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Miniature Horses | Indian River County School Board To Discuss District Rule Changes At Tuesday's Meeting

Posted By: JR

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY ” Rules governing classroom pets, miniature horses as service animals and campus smoking bans are set to be discussed 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Indian River County School Board’s regular meeting in the district board room at 1990 25th St., Vero Beach.

Public hearings on the updates to existing board policies are scheduled. In most cases, the rule changes bring the district into compliance with a new state or federal law.

About 12 policy rule changes are proposed, but a few deal mainly with administration and do not impact parents or students. Some of the changes are minor, such as adding a requirement that the district wellness policy be reported annually to the board.

Other proposals include rules governing the use of physical restraints on students with disabilities and the requirements for service animals. Service animals must be housebroken and not bark, growl or whine unnecessarily or annoy any student or staff member. The proposed rules add miniature horses as an alternative to service dogs.

Proposed rule changes

Here is a list of the proposed rule changes for the Indian River County School District. Anyone can speak during the public hearings about these items at the Tuesday school board meeting.

Weapons: Essentially prohibits anyone other than a law enforcement officer from having a weapon on campus or a school bus or at a bus stop. Weapons also are prohibited at school district-sponsored events.

Service animals: Provides a policy so the district complies with federal law for anyone who wants to bring service animal on campus. Includes special provisions to follow in allowing miniature horses as an alternative to dogs, such as the type, size and weight of the horse.

Classroom animals: Addresses animals kept in classrooms for projects or lessons. The animal must not present a danger to students or staff, and the presence of the animal must be related to the curriculum. The principal must approve the presence of the animal.

Time out, restraint or seclusion: Sets standards on using physical restraint or seclusion on students with disabilities. Use of manual physical restraint or seclusion is only to be used as a last resort. The district shall provide staff training and refresher training annually.

Smoking: Sets a policy prohibiting smoking or the use of tobacco in any form in school buildings, vehicles or at a school event. If approved, the policy goes into effect for the 2012-2013 school year.

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