Justice for Taz: Students push to keep dog at Liberty Middle School

Justice for Taz
Justice for Taz(none)
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 8:52 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Students and teachers say Taz the Dog at Liberty Middle School in West Fargo has been removed from the campus. They say they were told by the superintendent Friday that Taz cannot be at the school-- but they say a reason wasn’t given as to why.

Students tell Valley News Live they printed flyers saying “Justice for Taz” and used Friday’s lunch hour to gather more than 500 signatures. They’ve even started a Facebook group. Students holding “Justice for Taz” signs were also seen at West Fargo at Sheyenne Friday night football game.

We are told by an anonymous whistleblower:

Taz has been at the school for the last year and a half and is ready to test as an emotional support dog. He is a hypoallergenic dog and trained. Previous students, who are now at Sheyenne, came by after school Friday to say goodbye. They shared stories on how beneficial Taz was to their learning and don’t understand this decision.

There was a student at Liberty who was hit by a car last year: Taz helped give them confidence to walk. Today a student spent 30 minutes crying and snuggling up to Taz as a comfort dog, and left feeling better. When a student is starting to struggle In class: Taz will get up and silently go over to the student as a support.

Taz is the welcome committee for students in the morning, sends them home with a bit of love, greets all families who come for sports events, and brings a smile we sometimes didn’t know we needed. Students are learning compassion and responsibility with Taz, as well as the Social Emotional Learning. Students of all grade levels. He is an essential part of Liberty Middle School and we don’t understand this decision. School dogs have been proven to increase literacy, increase school attendance, reduce anxiety for learners and teachers, and help build relationship. Losing Taz will be a heartache that all of our students will feel in a time when we all need that extra bit of support.

We reached out to West Fargo schools and are awaiting a response.