WINTHROP — The Winthrop School Board has voted to ban dogs on school property, except on the Roger Guerette Community Trail, which is accessed through the Winthrop Middle and High School parking lots.

The issue was raised at the School Board meeting two weeks ago, but postponed until Wednesday night’s meeting, when the board unanimously approved the motion, which specifies dogs will still be allowed on the trail and parking lot, but not on school grounds.

The matter was postponed at the Dec. 7 board meeting so Jim Hodgkin, superintendent of the Winthrop Public Schools, could connect with town officials, since the board wanted to ban dogs on school property, but not on the trail.

After a conversation with the town’s recreation department and an examination of the original deed to the trail, officials determined the trail belongs to the “inhabitants of Winthrop,” and the town — not the School Department — is responsible for the trail’s upkeep, even though it is on school property.

The prohibition on dogs on school property is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 3, when students return from the holiday break.

Board members also strongly reminded all who use the trail that Maine law requires dogs be leashed at public places.

Hodgkin said other superintendents in the Kennebec Valley Superintendent of Schools Association have either banned dogs on school grounds or are likely to do so soon to control the amount of dog waste and as a safety measure.

“(Other superintendents) said most schools are banning dogs on the property, even on leashes, and not just for the reasons of the waste question, but more about safety and concern about how though most dogs are friendly and sweet, not everyone sees them as that,” Hodgkin said.

The Roger Guerette Community Trail is a 1-mile loop with access to the trail at Winthrop Middle and High School.

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