The Catahoula Parish School System acknowledges its responsibilities to permit students and/or other individual with disabilities to participate in and benefit from School Board services, programs and activities, and to promote the nondiscrimination of individuals on the basis of disability.  Therefore the School Board shall permit the use of service animals by students and other individuals under appropriate circumstances.


A service animal is any dog 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 School Board shall permit the use of a miniature horse by an individual with a disability if the miniature horse has been trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of the individual with a disability.  Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.


The work or task performed by a service animal shall be directly related to the handler’s disability.  Service animals’ tasks may include, but shall not be limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medications or telephones, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility difficulties, and helping persons with psychiatric or neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.


Parents must submit a written request for the use of a service animal to the Superintendent or his/her designee.  The request must be made no less than ten (10) days prior to the proposed use of the service animal prior to bringing the service animal to school or a school function.


Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by this service animal in all areas of the School Board’s buildings and facilities where the public participates in services, programs or activities, or where invitees are permitted to go.


If any service animal is excluded by the School Board, the School Board shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.




  1. Special Provisions/Miniature Horses:  Requests to permit a miniature horse to accompany a student or adult with a disability in school buildings, in classrooms, or at school functions, shall be handled on a case-by-case basis, considering:


  1. The type, size, and weight of the miniature horse and whether the facility can accommodate these features.

  2. Whether the handler has sufficient control of the miniature horse.

  3. Whether the miniature horse is housebroken.

  4. Whether the miniature horse's presence in a specific facility compromises legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operation of that facility.


  1. Removal of a Service Animal:  A school administrator may ask an individual with a disability or his/her parents to remove a service animal from a school building, a classroom, or from a school function, if any one of the following circumstances occurs:


  1. The animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it.

  2. The animal is not housebroken.

  3. The animal's presence would "fundamentally alter" the nature of the service, program, or activity.


  1. A service animal shall be required to have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work, or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control.

  2. Students with service animals shall be expected to care and supervise their animal.  The School Board shall not be responsible for the care or supervision of any service animal.  In the case of a young child or a student with disabilities who is unable to care for or supervise his/her service animal, the parent shall be responsible for providing care and supervision of the animal.  Issues related to the care and supervision of service animals shall be addressed on a case-by-case basis in the discretion of the building administrator.

  3. Owners of service animals shall be solely responsible for any harm, damage, or injury caused by the service animal to students, staff, visitors, and/or property.


New policy:  October 4, 2011

Recoded from IDDFA:  November 5, 2019



Ref:    42 USC 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

28 CFR Part 35 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services)

Board minutes, 10-4-11, 11-5-19


Catahoula Parish School Board