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Animals in School

CODE: ING

Maine School Administrative District No. 31
 
ANIMALS IN SCHOOL


Live animals in the classroom should be directly related to the objectives of the instructional program.  Use of animals in the classroom is permitted, subject to the following guidelines:

        A. Permission must be obtained from the Principal before animals are brought to school by anyone.  If students need to bring 
            domesticated animals (pets) to school for educational purposes, they must consult with their teacher(s) who, in turn, will 
            request permission from the Principal.  Animals may not be transported in school vehicles.

        B. No pets will be allowed in school unless proof of current rabies vaccination (if appropriate) is provided.

        C. No wild animals will be allowed in school unless under the control of an individual trained in the care and management of the
             animal and properly licensed by state or federal agencies as appropriate (i.e., zookeepers, veterinarians, biologists).  Students
             should will not be permitted to handle wild animals.  Bats are not permitted in the schools at any time.

        D. All animals brought to school must be restrained by the owner/handler.  The teacher is responsible for the proper supervision 
            and control of students whenever there is an exhibit or activity involving animals in school.

        E. If a student is bitten/injured by an animal on school premises, the Principal/designee, school nurse/physician, and 
            parent/guardian must be notified as soon as possible.  If a staff member or visitor is bitten/injured, the Principal/designee 
            must be notified.  The Principal/designee must notify appropriate public health authorities and the Maine Department of Human
            Services, Bureau of Health, of each incident.

        F. If a stray or wild animal appears on school grounds, children shall not be allowed in the area until the animal has left the 
            premises or is removed by the local animal control officer, game warden, or other appropriate official.

        G. Animals kept in classrooms must be housed in appropriate containers and cared for in a safe and humane manner.  Only the 
            teacher or students designated by the teacher are to handle these animals.  If animals are to be kept in the classroom on days
            when classes are not in session, arrangements must be made for their adequate care at all times.

        H. No animal may be used as part of a scientific experiment or for any other purpose in which the normal health of the animal is
             interfered with or where pain or distress is caused.  No person may practice vivisection or exhibit a vivisected animal in the
             schools.  Dissection of dead animals shall be confined to the classroom and to the presence of students engaged in the study
             of dissection and shall not be for the purpose of exhibition.

        I. Service animals are exempt from this policy.

        J. This policy applies to all school property.


Legal Reference: 7 MRSA § 3971
        22 MRSA §§ 801-825


First Reading: 06/20/2007
Second Reading: 07/18/2007
Updated         08/15/2007