Children & Animals: NABT MOVES TOWARD STRONGER SUPPORT OF CLASSROOM DISSECTION

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:

WASHINGTON D.C.––The National Association of Biology Teachers has withdrawn its monograph The
Responsible Use of Animals in Biology Classrooms “due to ethical concerns about some of its classroom exercises and about
the unequal representation of animal rights and biomedical research groups in the resource list,” according to the
February/March 1994 edition of National Science Teachers Association Reports. NABT executive director Patricia

McWethy said that animal rights groups were considered to be over-
represented, and that there were objections to an exercise in which
students were to describe their feelings as they imagined beating to
death moss, frogs, and human infants. McWethy said there are no
plans to revise the monograph. Last November NABT president
Joe McInerney won a three-year fight to gut a 1989 policy statement
saying the group supported “alternatives to dissection and vivisec-
tion wherever possible in the biology curricula.” The new statement
“encourages teachers to be sensitive to substantive student objec-
tions to dissection and to consider providing appropriate alternatives
for those students,” but adds that “NABT acknowledges that no
alternative can substitute for the actual experience of dissection and
urges teachers to be aware of the limitations of alternatives.”
McInerney was formerly science education office director for the
Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, under
arch foe of animal protection Frederick Goodwin.
Concern for Helping Animals in Israel and the Israeli
Ministry of Education on March 22-23 hosted Israel’s first confer-
ence on “Preventing Violence in Society Through Education.”
The California Consortium to Prevent Child Abuse on
March 1 awarded the Humane Society of Sonoma County’s garden
therapy program the fourth annual Henry Bergh Award for innova-
tion in child abuse prevention and treatment. The program teaches
“kindness, empathy, and compassion,” HSSC executive director
Dan Knapp said, by introducing abused children first to plant care,
and then to resident farm animals. The award is named for the
founder of the American SPCA, who also began anti-child abuse
programs in the U.S. with the 1873 rescue of a severely abused girl
named Mary Ellen under an early animal protection law.
Animal Citizen, the magazine of the Animal Welfare
Board of India, recently published photographs of two young
mothers who found four newborn jackals beside their dead mother
while at work in the sugar cane fields near the village of Sarsa in
District Anand, South Gujarat. The women adopted the jackal cubs
and nursed them with their own infants. The same issue of Animal
Citizen reported that a group of children from Neduntheru village,
near Sriran-gam, seized the guns and motorcycles of two bat poach-
ers, then marched the men to the police.
A fifth grade class at Los Berros School in Lompoc,
California, set out to raise a chick as an educational project, but
instead learned about predation March 7 when the chick was
snatched and eaten by a hawk in full view of the students.
Cynthia Herschkowitsch, a teacher at South Oak Cliff
High School in Dallas, Texas, has directed students in activities
to benefit the SPCA of Texas since 1991. A dog rescue by two pro-
ject participants, seniors Chris Gilbert and Quince Evans, recently
made the Dallas Morning News.
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