Students who need therapy animals

Sage Bartch, Copy Editor

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let students have therapy animals if needed, or just one in each class, to reduce stress and make a better learning environment. Students can be calmer in a learning environment and feel relaxed most of the time. Some kids suffer from past trauma or have issues with socializing with other people, which animals could help.

A high school called Albuquerque has made guidelines for allowing therapeutic animals under certain predicaments. For example, “The size of the cage or enclosure shall correspond to the animal’s habits and ensure enough space to exercise and have proper ventilation.” This proves the school cares for the students, as much as the pets, but it is the student’s responsibility to handle and care for the animal. Also, the student needs to communicate with the school on allergy issues and similar incidents. “If any child is allergic to specific animals present in an assigned classroom, the school shall accommodate the child’s need to learn in a safe environment. Alternatives may include transfer to another classroom, removal of the animal causing the allergy or other effective alternatives.”

There have been no other schools like Albuquerque, other than some colleges letting dogs live in the hallways of dorms and everybody puts in the time to care for the animal(s) and other similar stories of these type of situations. Of course, there have always been classroom pets in middle schools and so forth, but that doesn’t even compare to how a trained therapeutic animal can help students learn in a safe and stable environment. Imagine a pet goldfish comforting a child, it is just not possible. Unless somebody finds “glub glub” soothing, but they never could to a therapeutic level. Students will need trained animals that are suited to their needs and can comfort them in the time of need.

Just want all kids to benefit from feeling safe at school. Personally, my bunnies have helped me when I am feeling stressed or anxious, which most kids get from school and at home issues. Animals have been around for centuries helping mankind. People don’t just say “A dog is a man’s best friend” for no apparent reason at all. In Egypt, they worshipped cats and thought they protected the people from the gods. Animals have been a symbol as companions toured people for centuries.