Stop Using Cats in High School Dissection Class


Target: Justin Hunt, Head Principal of Harding Charter Preparatory High School

Goal: Stop the use of cats in high school dissection classes.

Cats are being used for dissection during biology labs at Oklahoma City’s Harding Charter Preparatory High School and must be stopped. Due to a recent viral video of the students emotionlessly and sadistically making the lifeless cats preform a dance routine, this problem has come to light. The students posted the distasteful and disturbing video on social media and even tagged their biology teacher in it. Obviously these students have been desensitized and are not yet mature enough to undergo such technical studies. Cats should not be used for a high school biology lab. Other resources are available, such as virtual dissection, and should be used in place of real cats.

Cats are most often obtained for dissection and educational research through animal shelters. These are the poor cats that wandered too far from home or never had a home in the first place. These are the cats on “lost” flyers. These are the cats you see at the pet stores, during pet adoption week, that you would take home if only you could, but they don’t get adopted. Instead they are euthanized and sent to educational research. The surfacing of said disrespectful “dead cat dance” video has proven that the maturity level to deal with such delicate matters is clearly lacking with high school students.

The psychological effects of using domesticated animals for dissection are irreversible. Late adolescence is a key time in brain development. Stresses involved with trauma have a very negative effect on everyday functions. Students may become desensitized, and may develop a utilitarian attitude towards animals. Many of these students have cats as pets at home. While at school, they are faced with an ethical struggle and are not given the option to conscientiously object. This psychological trauma has often led to the abuse of domesticated animals and/or child abuse.

Help put an end to the misuse of cat cadavers in high schools and in doing so, stop any psychological trauma that high school students may face due to the ethical questioning and peer pressure involved in the dissection of domesticated animals. Students should not have to encounter these traumatic events that may very well be more harmful to their learning than good. High school is not the proper time and place for the use of cat cadavers. Alternative and up-to-date methods are available and must be used in place of real cats.


Dear Mr. Hunt,

The use of real cat cadavers in Harding Charter Preparatory High School is distasteful and archaic. Also, the dissection of domesticated animals has proven to have irreversible, negative and traumatic effects on the developing brains of adolescents. During this key time in a student’s development, the psychological trauma associated with the ethical questioning of dissecting a domesticated animal may actually result in less learning, and in some causes may result in animal and/or child abuse.

Alternative methods, such as virtual simulation, are available and very effective. Using such methods would eliminate problems involving misuse of real cat cadavers as well as negative psychological issues. We, the undersigned community, urge you to replace real cat cadavers with virtual simulators. End the misuse of cadavers and stop the negative psychological effects that the dissection of domesticated animals has on high school students.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Public Domain

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One Comment

  1. Jean Clelland-Morin says:


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