It is the policy of the Bennington School District, Inc. to have guidelines regarding the presence of animals on school property, in school buildings and classrooms in order to protect individuals from harm and to promote a healthy environment.
The Board recognizes that the presence of animals at school can provide a valuable learning experience but they cannot be allowed to jeopardize student safety or disrupt learning.
Guidelines: With the permission of the School Principal, animals may be kept in classrooms or may be present in the school only as part of classroom instruction or as part of a specific curriculum-based presentation or assembly. The Principal shall review and consider all requests to determine whether an animal’s presence is appropriately linked to the curriculum. The Principal shall also consider the potential health impact of the animal’s presence on students, teachers or staff with allergies or other medical conditions after consultation with the school nurse.
If a request to keep an animal in a classroom is approved by the Principal, the teacher shall be responsible for the humane treatment and the behavior of the animal in the classroom.
Service Animals: The use of services animals is not subject to the restrictions of this policy. Restricting the presence of service animals is subject only to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), its regulations and corresponding provisions of state law. The ADA defines a services animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.
Liability: In all cases, if an animal does harm to a student or another individual or damages property, the person bringing the animal to school grounds shall be held responsible for the proper handling and actions of the animal.