Bringing Birds to Class Helps Sophomore Spread Wings

Carbonell hopes to get her birds registered as Emotional Support Animals in order to bring them to school on a more regular basis.

Photo Courtesy of Ariana Carbonell

Carbonell hopes to get her birds registered as Emotional Support Animals in order to bring them to school on a more regular basis.

By Isabel Dibble, Senior Writer

During a normal day at CHS, many students encounter their fellow classmates or teachers when walking around. However, recently, some students may have heard chirps in the hallway.

Sophomore Ariana Carbonell brought her bird, Soleil, to school the day before spring break, raising eyebrows at its unusual appearance.

Carbonell is a animal lover who has another baby parakeet named Inigo, and two cats.

Soleil and Inigo help Carbonell manage her anxiety disorder, hence the reason she brought Soleil to school.

“I have a pretty severe anxiety disorder and having one or both of my birds with me really helps keep my stress levels from getting overwhelming,” Carbonell said.

Carbonell is now in the process of getting her birds registered as Emotional Support Pets, a type of service animal.

According to the National Service Animal Registry (NSAR) website, an emotional support animal (ESA) is a pet that is a part of the treatment program for its owner and is designed to bring comfort and minimize negative symptoms of the owner’s emotional disability.

For Carbonell, getting her birds registered validates her reasoning for bringing them with her to school and other public places.

Due to the amount of time together, Carbonell and her two baby parakeet birds have a close relationship.  

“As strange as it may sound, my birds are pretty much my best friends,” Carbonell said. “I take them with me wherever I go, if the temperature is nice enough. I get stopped a lot by people on the street when I take them out for ‘walks.’ They’re really social and sweet, and I love seeing how happy they make people.”

During school, many students have reacted positively to the presence of Soleil.

“My classmates and friends thought it was pretty cool that I brought Soleil to class the day before spring break,” Carbonell said. “For the most part, my teachers really loved him and. NSL assistant teacher Howard (Carter) Gilliams has even recommended that I bring it back one day.”

Junior Jimmy Stempien loves her birds and thought it was great that Carbonell brought Soleil because they are a lot of fun, especially to play with at lunch.

According to Carbonell, both of her birds’ wings are clipped so they cannot fly. However, she understands that the fear of birds that some people have is a legitimate concern.

“While Inigo and Soleil are really friendly and gentle, I always bring some sort of cage to keep them in,” Carbonell said. “I’ve already come to the realization that although my birds help me, not everyone may be as comfortable around them.”