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Dissection

Courtesy PETA

[Month XX, Year]

[Name of Principal or Teacher]
[School Name]

Dear [Name of Principal or Teacher],

My child—[Name]—is enrolled in [Name of Class], and I’ve just learned that students in that class will be asked to participate in animal dissection activities. Because of our family’s sincerely held [ethical and/or religious beliefs] against harming animals, my child will not be participating in these activities. At this time, I’d like to make a formal request that animal dissection be removed from the course and that life-affirming humane activities, such as digital dissection, be implemented instead.

For both educational and ethical reasons, a growing number of educators are choosing to teach science without harming animals. This compassionate decision helps spare the lives of countless frogs, cats, and other animals and is supported by extensive research showing the educational benefits of methods such as interactive virtual dissection.

Nearly every comparative study published has found that students who are taught both basic and advanced biological concepts using non-animal methods learn as well as or better than their peers who dissected animals. Studies also show that students who use humane methods learn faster and are more confident about the material. Unlike cutting up chemically treated animal cadavers, software programs such as Froguts and Digital Frog teach students how living bodies look and work and allow students to repeat material until they are proficient and feel confident.

Using non-animal methods in the classroom creates a more inclusive learning environment that does not risk alienating students who are uncomfortable with using animals. This is important to me as a parent, both because it includes all students and because of the superior learning opportunity.

Many students would be horrified to learn that millions of frogs, rats, cats, mice, and other animals suffer and are killed for dissection annually. These animals are bred in cramped warehouses or snatched from the wild before they end up in the dissection tray, and their suffering during capture, transportation, warehousing, and slaughter is significant. As we know, children are naturally drawn to animals, so teachers sometimes resort to trying to explain away their ethical concerns with excuses such as that “the animals were already dead” or “they gave their lives for science” or some other nonsense. With an undeniable epidemic of bullying and an increasing number of incidents of cruelty to animals perpetrated by juveniles, it’s vital that our children be taught to respect all living beings. Dissecting animals in the classroom teaches them precisely the opposite.

For all the reasons mentioned above, I respectfully request that alternatives to animal dissection be used.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you regarding this important matter.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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