The purpose of this procedure is to ensure the greatest possible level of safety for students and staff with regards to animals on school district property and in school buildings.
1. In general, animals are not permitted to be on School District property or in school buildings at any time, whether during school hours or not. This general prohibition includes dogs, cats, birds, and other pets, and especially applies to potentially dangerous exotic animals.
2. Some exceptions will be permitted, only with the prior approval of the principal, as follows: certified therapy dogs, police dogs under the control of a police officer, pets for show-and-tell, small pets kept in the classroom under the supervision and care of a teacher, or a demonstration at a school assembly.(see AP 337 Assistance Dogs). Under no circumstances will venomous snakes and insects be allowed on School District property or in school buildings.
3. Prior to approval for keeping small pets in a classroom, the classroom teacher should refer to the BCSPCA guidelines on classroom pets (spca.bc.ca).
4. The principal must give prior approval before ANY animal is allowed on School District property or in school buildings, after taking into account any allergies or specific concerns, etc. anyone in the school may have. The principal will only be able to give approval for the exceptions listed above. Any requests that fall outside of this policy shall be referred to the Superintendent.
5. Release forms signed by the parents/guardians may be required if there is any chance that a demonstration animal may be dangerous to students.
6. This procedure should be included in the student handbook so that all students and parents are aware of the rules.
(Last Revised: January 2018)