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Students refuse animal dissection

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October 3, 2002

Valdosta - Valdosta High students have mixed emotions concerning animal dissection.

"I think its a violation of animal rights," said Katie Johnson, VHS Student.

But Ryan Cooper disagrees with Katie.

"It's the best way for us to learn about the anatomy of certain animals," said Cooper.

Most anatomy students are required to dissect a fetal pig, cow heart, and sheep brain. But refusal to participate in such classroom lessons is becoming more common in many high schools. VHS anatomy teacher Ray Burroughs says luckily, he's never encountered the problem.

"When students come into my class they know exactly what they'll have to dissect, so they know what they're getting into," said James Borroughs, VHS Anatomy Teacher.

Just last week, a 16-year-old honor student from Baltimore was removed from class after refusing to dissect a cat. But some schools offer an alternative to animal dissection. Many students say they can learn just as much from a computer simulated dissection activity. However, most teachers disagree.

"I wouldn't want a doctor working on me who had received all of his surgical training over the computer," said Borroughs.

And some students agree.

"The hands on experience is just more detailed and makes things much easier to understand," said Cooper.

While teachers maintain hands-on dissection is better than simulations, they recommend instructors remain sensitive to students' concerns, and provide them with the best education possible.

 

posted at 6:15 by ashley.harper@walb.com