4850 - Animals in the Schools (Instructional Purposes)


Adoption Date: 8/11/2016
4000 - Instruction

4850 Animals in the Schools (Instructional Purposes)

Animals may be permitted in the schools for instructional purposes. It is the building administrator’s responsibility to ensure that there is an appropriate educational purpose and a healthy learning environment for all students, including those who have, or develop, life-threatening allergies. Animals are not to be transported on school buses.

It shall be the responsibility of the principal or his/her designee to develop a plan of care for those animals housed in school in the event of an emergency school closing or in the event the animals remain in the classroom on days when school is not in session.

Approval of the building principal is required prior to bringing any animal to the campus for instructional purposes. The pet owner will be responsible for the proper control of such animals.

The Board of Education recognizes that the study of living things is essential to effective instruction in the life sciences. The primary goals for demonstrations and investigations involving animals are to achieve an interest in and an understanding of the life processes, to demonstrate biological principles, and to teach proper care and handling of animals. Therefore, the Board requires that any such instructional activities, investigations, and projects be well-planned and adequately supervised, and be conducted with a respect for life and an appreciation of the health and safety of both animals and students.

The Board also recognizes that some students have a moral or religious objection to dissection or otherwise harming or destroying animals. In accordance with state law, students shall have the right to opt out of dissection activities, provided that the student performs an alternative project approved by the student’s teacher. The objection must be substantiated in writing by the student’s parent or guardian.

For all courses that include animal dissection, the District shall give notice to the students in those classes of their opt-out rights and responsibilities under the law and this policy. Such notice shall be shared with parents/guardians of those students and also be available upon request.

Policy References:
Education Law §809(4)
Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom, National Science Teachers Association Position Statement, revised March 2008 (www.nsta.org/about/positions/animals.aspx)

Policy Cross References:
 » 1501 - Animals On School Grounds