Administrative Guideline - 8432d Animals in Classrooms

Approved on October 11, 2012

A.      The Board recognizes that using animals as part of the curriculum can be a valuable educational tool, but needs to be balanced against maintaining an allergen free environment.


B.      Application

a.       This guideline applies to animals brought on school property for educational purposes. This guideline does not apply to service animals or fish kept in aquariums.


C.      Time Limitations

a.       No live animal will be allowed to stay in a classroom longer than a grading period.

b.      Live animals will not be allowed to stay in a classroom when school is not in session unless arrangements have been made for proper care of the animal.

c.       At no time will animals considered dangerous be brought into the classrooms.


D.      Notice to Parents

a.       When an animal is to be brought into a classroom, the classroom teacher shall provide written notice to the students of that class notifying the parents that an animal will be present. If known in advance this will be done at the beginning of the school year. The notice shall include a reminder to parents to notify the teacher or principal if their student is allergic to the animal. Upon receiving such notice, the principal will confer with the teacher and determine what options are available which may include changing to a different species with no allergy problems or not having an animal in the classroom. The school will not reveal the name of the student with allergy issues to students or parents.

b.      If after an animal is brought into the classroom, the parent finds their student is allergic to the animal, the school will work with the parent and teacher to resolve the issue. If necessary, custodial staff will clean all surfaces in the classroom to remove any animal dander that may still cause an allergic reaction by the student.


E.       Examples of Educational Purposes

a.       Examples of educational purposes where animals would be in the classroom are:

                                                   i.      Animals used in health class to demonstrate effects of different diets.

                                                 ii.      Animals used in biology to show developmental changes or environmental diversity. 

                                                iii.      Eggs incubated to show development.

b.      Examples of educational purposes where animals are in the classroom for one day or less:

                                                   i.      Pets/animals brought into the classroom to allow students exposure to a variety of species.

                                                 ii.      Pets/animals used to demonstrate obedience training.

c.       When appropriate, teachers may allow students to handle and/or feed the animals.



F.        Maintenance and Authority

a.       The principal, when requested by a teacher, has the authority to determine if it is appropriate to bring an animal into the classroom.

b.      Cages shall be cleaned by the teacher in charge of the animal and not any student on a routine basis to avoid offensive odors or pest issues. Aquariums with fish are to be maintained by the teacher or other non-custodian staff in charge of the aquarium including cleaning as needed.

c.       Upon completion of a unit of study, live specimens should be disposed of properly. It is not recommended that teachers release any organism into the environment.

                                                   i.      Loan the animal to another classroom or school for student observation

                                                 ii.      Adopt the animal out to students’ homes

                                                iii.      Donate the animal to a pet shop

                                               iv.      Euthanize the animal according to kit directions

410 I.A.C. 33-4-7