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AA451 – Domesticated Animals in Schools and Offices

  • Effective: 3/19/2024
  1. Board Directive
    Animals are prohibited in Jordan School District schools and administrative offices with exceptions for service animals and animals-in-training, for instructional purposes, or working dogs used by a law enforcement agency. The Board delegates to the District Administration responsibility for developing and administering this policy.
  2. Administrative Policy
    1. General Prohibition
      1. Animals, including but not limited to pets and emotional support animals, are prohibited in Jordan School District schools and administrative offices except for:
        1. Service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
        2. Service animals-in-training. While Service Animals in training are not recognized under the ADAAA, Utah State Law §26B-6-803 provides those same rights of access for individuals who are training Service Animals.
          1. A service-dog-in-training is a dog, accompanied by its trainer, that is undergoing individual training to provide specific disability-related work or service for an individual with a disability. This does not include obedience training or socialization of puppies who may later become Service Animals (generally 12-18 months). Thus, adult dogs are recognized as being “in training” to provide disability-specific assistance only after they have completed an earlier period of socialization (i.e., obedience training, being house broken, getting acclimated to public places and every day activities as pets).
          2. Animals-in-training must be clearly identified (i.e., wearing a vest) and trainers shall notify the school’s administration in advance of the presence of a service animal-in-training.
          3. During work and classroom hours, no more than one service animal-in-training is permitted on-site per employee or student.
        3. Animals for instructional purposes as approved by the appropriate school administrator or Jordan School District (“District”) authority; and
        4. Working dogs used by a law enforcement agency for law enforcement purposes.
    2. Service Animals
      1. The ADA defines service animals as those that are individually trained to provide work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. This does not include animals for emotional support.
        1. If animals meet this definition, they are considered service animals under the ADA, regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.
        2. Only dogs (and in some cases miniature horses) are recognized as service animals.
      2. Service animals and service animals in training shall be leashed and remain under the owner’s or caretaker’s control at all times unless leashing prohibits the animal’s service function.
      3. Dogs used as service animals and service animal-in-training shall maintain current dog licenses and required vaccinations including DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus), Bordetella, and Rabies, as specified in local and state ordinances and laws.
      4. Exclusion of service animals: The ADA/504 does not overrule legitimate safety requirements.
        1. If admitting service animals would fundamentally alter the nature of a service or program, or create a safety issue for the animal and/or students/employees, service animals may be prohibited.
        2. If a particular service animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or is not housebroken, that animal may be excluded.
        3. Allergies and fear of the service animal are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to service animals’ dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom, they both shall be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
    3. Process
      1. A student or employee with a service animal or a service animal-in-training shall provide license and vaccination information and sign an acknowledgment of the Owner’s/School/District Responsibilities to the Office for General Counsel prior to bringing the service animal or animal-in-training on campus.
        1. The Acknowledgement of the Owner’s/School/District Responsibilities shall be signed every academic year (for students, or calendar year (for employees) that the animal or animal-in-training is on the JSD campus.
        2. The aforementioned records shall be maintained in the Office of General Counsel.
    4. Service Animals on Campus—Owner’s Responsibilities
      1. The owner is responsible for attending to and fully controlling the service animal at all times. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether unless a) the owner is unable to use a harness, leash, or tether, or b) using a harness, leash, or tether will interfere with the animal’s ability to safely and effectively perform its duties.
      2. Owner is responsible for the care costs necessary for a service animal’s well-being. The arrangements and responsibilities with the care of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times, including feeding, regular bathing, and grooming, as needed.
      3. Owner is responsible for independently removing or arranging for the removal of the service animal’s waste.
      4. Owner is responsible for complying with local and state licensing laws for animal rights and owner responsibilities.
      5. Owner is responsible for paying for any damage to school or Jordan School District property caused by the animal.
      6. Owner may register the service animal with the Voluntary Registry maintained in the main office. This registry is voluntary.
      7. It is the responsibility of the service animal’s owner to update vaccination and license documentation
    5. Service Animals at Jordan School District—School/District Responsibilities
      1. Jordan School District may prohibit the use of service animals in certain locations due to health and safety restrictions or places where the animal might be in danger. Restricted areas may include, but are not limited to, food preparation areas, instructional laboratories, boiler rooms, and other areas prohibited by law.
      2. Jordan School District must allow service animals to accompany their owners at all times and everywhere on campus where the general public (if accompanying a visitor) or other students (if accompanying a student) are allowed, except for places where there is a health, environmental, or safety hazard.
      3. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the service animal, or ask that the service animal demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.
        1. District employees, when appropriate, will only ask two questions about service animals, and may ask these questions only if the services or tasks performed are not visible.
          1. Is the service animal required because of a disability?
          2. What work or task is the animal trained to perform?
      4. District employees, staff, and other students will not pet or feed a service animal or attempt to separate the animal from the owner.
      5. District employees, staff, and other students will contact the Office of the General Counsel if there are any additional questions regarding students, employees, or visitors to campus who have service animals.
      6. District employees will report any service animals who misbehave or any owners (or others) who mistreat their service animals to the school or District office administrator. The individual school or District office administrator will determine what qualities as “misbehavior” in consultation with the Office of General Counsel.
    6. Voluntary Service Animal Registry
      1. The service animal registry is completely voluntary. There is no mandatory obligation imposed on service animals to register with the school or District office, nor can there be a restriction of access at the school sites or District administration offices for service animals that are not registered. The voluntary registry is not to be confused with the process outlined in III. C. above
      2. The voluntary service animal registry shall be maintained at the individual school (for students) and Jordan School District Human Resources (for employees). The registry shall contain the service animal owner's name, the name of the service animal, a copy of the current vaccinations/license, and contact information for the owner.
      3. The voluntary service animal registry serves a public purpose, such as ensuring that District and school staff know to look for service animals during an emergency or evacuation process.
    7. Service Animals-in-Training
      1. In instances where requests are submitted for animals-in-training to be brought on-site, no more than one service animal-in-training is permitted on-site per employee or student.
    8. Emotional Support Animals
      1. Emotional support animals are not considered service animals because they are not trained to perform work or tasks specific to a person’s disability.
      2. Emotional support animals are not generally permitted on District property.
    9. Animal Use to Further Instructional Purposes
      1. Animals used specifically to further an instructional purpose as part of District or school program may be permitted in Jordan School District schools and administrative offices when the animals are kenneled and handled in a way that does not pose a danger to anyone on site. Animals used to further instructional purposes may be out of a kennel when engaged in the instructional purpose.
      2. Any injuries resulting from interaction with these animals shall be reported immediately to the main office for documentation. Injuries may also be subject to reporting with local or state agencies.
      3. Requests to use an animal to further instructional purposes shall be made to the school administrator. Such requests shall be in writing and must include the pedagogical or curricular reasons why the animal shall be allowed on campus and the instructional purposes the animal serves.
      4. The school administrator’s decision is final.
    10. Incidents Resulting in Injury
      1. If an incident occurs resulting in an animal-caused injury to students, employees, or members of the public, the main office shall be contacted to report all injuries (even minor ones) for documentation.
      2. Each school or District office administrator may contact the Salt Lake County Animal Care and Control Unit for further instruction.
    11. Oversight
      1. Human Resources has oversight and monitoring responsibility for these processes as it pertains to paid and unpaid employees.
        1. Employees shall work with Human Resources to resolve any concerns regarding this policy.
        2. Employees may contact the Office of General Counsel for resolution if attempted resolutions with Human Resources are unsuccessful.
      2. The District Compliance Office has oversight and monitoring responsibility for these processes as it pertains to students.
        1. Students shall work with their school administration to resolve any concerns regarding this policy.
        2. Students may contact the Office of General Counsel for resolution if attempted resolutions with school administration are unsuccessful.