MMSD School Board Tackles Class Pets and Clean Air

The Madison school board tackled two tough issues Monday night – one involves pets in the classroom, and it drew quite a crowd to the meeting.

A handful of kids came with their parents so they could express their opinions on pets in the classroom.

Also on hand, representatives from Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Services. They were there to explain how dogs in the classroom can teach students about disabilities.

The district says the group is welcome if invited by a teacher, and if the program is in line with the curriculum.

“I think historically Madison has welcomed animals into the classrooms, and suddenly the policy has become the issue,” says Carla Coleman, WAGS Executive Director.

“It is a question of allergies and also of cleanliness. I think that in terms of both other staff and students who have allergic responses to certain kinds of animals," says board member Carol Carstensen.

Monday night the school board decided they would develop a committee to come up with a new policy regarding pets in school.

The board heard from Clean Air Madison.

The group wants the school district to ask the state to monitor the air quality near Lowell Elementary school, because they feel the area is heavily polluted due to a nearby industrial plant.

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