The question on whether pets should be allowed in school is one that often arouses passionate debates. In this article, we weigh the pros of having pets in school against the cons.
While debating should pets be allowed in school pros and cons need to be carefully analyzed. Pets can help lower stress levels, teach students to be responsible and make the students enjoy being in school. But on the downside, the school setting may not be ideal for the welfare of the pets.
And having pets in school can be a health hazard.
Much of course depends on what exactly one means when they talk of ‘allowing pets in school’.
Deciding to get a classroom pet has different implications from allowing students to come to school with their (home) pets.
Thus in one context, the underlying question would be, should school pets be allowed? And in the other context, the underlying question would be, should students be allowed to bring their pets to their school?
Those are very different scenarios.
In the latter case, you would be looking at a situation in which the pets live with the students at home. But the students bring them to school once in a while.
That is obviously very different from the other situation: in which the pets’ primary home is the school.
Clearly then, there are many different angles to the should pets be allowed in school debate.
Are Pets Allowed In School?
Perhaps a good place to start the should pets be allowed at school debate is in looking at the current reality. As things stand, do they allow pets in school?
For instance, are dogs allowed in school during the school hours? Or, at the very least, are dogs allowed on school grounds after hours? What about smaller pets, like lizards, mice and hedgehogs? Are these allowed in school?
The truth of the matter is that most jurisdictions don’t allow pets in school. They neither allow pets in school during the official school hours nor after the official school hours.
That is unless the pets in question happen to be guide dogs for blind students, or pets serving some other practical role.
If you try to follow up on the reasons for not allowing pets in school, you tend to find that they are mostly matters to do with the pets being potential ‘distractions’.
At least that is the primary reason you get, when you research on why aren’t dogs allowed on school property?
So the situation in most jurisdictions is such that they currently don’t allow pets in school.
But this is a situation that many students find hard to live with. You often find students asking school administrators, why can’t we bring pets to school?
Then you also have students trying to convince the school administrators on why pet should be allowed in school.
The Idea of Having Class Pets
In some places though, the idea of having class pets is starting to gain traction. Some schools are going out of their way to acquire their own pets.
But there are those who are against this trend of having class pets.
And this is what leads to the passionate debates on what are the pros and cons of class pets.
The people in favor of the trend give solid reasons, on what are the pros of having a class pet. But those on the other side of the divide have their compelling reasons too…
They argue in favor of why shouldn’t pets be allowed in school.
Ultimately then, should pets be allowed in school pros and cons have to be weighed carefully.
Should Pets Be Allowed In School Pros
Whenever there is a debate on whether or not to allow pets in school, there are always those who favor allowing the pets.
In support of their position, they give several reasons in favor of why should pets be allowed in school.
Firstly, they argue that pets can help teach the students to be more responsible.
Secondly, they argue that pets can lower stress levels in the school setting.
And thirdly, they argue that pets can make the students like school more.
We will now proceed to look at each of these pros in turn.
Pets Can Teach Students To Be More Responsible
When you have pets in school, they have to be cared for. As the students learn how to care for the pets, they in turn learn how to be more responsible.
This is important, especially for students who may be coming from homes without pets. In the absence of there being pets in school, such students may have no other chance of learning how to care for other ‘beings’.
Once you have pets in school, the students can learn the level of commitment necessary for one to be in charge of another being’s welfare.
Even for students who come from homes with pets, caring for pets in the school setting is a different experience.
They get to learn aspects of care that they probably wouldn’t learn in the home setting.
Moreover, when you have the pets in the school setting, the students typically take care of them in turns. This is important, as it can help the students learn how to cooperate with others, and how to work in teams.
Simply put, having pets in school gives the instructors a chance to teach things that would otherwise be very hard to teach.
Pets Can Lower Stress Levels In The School Setting
The school setting is one that can be quite stressful for the students. After all, it is a setting in which there is an expectation for students to grasp quite complex concepts, fast.
And for teachers, there is also quite a lot of stress. This is the stress of trying to get students to internalize whatever is in the curriculum.
Thus anything that can help lower the stress levels is highly welcome. And having pets has exactly that effect.
When the stressed students interact with the pets, their stress levels go down.
With lower stress levels, there is less conflict between the students and instructors. There is also less conflict between the students themselves.
This is not something to take lightly. There are, after all, very few other mechanisms for lowering the stress levels in a healthy manner.
Pets Can Make Students Like School More
One challenge instructors and parents grapple with is that of making the kids to love school.
The introduction of pets in the school setting makes it more lively. With pets in school, the students have one more reason to look forward to being at school.
Students traditionally look forward to being in school in order to meet their school friends. With pets in school, there is one more thing to look forward to.
The students can look forward to being in school to interact with their pet friends. And this is important, especially for students coming from homes that have no pets.
There are also cases in which students dislike school because the authorities don’t allow them to bring their pets along.
Once there is a policy of allowing pets in school, this problem resolves. It translates into the students having a reason to like school more.
Should Pets Be Allowed In School Cons
So far, we have been looking into the pros: reasons to allow pets in school.
But on the other side of the divide, there are those who argue against allowing pets in school.
So you ask them, why should pets not be allowed in school? And they proceed to give you several reasons on why pets should not be allowed in school.
These, in other words, are the cons of allowing pets in school.
Firstly, they argue that the school setting is too stressful for pets.
Secondly, they argue that there may be gaps in addressing the welfare of pets in school.
And thirdly, they argue that the pets in school can be a health hazard.
We will now proceed to look at each of these cons of having pets in school in turn.
The School Setting Is Too Stressful For Pets
There are several things that make the school setting too stressful for pets.
Firstly, the school setting tends to be too noisy. If you are looking at a school with, say, 1,000 students and 100 staff members, you can imagine the noise levels.
There is no way that sort of setting can be healthy for a pet. This is a pet that should actually be living naturally in the wild…
Secondly, the lighting we use in school may be a bit too harsh for most pets.
Remember, the primary purpose of the school is that of learning: mostly by reading. This requires strong lighting, which can be harsh for a class pet.
Thirdly, a pet in school has to endure handling by too many people. This can be extremely stressful for any pet. It can get confusing, especially for a pet that spent its earliest years in a normal domestic setting.
There May Be Challenges In Addressing The Welfare Of School Pets
Most schools are only on session for certain hours of certain days. What about the days when there is nobody around in school? Who takes care of the class pets during such hours?
Yes, there is the option of allowing some students to be taking the pets with them home. The goal is for the students to take care of the pets during such hours.
But how can one be sure that the pets get proper care under such scenarios?
Even during the school hours/school days, the welfare of the pets may be at risk. Remember, the expectation may be for the students to be taking care of the pets in turns.
But some students may abscond their duties: to the detriment of the pets…
To put it simply, the welfare of a school pet is unlikely to be at par with that of a normal domestic pet.
The school pet belongs to everybody in the school, and nobody in particular. Therefore there is no one on whom the buck stops, when it comes to the welfare of the pet.
That can translate into lots of suffering for the pets.
The Pets In School Can Be A Health Hazard
Firstly, students who happen to have pet allergies may be at risk, once we allow pets in school.
Secondly, pets in school will typically interact with many people on any day. Now imagine if some of the people interacting with them happen to have various diseases.
The pets can easily become avenues for transmission of such diseases.
And pets like dogs can actually physically attack students. The school setting is too stressful for them. This can lead to agitation, which in turn leads to aggression.
Should Pets Be Allowed In School Pros And Cons Analysis
There are certainly some pros to having pets in school. But there are also cons.
The pros include that in which the pets can help teach the students to be more responsible. There is also that in which the pets can lower stress levels in the school setting.
And there is that in which the pets can make the students like school more.
On the other hand, there are cons. Those include that in which the school setting is too stressful for pets. Then there is the fact that there may be gaps in the welfare of school pets.
And there is the fact that the pets in school may turn into health hazards.
Ultimately, should pets be allowed in school pros and cons analysis reveals – to us at least – that the cons are weightier.
The wellbeing of the pets is likely to be under threat. And the pets could even compromise the wellbeing of students: like if they become health hazards.
If we really have to allow pets in school, then at least there should be measures to mitigate the cons.
Final Verdict – Should Pets Be Allowed In School Pros And Cons
The upside to allowing pets in schools starts with the fact that having pets in school can help teach students to be more responsible.
There is also the fact that having pets in school can lower stress levels. And the pets can make school more interesting for students.
On the downside though, there is no denying that the school setting can be too stressful for pets. And there may be challenges in addressing the welfare of school pets.
Then there is of course also the fact that the pets in school can turn into health hazards.
Most commentators on this subject seem to be of the view that the cons are frankly weightier than the pros.
Therefore it is best to continue keeping pets away from the school setting.
If we really have to allow pets in school, then let’s at least do something to mitigate the identified ‘cons’ of having pets in school.