718. SERVICE ANIMALS IN SCHOOLS - Pg.

718.  SERVICE ANIMALS IN SCHOOLS

  1. Purpose

The Board adopts this policy to ensure that individuals with disabilities are permitted to participate in and benefit from district programs, activities and services, and to ensure that the district does not discriminate on the basis of disability.

  1. Definition

28 CFR

Sec. 35.104

Service animal means any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.136

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.104

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.104

Miniature horses may be utilized as a service animals if:

  1. The miniature horse is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for

   the benefit of an individual with a disability.

  1. The facility can accommodate the type, size and weight of the miniature

   horse.

  1. The presence of the miniature horse does not compromise the safe

   operation of the facility.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal shall be directly related to the handler’s disability.  Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort or companionship does not constitute work or tasks for the purpose of this definition.

  1. Authority

            43 P.S.

            Sec. 953

            29 U.S.C.

            Sec. 794

            42 U.S.C.

      Sec. 12101 et seq.

            28 CFR

            Sec. 35.130

The Board shall permit individuals with disabilities to use service animals in district buildings; on district property; and on vehicles that are owned, leased or controlled by the school district, in accordance with this policy and applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Admission of Service Animals to Schools

  1. Guidelines

A student or an employee with a disability may submit a request to bring a service animal to school for educational or employment purposes.  A student or employee seeking to bring a service animal to school must comply with the requirements as set forth in this policy and any administrative regulations governing this issue.

        Pol. 103.1, 113

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.130

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.136

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.136

      3 P.S.

      Sec. 455.1 et seq.

     

      43 P.S.

      Sec. 953

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.136

      Pol. 904

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.136

     

      28 CFR

      Sec. 35.136

  1. Delegation of

Responsibility

28 CFR

Sec. 35.136

      Pol. 103.1, 104,

              906

Parents/Guardians of students with disabilities may submit a request to the building principal for their student to bring a service animal to school.  The building principal shall forward the request to the appropriate Section 504 or IEP team.  The team shall gather the necessary information and evaluate the request to bring a service animal to school.  Any service animal accompanying a student with a disability to school or school activities shall be handled and cared for in a manner detailed in the student’s IEP or Section 504 Service Agreement.

Before a service animal shall be allowed in a district building, or on district property or vehicles, the district shall request the following documentation from the owner or handler of the animal:

  1.  Verification of the need for a service animal.

  1. Description of the function(s) the service animal is trained to perform in

               relation to the individual’s disability.

  1. Current dog license.

Admission of Service Animals to Public Events

Individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals while on district property for events that are open to the general public.  This right of access does not extend to the schools generally or to other activities that are not open to the general public.

School administrators may inquire of the owner or handler of an animal whether the animal is required because of a disability and the specific tasks that the animal has been trained to perform, but shall not ask questions about an individual’s disability.

The district shall not require an owner or handler of a service animal to pay an extra charge for the animal to attend events for which a fee is charged.

The Superintendent or designee shall develop and disseminate administrative regulations to implement Board policy and accommodate individuals with disabilities requesting use of a service animal in district buildings and on district property and vehicles.

The designated administrator shall ensure that all individuals involved in a situation where a service animal will regularly accompany an individual in district buildings or on district property or vehicles are informed of the Board policy and administrative regulations governing this issue.  Involved individuals can include administrators, appropriate employees, student and parent/guardian.

The owner or handler of a service animal shall be solely responsible for:

  1.  Supervision and care of the animal, including any feeding, exercising,

    clean up and stain removal.

  1. Control of the animal at all times through the use of a harness, leash, tether

   or by other effective means.

  1. Damages to district buildings, property and vehicles caused by the animal.

  1. Injuries to students, employees, volunteers and visitors caused by the

               animal.

  1. Annual submission of documentation of vaccinations and immunizations.

The building principal shall receive and forward to the Director of Special Education each completed request by an individual with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal.  The Director of Special Education shall respond to the request.

District administrators may exclude a service animal from district buildings, property and vehicles under the following circumstances:

  1.  Presence of the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of

   others.

  1. Owner or handler is unable to control the animal.

  1. Animal is not housebroken.

  1. Presence of the animal would require a fundamental alteration to the

   program.

Any individual with a service animal who is aggrieved by a decision to exclude, limit or remove a service animal may appeal that decision in accordance with applicable Board policy.  The appeal must be in writing and provide detailed information regarding the basis of the appeal.

References:

Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act

  • 3 P.S. Sec. 455.1 et seq.

Pennsylvania Human Relations Act – 43 P.S. Sec. 953

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – 29 U.S.C. Sec. 794

Americans With Disabilities Act – 42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability, Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations – 28 CFR Part 35

Pennsylvania Human Relations Act – 43 P.S. Sec. 953

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Regulations, Title 29,

 Code of Federal Regulations – 29 CFR Part 1630

Board Policy – 000, 103, 103.1, 104, 113, 707, 904, 906

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