School Board Approves Service Animal Policy
BY DAVID FISHER
The Weakley County School Board dealt with a light agenda during its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, October 6, at Martin Primary School.
Service and Therapy Animals
A school board policy dealing with the use of service and therapy animals was approved on second and final reading.
The policy defines a service animal as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or any other disability.
Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals, according to the policy.
The policy states that Weakley County schools may ask an individual to remove a service animal from the premises if an animal is out of control or not housebroken.
A service animal must be under the control of its handler, and have a harness, leash, or tether, unless the handler is unable, because of a disability, to use one, or use of such a device would interfere with the safe, effective performance of work or tasks. In such a case, the animal must otherwise be under the handler’s control (voice control, signals, or other effective means).
The policy stipulates that Weakley County schools are not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.
Parents must submit a written request for the use of a service animal to the principal of the school no later than three weeks prior to the proposed use of the service animal at school.
Regarding employees with disabilities, the employee must submit a written request for the use of a service animal to the director of schools. The request must be made no later than three weeks prior to the proposed use of the service animal at school.
In other business, the board approved hiring Jason Sullivan as a non-faculty coach.
Additionally, board members approved several academic, educational and club-related student field trips.
In announcements, sympathy was extended to Michelle Williams over the loss of her mother.
The November board meeting will be held at the central office conference room (date to be determined) beginning at 5:00 p.m.