Middle-school students attending a summer enrichment course in zoology through Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) will no longer have a live rat in the classroom or dissect other critters.
Lisa Wachtel, the school district's executive director of teaching and learning, confirms the decision was made after concerns were raised by the animal rights group PETA. Upon review, "We didn't feel it was a good way to introduce" younger students to this subject area.
And while live animals and dissection are still part of other Madison course offerings, Lynn Pauly of the local Alliance for Animals is pleased MSCR has cut out the cutting in this course.
"Humane educational tools and methods have proven as good as, and usually superior to, the old ways of teaching biology," she says. "It's a win-win result for the students and the animals."