The Baltimore Sun is reporting that a high school student was forced out of her honors anatomy and physiology class at Kenwood High School after refusing on ethical grounds to dissect a cat. The girl’s mother offered to buy a copy of software (like this one) as an alternative, but the teacher refused and threatened to fail the student if she didn’t participate. The teacher claimed it was “integral” to the course, despite the fact that medical schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the University of Maryland don’t do dissection.
I didn’t think that teachers, particularly high school teachers, could force students to dissect actual specimens when acceptible alternatives are available. Apparently, they can.