Port Angeles School Board to ban classroom pets

PORT ANGELES, Wash. - The Port Angeles School Board is banning classroom pets because of concerns that dogs, rabbits, snakes and baby chicks threaten student health and safety.

The Peninsula Daily News reports the board voted 4-1 in favor of the ban this week and will take a final vote at its June 11 meeting.

"Why can't we have a classroom gerbil?" asked Sarah Methner, the lone board member who voted against the ban. "It's a nanny state gone wild."

But Lonnie Linn, board vice president and a member of the committee that created the wording for the new rule change, said a classroom gerbil is nothing more than a "varmint."

Superintendent Jane Pryne says the rule was prompted by complaints against a few teachers who let their dogs run in the hallways.

The guide from the state Department of Health provided by the school district includes recommendations for the care of animals in the classrooms, handwashing, parental notification and other safety measures but does not ban animals in the classroom.

But Linn says a review by legal and insurance teams found that almost any animal in a classroom is an unacceptable risk, especially for disease such as salmonella.

Under the pet ban, fish tanks and service animals would still be OK.


The Peninsula Daily News is a media partner of KOMO News. Read the original Daily news story >>

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