Demand that Newport-Mesa School District End Animal Dissection

Target: Steve McLaughlin, Newport-Mesa Unified Director of Secondary Curriculum and Instruction

Goal: Implement digital programs to replace dissection of animals in classrooms

Students at Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach posted several depraved and abhorrent pictures on Facebook of students posing with recently dissected cats from their science class. In response, school officials decided to replace cat dissections with digital programs instead, but still kept dissections of other animals in the school curriculum. Tell Newport-Mesa school officials to implement a district-wide policy of banning all animal dissections from the schools’ curricula at once.

The offensive posted pictures showed a blatant disregard for life and also clearly showed that the students were not taking their science lesson seriously. One picture showed a young female student with her tongue sticking out towards the dead cat, as if she were going to lick it, and swarms of disrespectful and crass comments about the cats’ lifeless bodies filled the Facebook pages.

When school officials found out, a district-wide ban on cat dissections was voted on and approved. The district decided to implement an all-digital dissection simulation lab to replace cat dissections, but other types of animal dissections were still left in as part of the curriculum. Not only do animal dissections raise several possible ethical dilemmas, but they are also financially less feasible. Computer programs cost less because they are reusable and less expensive than purchasing dead animal bodies every year. Computer programs are a viable solution for any type of animal dissection, so schools should stop using such an outdated way of learning.

With the availability of such advanced learning software and educational computer programs, animal dissections are unnecessary. School districts now have access to top-notch software programs for their students to learn and practice dissections on computers instead of on animals’ carcasses. Sign the petition below to urge the school district to ban all animal dissections and replace them with newer modes of learning, such as digital programs.

Dear Mr. Steve McLaughlin,

You should be commended for deciding to halt cat dissections in schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. However, your decision to keep other animal dissections as part of the district’s curriculum needs to be addressed. Please reconsider this decision to continue dissecting other animals and vote to ban all animal dissections.

Even though the decision to halt all cat dissections was made because of some students’ offensive Facebook pictures that showed students posing with dissected cats’ bodies, it still was a wise decision. The unconscionable acts of cruelty and depravity committed by students at Newport Harbor High in the photos seemed to prove that killing once-living animals to experiment on can breed cruelty and contempt for animals.

Animals nationwide are forced to become unwilling sacrifices so that children can poke and prod carcasses in learning institutions. Killing animals in the name of science seems twisted and backwards in today’s modern world. With the availability of state of the art digital tools that can simulate dissections, all animal dissections should be a thing of the past.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Flickr via Alexandra Campo

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  1. To teach with dissection give students the wrong message of cruelty and disrespect towards all living beings.

  2. P. S. With all of the advanced technology and computer simulations, we can accomplish so much more towards the teaching of peace and respect.

  3. High School age children are too immature for this form of dissection. If they are future med students, they’ll get this in med school. No need for it at the High School level.

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