Policy Information
Series 8000 - INSTRUCTION
Animals in the School (Instructional Purposes)
Policy # 8370


         The Board of Education, in recognizing the educational uses of animals in the classroom, requires that permission be obtained from the Building Principal before animals are brought into the school or classrooms. It is the Principal's responsibility to ensure that there is an appropriate educational purpose if any animal is housed in a classroom. Animals are not to be transported on school buses with the exception of animals certified to assist persons with disabilities.


Study and Care of Live Animals


         Any school which cares for or uses animals for study shall ensure that each animal in the school be afforded the following:


a)      Appropriate quarters;


b)      Sufficient space for the normal behavior and postural requirements of the species;


c)      Proper ventilation, lighting, and temperature control;


d)      Adequate food and clean drinking water; and


e)      Quarters which shall be cleaned on a regular basis and located in an area where undue stress and disturbance are minimized.


         Only the teacher or those students designated by the teacher are to handle the animals.


         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.


Dissection of Animals


         Any student expressing a moral or religious objection to the performance or witnessing of the dissection of an animal, either wholly or in part, shall be provided the opportunity to undertake and complete an alternative project approved by the student's teacher; provided, however, that such objection is substantiated in writing by the student's parent or legal guardian. An alternate activity clearly related to and of comparable rigor will be assigned in lieu of laboratory dissection. Some examples of alternate activities include the use of computer simulations or research. Students who perform alternative projects shall not be penalized.


         Effective July 1, 2011, the District will give reasonable notice to all students enrolled in a course that includes the dissection of an animal and students' parent(s)/legal guardian(s) about their rights to seek an alternate project to dissection. Such notice shall be made available upon request at the school and distributed to parents and students enrolled in a course that includes dissection at least once at the beginning of the school year.



Instruction in the Humane Treatment of Animals


         Students in elementary school must receive instruction in the humane treatment and protection of animals and the importance of the part they play in the economy of nature as well as the necessity of controlling the proliferation of animals that are subsequently abandoned and caused to suffer extreme cruelty.


         This instruction may be joined with work in literature, reading, language, nature study, or ethnology.


Policy References:
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 United States Code (USC) Section 12101 et. seq.
Education Law Section 809
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 100.2(c)(8)

Adoption Date: 12/20/2011