Dissecting animals not necessary to teach

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 29, 2013 

I agree completely with the mother who doesn't want her daughter to dissect cats in biology.

I had the same problem as a teacher of bilingual biology in California. A young girl had just won a lawsuit against the state to be excused from dissection in biology. I told my supervisor, "If a student can refuse, a teacher should be able to refuse, too." Thinking a while, she agreed. I took a class in using a plastic model for my students. They could also label the parts in a drawing. Those who wanted to dissect went to her class for a week, and those who didn't came to mine.

When I was a child in Kentucky, we bought live chickens. We played with them until Dad came home to chop off their heads. I wanted to be a vegetarian, and as soon as I was 18, I was allowed. Learning compassion for animals is more important than anything learned in dissection unless the student plans to be a doctor.

Fran B. Reed

Hilton Head Island

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