Aurora principal’s therapy dog helping reduce student’s stress and behavior problems

Local News

There’s a clear teacher’s pet in the halls of Emily Howland Elementary School, and with four legs and furry coat, he’s not even a student. 

Principal Chris Clapper has been bringing his dog Archer to work for the past three years.

Over that time, the school has seen a reduction in student behavior referrals, which Clapper believes is due, in part, to Archer’s presence.

“He’s especially good when a child needs that emotional connection,” Clapper said. “He’s there for them. He’s there for them every single day. And they know that.”

Archer is usually a constant presence in the hallways before classes start, but he’s also used for one-on-one time if a student is on good behavior.  

Southern Cayuga School District also a therapy dog in the adjoining high school for students. 

“It could be the one connection that gets [students] through the day or it helps them look forward to coming to school,” Clapper said. “So if we can help provide that emotional connection: why wouldn’t we?”

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