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    Procedure Service Animals in Schools

    File: 2030P

    1. Service Animal Uses 
      Service animals are animals that are individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheel-chairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. Service animals are working animals, not pets, nor are they “emotional support animals.” 

      The use of a service animal by an individual with a disability will not be conditioned on the payment of a fee, security deposit, or surcharge. 
    2. Requirements for Service Animal Access 
      Before a service animal will be permitted in school, on school property, or at school sponsored events, the individual with a disability or the animal’s handler may be requested to provide a description of the task(s) the service animal is expected to perform in assisting the individual with a disability, unless it is readily apparent that the animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for that individual. 

      The district will provide access in school, on school property, and at school sponsored events to service animals for those individuals with a disability who use a service animal for specific tasks performed by the service animal because of the individual’s disability, provided that the service animal has been individually trained to perform such task(s); is housebroken; is free of disease and parasites; and, has a harness, leash, or tether so it cannot run free and is under the control of the person with a disability or the animal’s handler. 

      A service animal must also be licensed and immunized in accordance with the laws, regulations, and ordinances of King County and the state of Washington. 
    3. Animal Handlers 
      Animal handlers who will be present in school, on school property, or at school-sponsored events for the purpose of assisting a student with his/her service animal are required, as with other district volunteers, to complete and pass applicable criminal back-ground check(s). In addition, handlers must comply with all standards of conduct that apply to school employees and volunteers while they are at a school, on school property, or at school-sponsored events. 
    4. Removal or Exclusion of a Service Animal from School or School Property 
      The building principal or district administrator may request an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from school, a school sponsored activity, or school property if the animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control the animal. Examples of the animal being out of control include, but are not limited to the following: 
      1. The behavior of the animal poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others; 
      2. The animal significantly disrupts or interferes with the instruction program, school activities, or student learning; 
      3. The presence of the animal would result in a fundamental alteration of any school program; 
      4. The individual in control of the animal fails to appropriately care for the animal, including feeding, exercising, taking outside for performance of excretory functions, and cleaning up after the animal; 
      5. The animal fails to consistently perform the function(s)/service(s) to assist or accommodate the individual with the disability; or 
      6. The animal is not housebroken. 

        If the district excludes a service animal, it will provide the individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.  
    5. Service Animals at School-Sponsored Events 
      Individuals with disabilities may be accompanied by their service animals to events or activities open to the public that are held in schools or on school property. 

      The building administrator and/or authorized district official may revoke or exclude the service animals at such events or activities for the reasons set forth in paragraph “D” above. 
    6. Responsibility/Liability 
      1. Neither the district, nor its employees, are responsible for the cost, care, or supervision of a disabled individual’s service animal. Please refer to Policy IGB and Regulation IGB-R, Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, for responsibility for related services; 
      2. A service animal must be under the control of its handler. A service animal must also have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether or the use of the harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means); and 
      3. The owner/handler of the service animal is responsible for any and all damage caused by the service animal at school, on school premises, and at school sponsored activities. 
    7. Appeals 
      A parent or guardian of a student with a disability or other individual whose service animal has been excluded or removed from school, school premises, or a school sponsored activity may appeal the decision using the process identified in Policy KLD and Regulation KLD-R, Public Complaints. 
    8. Resources 
      1. Superintendent of Public Instruction Equity and Civil Rights Office 
        P.O. Box 47200 
        Olympia, WA 98504-7200 
        360-725-6162 
      2. Washington State Human Rights Commission  
        711 South Capitol Way, Suite 402 
        P.O. Box 42490 
        Olympia, WA 98504-2490 
        360-753-6770 
      3. Office of Civil Rights 
        U.S. Department of Education  
        915 Second Avenue, Room 3310  
        Seattle, WA 98174 206-607-1600 

     

    Adopted:
    09/01/19

    LEGAL REFS.:
    RCW 49.60.040 
    RCW 16.08.040 

    CROSS REF.:
     

     

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