Would you dissect a puppy as a class assignment?
Posted: Aug 13, 2008 06:33 AM PST
Updated: Aug 13, 2008 11:48 AM PST
Puppy Dissection Assignment
By Greg Meriwether - bio | email
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A worker at a Baton Rouge photo lab is used to developing photographs of birthday parties, beautiful sunsets, and vacations. A picture of a girl cutting up a dead puppy, however, was a first.
The worker, from a Baton Rouge Walgreen's drug store, immediately called sheriff's deputies, who launched an investigation. Deputies were led to a student from Woodlawn High School who told them her mother had gotten the dead puppy for her from the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control, according to a police report.
The puppy that was given to the student's mother for the school assignment had previously been euthanized, investigators were told. Upon further investigation, deputies learned that the dissection of the dead puppy was part of an assignment from the girl's biology teacher, Dennis Dyer. The assignment read, in part, "Skeletal preparation can be an interesting and rewarding project for those who recognize that beauty and have the stomach for the grosser side of Biology." A report from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office says the teacher told his students if they could not find a dead wild animal, they could get one from animal control.
However, Chris Trahan, a spokesman for the school system says that is not true. Trahan says the teacher never instructed students to retrieve a euthanized puppy from animal control. "If a student chooses to do the skeletal preparation, the dissection is NOT performed at the school but is done at the student's home with parental consent and supervision," Trahan said in a written statement. "The teacher will okay this project only after a permission slip with a parent or guardian's signature is returned to the school. The teacher stated that at no time did he direct any of his students to go to the animal control center or the humane society to collect a specimen," Trahan said.
The teacher says the student approached him and stated that she went to animal control and workers there "offered to provide her with a euthanized animal if it was for a school project," Trahan said. "Once they've been euthanized, they are disposed of," said Hilton Cole, director of the EBR Animal Control Center. "And that's the end of their little lives and it's rather unpleasant. So, if somehow, some way, one of these animals can somehow help a student or help an educational program or enhance a life maybe in the future and stimulate some young mind to become a scientist or an investigator of some sort, I feel like that's a worthy cause," Cole said.
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