Rabbits allegedly killed and dissected in front of Haida Gwaii elementary students – Summerland Review

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Disclaimer: This story includes graphic detail.

At least three rabbits were reportedly killed in a classroom at Masset Elementary School with students aged nine to 12 witnessing the death, prompting condemnation from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The incident, which happened at Tahayghen Primary School, was reported to the animal welfare organization by someone “familiar with the situation”, said Samantha Suiter, head of science education for PETA, to Black Press Media during a phone interview.

According to Suiter, a teacher at Tahaygen Elementary School brought someone to a science class on Jan. 28 for students in grades 4-7. It is alleged that the lesson included killing and dissecting animals in front of the class.

“Either way, dissecting animals in front of impressionable young minds or getting permission to open an animal can certainly be a bridge to violence of all kinds,” Suiter said.

“Participating in this kind of exploitation teaches students that animals are just classroom tools, like a pencil or a notebook, which really destroys the youngster’s ability to identify with living things. So, yes, it is very dangerous. This is a very dangerous message.

Black Press Media repeatedly attempted to contact School District 50 Superintendent Carey Stewart, school principal Sarah Finnie, and board trustees for comment, but received no response before the publication.

However, in a copy of a letter sent to parents on February 1 and obtained by Black Press Media, Finnie apologized to parents for the incident and for not informing parents in advance.

“The Haida values ​​we learn in school teach us to ‘ahl kyaanaang tlaagang, to ask first. Our responsibility as adults is to communicate effectively with our school community and our families.

“We didn’t do that. So today we have taken our first step in following another Haida principle of Tll’yahda, correcting it. Going forward, Tahayghen will be sure to communicate clearly with our school community and families, remember to always ask first and show Yahgudang.

The letter also said the school held a healing circle with the students to apologize and begin the Tlyahda process, promising to communicate clearly in the future. It is not known if this healing circle has ever occurred.

Suiter said she reached out to the school’s principal to offer PETA educational workshops, such as TeachKind, which offers ways to replace dissection drills with animal-free teaching methods, such as simulators. Suiter said she has yet to receive a response.

There are no animal dissection requirements in the BC curriculum for grades 4 through 7, Suiter said, adding that “this lesson was not only misguided, but also incredibly cruel and traumatic”.

Black Press has also contacted the Department of Education for comment.


KJ Millar | Journalist
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animal welfareAnimalsHaida GwaiiHaida Gwaii School DistrictMasset


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