Written by Katie Schrempp and Maddy Greenhouse |
According to students and staff at Morgan, therapy dogs at the school are a big hit! Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans. According to Animal Smart, “Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. These hormonal changes can help a nervous child feel more relaxed about reading aloud. Reduced stress can also benefit physical health.”
To prove this, we surveyed 40 students and asked them what their thoughts were on the dogs. 35 of the 40 said that the dogs benefitted the students and that bringing them here is a great idea. 4 of the studnets interviewed were unsure, and only 1 of the interviewed studnets out of the 40 believed that the dogs were not a good idea. This could have been for a number of reasons. For example, a student could have allergies or maybe they are afraid of dogs. Science teacher Colleen Whittle told us, “My daughter is deathly afraid of dogs. So, I’m sure that if she saw one, she would go up the stairs, over, then down the stairs, instead of walking by.”
Principal Keri Hagness shared with us that the dogs will be contained in certain areas of the school so that they will not affect those students as much. They are looking for ways to resolve the students concerns. Mrs. Hagness stated, “We are going to look for ways that we may let the students know where the dogs are going to be.”
But the main opinion of the student body is that the therapy dogs are a great idea. Senior Jillian Accetta told us “I understand the concern. But, personally, I love dogs. They should know that they are going to be helpful, and they aren’t like giants dogs that are going to hurt you. They are cute little dogs that are meant to make you feel better.” Senior, Joey Broughton recomends to others who are allergic to dogs that they “avoid the dogs and stay in the classroom.”
Many believe that the dogs should come more often and recommended that they come the first and last week of every month. They currently come during x block on the first Wednesday of each month. Sophomore Brittany Rojas said that dogs are one of her favorite animals, and she enjoys seeing them every month.