By Mary Loftis —
The ConVal School Board is due to adopt a new policy IMG, Animals in the School, at its December 20 meeting. The revised policy involves some important changes. Its central guideline states:
“The only animals and animal products (e.g., owl pellets for dissection) allowed in a classroom must be for a specific and appropriate educational purpose and shall be allowed for the amount of time necessary to achieve the educational goal. No other animals will be authorized in school buildings.”
Does this mean no more visiting dogs or classroom guinea pigs? In a word “yes.” Although the Policy Committee is a universally animal-loving group, we are convinced that pets should not be at school unless they are service animals or are part of a lesson. There’s the liability factor, the distraction factor and, most commonly, the allergy factor.
The policy goes on to address the issue of animals on school grounds:
“Children, parents, and staff will be instructed to keep their own animals off the school grounds during school hours. Any animal brought onto school grounds must be leashed or otherwise contained. Owners are responsible for the appropriate behavior of their pet and for the clean-up and removal of any animal waste.”
We feel strongly that parents attending after-school sporting events should not have to watch where they step or be bowled over by dogs running amok.
Mary Loftis is Dublin’s representative to the ConVal school board of SAU 1.