case, the family had made no claims under the federal special education statute, but the school district argued that the family should have to proceed under that law anyway and commence their claim in an administrative forum. This approach has recently found favor in many lower courts, and its application, even when no special education issues are pleaded, has served to excessively burden parents with extra costs and time delays. The Supreme Court Justices ruled, 8-0, that the Frys were not required to exhaust special education claims when they were not suing under the special education statute and had asked for no remedy available under that law. This ruling will allow plaintiffs who have claims under statutes like 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title IX to proceed directly to court when they are not seeking relief pursuant to special education laws.