ESA Weekly News Report April: ESA Attends High School in NY and Virginia Tech Supports ESAs on Campus

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This week in ESA news, we take a look into some of the latest stories which have been affecting students with emotional support animals (ESAs). If you are a student or know someone who is a student, then read on for the latest about ESAs in education news!

Emotional Support Dog ‘Buddy’ Helps Students at Saranac Lake High

A school in a small village in New York State says that emotional support dog ‘Buddy’ is helping students feel calmer and happier at school.

Special Education Teacher at SLHS, Gemini Randolph, is Buddy’s adoptive owner. She started bringing him to school around mid-January and says that his impact has been significant. “I’ve been kind of keeping data — and the two days that he did not come to the classroom, we’ve had some behavior issues,” Randolph said, stated in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

“But other than that, it’s been pretty calm. It’s given students a sense of peace.” – Sounds like a therapy animal too!

Buddy usually sits at the door of the high school in the mornings. Some students give him a scratch, others a hug, and some even invite buddy to sit on their laps. He also exhibits intuitive behavior to students who need it.

Randolph says, “He usually can sense when a student is stressed, and he’ll go over and lean into them.”

Randolph says that Buddy has had numerous positive effects at the school, including breaking down barriers between special education students and other high school students. She claims he is a natural conversation starter, and another teacher at the school, Will Ellsworth testifies to his ability to diffuse stressful situations.

Hopefully, more schools will start to see the enormous benefits of emotional support animals, which can greatly impact students in a positive way.

Because of Buddy’s influence, it’s safe to say he’s a great unofficial therapy animal!

Note: In full disclosure, CertaPet does not help in the process of getting an ESA for anyone under the age of 18.

young student with emotional support dog in forest

Virginia Tech Boosts Support of Students with ESAs by Granting Widened Access to Public Spaces

While ESAs are permitted in the dormitory areas of many higher education facilities, their ground permission and access to other areas are usually severely restricted. This leaves many students unable to bring their emotional support animals to classes.

Virginia Tech has made its campus a better place for their students that need an ESA by extending their access to more spaces across the campus. Students at Virginia Tech can attend classes and study beside animals.

Lecture halls and other private buildings like student lounges enable ESA access with an approved request.

This means that students who need their emotional support animals with them at all times will now be better supported in their studies, allowing them to achieve better results.

For students with ESAs, this is a great move, which will hopefully be replicated by other institutions in the future.

student with ESA pug in college library

CertaPet’s View on This Week’s News

It is not at all surprising that an ESA like Buddy has such a massively beneficial impact on the students and the atmosphere in the classroom! Animals simply have that effect on people hence the need for ESAs (and can’t forget therapy animals) in the first place!

As for Virginia Tech opening up more spaces for students to enjoy the company of their ESAs? Hurray! An important benefit of having an ESA is the social factor. A student cooped up in a dorm room with an animal might not feel too lonely, but human interaction and fresh air are important for mental health!

Good on you Virginia Tech! We hope this leaves a positive impact rather than those who might abuse the system in a negative way…

If you’re thinking of getting an ESA for yourself or student you know, there’s no more convenient option than using Certpet’s process.

It’s simple to take our free online 5-minute pre-screening, and if your answers indicate that you may qualify for an ESA, we will connect you with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) in your state.

You could then have your ESA letter in as little as 48 hrs, with no fuss!

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