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Inhumane Education?

Posted by at 9:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)


Inhumane Education? by Kris Haley

The word “education” typically produces a positive reaction inspired by warm memories of school. Humane education is an empathy-driven framework that complements all other educational models, expanding a child’s compassion toward all living beings, and it’s becoming more and more mainstream as parents and educators seek to raise kind children. However, lurking in the shadows of the hallowed halls of academia is a subject that casts a pall over the warm memories most feel about their school days. It is what I refer to as “inhumane education”-education masquerading as necessity when it is not only unnecessary but also cruel and exploitive. I refer to dissection of animals by our children.

What was your reaction that memorable day in the science laboratory when you were informed that today was the day you were going to dissect a frog? Sadly, the adolescent daze enveloping many of us during our high school years probably didn’t inspire resistance. Did the thought to object to the dissection cross your mind? It did for a classmate of mine. She clearly and plaintively articulated a credible argument about the high level of exploitation involved in the teacher’s directive. Ultimately, the argument was settled with the teacher’s statement, “We have no choice-there is no other way for you to learn this.”

A growing number of teachers now know that this is not true. Scientific studies show that there is no educational advantage to cutting up the corpses of animals rather than using the compassionate alternatives that are now available to students.

The use of these demonstrated alternatives is on the increase, as some states have passed laws to guarantee students the right to choose an alternative to dissection.

Perhaps our children are creating a new paradigm in which excuses dissolve and the science laboratory moves out of the Dark Ages and into the 21st century through lessons of empathy instead of exploitation.

It all starts with one child who is willing to say “No!”

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6 Comments

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    Kara says...

    December 4th, 2010, 8:43 am

    I was in the 8th grade when the cruel frog dissection came up. I told the teacher that I didn’t want to do it, and he also said that there was no other way. Not only did I absolutely refuse to do it and take an F; I cut class that day because I couldn’t be around anything like that. To this day I am very proud of that decision.

    Judith Howard says...

    December 5th, 2010, 9:15 am

    Thinking outside the box always opens us up to new possibilities.

    How many children who had a dissection class actually went into animal related careers? Not many.

    Stephanie says...

    December 6th, 2010, 5:15 pm

    I cut class, not the frogs.

    Kris Lecakes Haley says...

    December 16th, 2010, 7:19 pm

    Ladies — Love your comments. Cut Class Not Frogs! — if it didn’t encourage truancy, that would make one heck of a bumper sticker! Thanks for your support of PETA Prime!

    Alicia says...

    January 20th, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Buenos Aires, Argentina. ’73, ’74 aprox. Private school. The vivisection was with a BUNNIE! I was a shy A student but refused to partipate, not minding if it meant a bad note or a reprimand from the teacher. I cried silently watching thru a window not understanding how such a cruel thing could be done. To my surprise, I was not the only one, one of my classmates, the “fat boy”, joined me. I think the practice has now been dismissed; I don’t remember my girls mentioning it. Hope so.

    Chris Udall says...

    November 6th, 2012, 9:12 pm

    I’ve always thought that cutting up frogs was also traumatizing to children as well. I mean, I never did it, but I can only imagine that some children might be seriously messed up by being forced to commit an act like that.

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