Proposed Legislation Would Provide Consistent, Fair and Transparent Access to Service
Animals in Schools
Elgin-Middlesex-London, October 31, 2018 - Yesterday, Ontario's Government for the
People announced its proposed legislative amendment, which, if passed, would support
students and their families when making requests to bring service animals into schools
and classrooms in Elgin-Middlesex-London and across the province. Only 39 of 72
school boards across Ontario currently have policies in place to address the need
for service animals in schools, leaving students vulnerable and parents facing challenges
to support their child's special needs.
The proposed amendment would provide guidance on service animals to school boards
when developing their own policies to ensure families of students with special needs
experience a fair and transparent process when requesting that their children be
able to bring a service animal to school.
"Our Government is committed to ensuring students across Ontario are learning in
safe and supportive environments. Students who benefit from service animals need
a government to support them and help establish clear rules and policies and that's
what we're going to do," said Jeff Yurek, MPP. "I know that this is important to
many families in Elgin-Middlesex-London and am glad that the need is finally being
"Families of students with special needs deserve a clear and transparent process
for requesting that service animals be able to accompany their children, no matter
where they live," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. "Every family in this
province should feel supported when it comes to ensuring their child has access
to a meaningful education."
If this legislation is approved, all members of the public — including families,
education partners, advocacy groups and community agencies — will have the opportunity
to provide input on the policy directive that would be issued to boards.