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 when appropriate, will determine whether to permit the service animal in school. The principal will consider any health concerns involving students, staff or other animals such as allergies, vaccination status of the animal or the transmission of disease from the animal.

The superintendent will develop procedures to implement this policy.





Approved By: Greg Baker, Superintendent
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 3/31/14
Updated: 07/17/18
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved
Cross References: Content

Policy 2029 – Animals as Part of the Instructional Program

Policy 2161 – Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students

Policy 2162 – Education of Students with Disabilities Under Section 504 Of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Policy 3210 – Nondiscrimination

Policy 5010 – Equal Employment Opportunity

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 392-145-021(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 education opportunity – Unlawful discrimination prohibited