CHILDREN & ANIMALS
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1996:
The school board in Prairie City, Oregon, on
November 20 ordered the district middle school to halt a planned
three-week animal rights forum after just one week, because the
forum, intended as an exercise in developing critical thinking,
outraged local hunters, meat-eaters, ranchers, and timber workers,
who objected to anyone even raising the possibility that their
occupations and/or proclivities might be ethically questionable.
Vegetarian teacher Rick Bogle, whose policy on putting bugs
outside alive instead of killing them brought an earlier furor, had
invited guest speakers including Portland activist Nancy Perry, a
representative of the local humane society, an animal husbandry
expert from the Oregon State Extension Service, and a pro-hunting
representative of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
His discussion guide asked students to separate fact from opinion
in articles on animal-related topics, and to answer questions on a
scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” about
such statements as “I would rather shoot an elk than just watch it
in the wild,” “Whales are more important than mice,” and “A
well-balanced diet must include red meat.”
Pamela Schmidt, 34, of Thunder Ridge Middle
School in Aurora, Colorado, is among the three finalists for the
Colorado Teacher of the Year award on the strength of her nature
education program, which includes a classroom full of pet snakes
and dinosaur fossils.
A landmark sex discrimination lawsuit filed under
the 1972 amendments to the Civil Rights Act by Eve Bruneau,
14, against the South Koright Central School District, was rejected
on November 22 by a Binghamton, New York jury, and will
reportedly be appealed. Bruneau alleges in the case that sixth
grade teacher William Parker Jr. decorated the classroom like a
hunting lodge, in a manner deliberately hostile to her sensibilities,
with deer antlers for coathooks and gun magazines as supplementary
reading matter, then ignored bullying and physical
harassment by male students from October 1993 to March 1994.
She withdrew from the school in mid-term after her mother, substitute
school teacher Pat Schofield, was unable to resolve the
problems in seven visits to school officials.
Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina,
requires students to perform 25 hours of volunteer work per year.
Participation in a Pet Rescue Adoption Fair coordinated by
Debbie Rafalawski is among the more popular ways for them to
get their credits. “Students from Broughton are some of the
nicest, most helpful volunteers we’ve had,” Rafalawski recently
told Susan Kauffman of the Raleigh News & Observer.
The black bear cub who bit Juliette Harris, age 7,
last spring as Harris tried to lug him home was returned to the
wild on November 4. Harris endured post-exposure rabies vaccination,
just in case, rather than allow the bear to be killed for
examination. The shots cost $1,500; Lawrence Carter of Sangre
de Cristo Animal Protection raised $1,736 to defray that expense
and the cost of keeping the bear through a quarantine and rehabilitation
period. The cub was an apparent orphan, dehydrated and
weak when Harris found him.