2030 Policy – Service Animals in Schools

Bellingham Public Schools acknowledges its responsibility to permit students and/or adults with disabilities to be accompanied by a “service animal” as required by federal laws and Washington State’s law against discrimination. This policy governs the presence of service animals in the schools, on school property, including school buses and at school activities.

A “service animal” means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a disabled person’s sensory, mental or physical disability.

The parent/guardian of a student who believes the student needs to bring a service animal to school or an employee who wishes to bring a service animal to school, must submit a written request to the principal. The principal, in consultation with the Section 504 coordinator or director of special services, as appropriate, will determine whether or not to permit the service animal in school.  The principal will consider any health concerns involving students, staff or other animals have been thoroughly addressed.  For instance, allergies, the vaccination status of the animal, if relevant, or the transmission of disease from the animal.

The superintendent will develop procedures to implement this policy.






Approved By: Greg Baker
Signature Date: 20/05/2014
Adopted: 3/31/14
Revised: 3/31/14
Approved: Superintendent Approved
Legal References: Content

American Disabilities Act (ADA), Revised Title II Regulations, §35 Service animals

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

RCW 28A.642, Discrimination Prohibition

RCW 49.60.040, Definitions

WAC 162-26, Public accommodations, disability discrimination

WAC 392-1o5-021(3) ,General operating requirements

WAC 392-172A-01035, Child with a disability or student eligible for special education

WAC 392-172A-01155 (3), Related services

WAC 392-190, Equal educational opportunity -unlawful discrimination prohibited