A biology teacher in Utah who led his class in a
dissection of a live dog, defended his actions by saying "I thought it
would be just a really good experience if they could see the digestive
system in a living animal." Doug Bjerregaard, a substitute teacher at
Gunnison Valley High School, thought it would be a good idea to take the
stomach and intestines out of a live dog to show his class how the
digestive process works. Some parents objected when their kids were
traumatized. That's why this story made national news, a few upset parents
The killing of animals for educational purposes in the
classroom, for no rational or reasonable purpose, goes on every day. But
the exceptional stupidity and cruelty of this story made all of us who
monitor animal news articles say "Huh? What the...?"
What lesson is this teaching the children? That non-human
animals are expendable props in the theatre of life? That gutting a fellow
being can be a learning experience?
"It just makes me sick and I don't think this should go on
anywhere and nobody's learning from it," one student said. The principal
of the high school, Kirk Anderson, (firstname.lastname@example.org if
you want to drop him a line) said notifications went to parents explaining
the dog was going to be euthanized anyway. Principal Anderson said he
supports the lesson and it will be allowed to continue because the
students are learning. The substitute teacher, Doug Bjerregaard, is
standing by his decision and calls it the ultimate educational experience.
No, Doug, you really have no idea about teaching biology.
The ultimate educational experience was demonstrated in the movie Hannibal
(Silence of the Lambs, part two) when Dr. Hannibal Lecter slowly and
systematically cut out portions of Ray Liotta's brain and fed it to him,
to find out how much of your own brain you can eat before you start asking
for a side of fries. You know, it makes one wonder if Dr. Lecter had a
teacher like Doug Bjerregaard.
Remember kids, you have a right not to participate in
classroom cruelty. The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights
website ( http://www.avar.org/ )
includes a good searchable database on alternatives to the use of animals
in the classroom and student rights concerning dissection.
Go on to Strategic
Planning for Success
Return to 22 May 2005 Issue
Return to Newsletters
** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this
not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the
copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright