It is the policy of the Highline School Board 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 and on school property, including school buses and at school activities.
A “service animal” means a dog or miniature horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. The work or tasks performed by the service animal must be directly related to the individual’s disability.
Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to the following:
- Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks,
- Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds,
- Providing nonviolent protection or rescue work,
- Pulling a wheelchair,
- Assisting an individual during a seizure,
- Alerting an individual to the presence of allergens,
- Retrieving items, such as medicine or the telephone,
- Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and
- Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.
The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks.
It is a civil infraction to misrepresent an animal as a service animal. The parent/guardian of a student who believes their student needs to bring a service animal to school or an employee who wishes to bring a service animal to work, must submit a written request to the Human Resources department. The department, 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 district will not ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, but may make two inquires to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal. The district may ask if the animal is required because of a disability and what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. The district shall not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, or require that the service animal demonstrate its task. The district may not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.
The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures to implement this policy.
Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action - Policy 5010
Nondiscrimination - Policy 3210
Special Education and Related Services for Eligible Students - Policy 2161
Education of Students with Disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Policy 2162
Animals as Part of the Instructional Program - Policy 2029
American Disabilities Act (ADA), Revised Title II Regulations, 35 Service animals
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Discrimination Prohibition - RCW 28A.642
Definitions - RCW 49.60.040
Public accommodations, disability discrimination -WAC 162-26
General operating requirements - WAC 392-145-021(3)
Child with a disability or student eligible for special education- WAC 392-172A-01035
Related services - WAC 392-172A-01155 (3)
Equal education opportunity - Unlawful discrimination prohibited - WAC 392-190
Policy & Legal News, December 2018
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: 05.15
Revised by the Board: 02.19