The New Hampshire Department of Education has adopted a new student choice policy that will allow students to use alternatives to dissecting animals in the classroom.
Science classes that dissect or otherwise use animals may be teaching important critical problem solving skills; yet, at the same time, they may be inadvertently teaching a lack of reverence and respect for all life. Because they dissect animals in school laboratories, some students may be learning that nonhuman animals are nothing more than tools to advance their knowledge. Is that what we want our science classes teaching our children?
An estimated 6 million animals are dissected in school science classes yearly. Include all the animals used in experiments at science fairs, in after-school science clubs, and in 4-H projects, among other animal-related science projects and the number continues upward. Frogs are often the animal of choice for classroom dissection, but they are not the only ones: cats, mice, rats, fetal pigs, birds, bats, fish, reptiles, and others also find themselves the victims of classroom dissection.
Take Action: New Hampshire residents, thank the superintendent of schools for your state’s action in promoting humane choices in the classroom. Residents of other states, contact your school superintendent to see if such a policy exists. If one does not, let the superintendent know you want such a policy instituted in your school system.
Brendan Minnihan, Superintendent of Schools
New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3860