D.C. health dept., school system battle over pets

WASHINGTON – Two city departments are squaring off over animals in the classroom.

The Washington Examiner reports that the D.C. Department of Health told the principal of Miner Elementary School in Northeast to remove frogs, tadpoles and other animals from the building’s classrooms, saying their possession violated city law.

The order and review of the school’s animals came after a classroom guinea pig died earlier this year, the Examiner says. But a D.C. Public Schools spokeswoman says the system doesn’t intend to comply with the health department’s demands, because the animals are integral to students’ education.

A spokesman for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray tells the Examiner both departments will get on the same page and that the conflict was a misunderstanding. D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6, also tells the paper he will introduce legislation to ensure schools are allowed to keep such animals.

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