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Public school therapy dog pilot program approved

Legislation creating a therapy dog pilot program for public schools in Tennessee was approved by the General Assembly recently.

House Bill 1908, sponsored by State Rep. Gino Bulso, R-Brentwood, authorizes the Tennessee Department of Education to place a therapy dog in five schools during the 2024-25 school year.

“This builds on a program we have in Williamson County that has been particularly effective in raising students’ spirits and addressing any anxiety or emotional issues that some students have,” Bulso said.

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The bill requires the department to select at least one school from each of the state’s three grand divisions to participate in the program. Priority should also be given to schools that serve a variety of different grade levels.

At the end of the school year, the department will submit a report to the General Assembly providing the outcomes of the pilot program and recommend whether it should be extended.

House Bill 1908 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

Daisy is a therapy dog at Manchester City Schools

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