Animals In Print
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December 26, 2012

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Cat Dissection Brings Out Worst in California Students

Students at Newport Harbor High School in California openly mugged for photographs with dead cats, posted them on Facebook, and solicited comments from their friends in June 2012. The photographs were taken during a science class dissection that uses cats obtained from biological suppliers.

Animals In Print cat dissectionOne or more children reportedly deposited a severed catís head in a studentís locker. A photograph of a catís decapitated head was also posted on Facebook. A detailed online conversation followed in which one student suggested, presumably jokingly, that she had killed her own cat. Other students joined in with other inappropriate comments.

PCRM wrote to the president of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education and asked that the students involved be referred for psychological evaluation, that the teacher be reprimanded and counseled, and that classroom activities involving animals be suspended.

PCRM also wrote to Facebook and requested the company remove any photographs or posts involving abuse, cruelty, or callousness toward animals in the future, in accordance with its graphic content policy, which states that ďany inappropriately graphic content will be removed when found on the site. Sadistic displays of violence against people or animals, or depictions of sexual assault, are prohibited.Ē

Animals In Print cat dissectionThe use of animals for science classroom dissection is not only cruel and psychologically damaging, it is unnecessary for optimal science education. In 2008, the National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association revised their position statements regarding the use of animals in the classroom to acknowledge the value and endorse the use of computer-based dissection programs for all levels of science education, and to encourage science teachers to be prepared to provide those programs. Earlier this year, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society similarly revised its position statement.

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