Animals in Schools Regulation

Section I: Instructional Program

Regulation Title: Animals in Schools
Regulation Code: IMG-R1

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Animals in the Classroom

Animals may be brought into the classroom for educational purposes. However, they must be appropriately and humanely cared for, and properly handled. Any person who wishes to bring an animal into the classroom must receive prior permission from the principal.

The following guidelines shall apply to animals in the schools:

  • Prior to granting permission, teachers should check with the school nurse regarding any known allergies among students in the classroom. If allergies exist, parents must be contacted for further direction.
  • Teachers must assume primary responsibility for the humane and proper treatment of any animals in the classroom.
  • Only the teacher or students designated by the teacher are to handle the animals.
  • If animals are to be kept in the classroom on days when classes are not in session, the teacher must make arrangements for their care and safety.

Animals, other than service animals, shall not be transported on school buses. Therapy dogs and other “emotional support” animals are not service animals.

Therapy and other "Emotional Support" Animals

Therapy animals must be accompanied by their owners/handlers at all times. Therapy animals are allowed on District property at the sole discretion of the Superintendent or principal and only under the following circumstances:

  • If the therapy animal will be attending the school on a regular basis, the owner/handler must apply and be approved through the volunteer application process Policy IJOC School Volunteers
  • The owner/handler provides a copy of up-to-date Therapy Certification for the therapy animal from a reputable organization.
  • The owner/handler provides proof of liability insurance or certificate of insurance.
  • The Principal has provided written approval for the educational purpose of the therapy animal on his or her campus.

Reporting of Injuries

Staff members or students who have been bitten by an animal shall report such incident to the principal and the nurse immediately. The principal should notify the public health authorities if the injury merits medical follow-up. Public health authorities should determine the appropriate action and period of confinement for an animal if an injury results. Any animal involved in a serious injury must be impounded until authorization for release is granted by health authorities.

Adopted: May 17, 2013 [Friday Report]

Revised: March 31, 2020 [SLT review]

Cross Ref: IMG Animals in Schools