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SERVICE ANIMALS FOR STUDENTS, EMPLOYEES, AND GUESTS 3350

1. General Requirements

1.1 Only qualified individuals with disabilities are eligible to use or bring service animals into school facilities or on to school grounds. An individual who believes he/she may be eligible should bring this issue to the attention of the school principal.

1.2 Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

1.3 Use of a service animal by a student with a disability will be allowed in school when it has been determined that the student’s disability requires such use for the student to have equal access to and benefit from the services, programs or activities offered by the school.

1.4 Use of a service animal by an employee with a disability will be allowed when such use is necessary to enable the employee to perform essential functions of his/her position, or to enable the employee to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are being enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities.

1.5 It shall be the responsibility of the individual with the disability to insure the proper care and supervision of a service animal. The school district shall not be responsible for the training, feeding, grooming, or care of any service animal permitted to attend school under this policy. The district must approve any person who is authorized to assist in the care and supervision of the service animal while on school property.

1.6 A service animal shall be under the control of its handler. A service animal shall 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 a 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).

1.7 Guests of the school district attending school functions and events shall be allowed to be accompanied by their service animals. A guest may be asked to remove his/her service animal if the animal is not under the control of the guest and the guest does not take effective action to control it or if the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. In these situations, the guest should be given the opportunity to attend the school function/event without the service animal present.

1.8 Arrangements for the transportation of students with service animals shall be initiated by the school principal through the school district’s Director of Transportation.

1.9 The school is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal. The school may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if:

1.9.1 The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or
1.9.2 The animal is not housebroken.

1.10 Service Animal Request Procedure

1.10.1 Whenever a student, employee or visitor brings an animal to the premises and it is not obvious what service the animal provides, the school staff may ask the following questions:

1.10.1.1 Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and

1.10.1.2 What work or task has the dog been trained to perform.

2. Requirements for Employees and Students

2.1 The following requirements apply to Sevier School District employees, students, and guests in regard to their contact with an approved service animal:

2.1.1 An individual will be allowed to have their service animal accompany them at all times and everywhere on school grounds, except where service animals are specifically prohibited.

2.1.2 Service animals should not be petted, touched, or spoken to unless authorized by the animal’s owner.

2.1.3 No individual other than the service animal’s owner, unless authorized, should feed that animal.

2.1.4 Service animals should not be deliberately startled.

2.1.5 If a service animal becomes unruly, disruptive, or threatening, this behavior should be immediately reported to the school principal.

3 Restrictions and Off-Limits Areas for Service Animals:

3.1 The school district imposes some restrictions on service animals for health and safety reasons. Service animals may be excluded or have limited access to certain areas of school facilities or certain programs for health and safety reasons. Areas or programs which may be considered off-limits for service animals include, but are not limited to:

3.2 Laboratories, mechanical rooms, custodial closets, food preparation areas, areas where protective clothing is necessary, areas which have exposed sharp metal cuttings or other sharp objects which may pose a threat to the service animal’s safety, areas with high levels of dust, and areas where there is moving machinery.

3.3 The determination to deny or limit the access of a service animal to specific programs or areas of that school facility will be on a case-by-case basis.

4 Conflicting Disabilities

4.1 Employees or parents of students with medical issues that are impacted by animals (such as respiratory diseases) should contact the school principal if they have a concern about exposure to a service animal. The employee or parent(s) of the student will be asked to provide medical documentation that identifies the disability and the need for an accommodation. The school principal will facilitate a process to resolve the conflict that considers the conflicting needs/accommodations of all persons involved.

4.2 Limiting, Removing, or Excluding Service Animals from School

4.3 The school is not responsible for the care of supervision of a service animal. The school may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service animal from the premises if:

4.3.1 The animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or
4.3.2 The animal is not housebroken.

4.4 When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods and services without the animal’s presence.

4.4.1 If the building principal recommends excluding, limiting or removing a student’s service animal for any of the reasons noted above, the principal shall convene a meeting of the Team to discuss the reason(s) that may require the exclusion, placing of limitations or removal of the service animal and what alternative methods or actions may resolve the problem(s) presented by the service animal.

4.4.2 If the building principal is recommending excluding, limiting, or removing a service animal of an employee for any of the reasons noted above, the principal shall meet with the employee to discuss the reason(s) that may require the exclusion, placing of limitations or removal of the service animal, and what alternative methods or actions may resolve the problem(s) presented by the service animal.

4.4.3 Any employee or student with a service animal who is aggrieved by a decision to remove, limit, or exclude a service animal may appeal that decision to the superintendent of the school district. That appeal must be in writing and provide detailed information regarding the basis of the appeal.

4.4.4 Any employee or student with a service animal, who believes that the school district has discriminated against him or her based on a disability because of an action prohibiting, removing, limiting, or excluding a service animal, may file a complaint in accordance with Policy #2235.

 

Approved 09/29/09
Revised 02/22/12