Re your Nov. 26 "Mixing Kids, Animals . . . and Issues": I am horrified and outraged that teachers can bring their personal agendas into the classroom, festooning walls with "posters of starving dogs and apes in laboratory cages," and collecting money for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The third-grade teacher who says "kids have a natural rapport with animals" is correct. Kids also have soft hearts, impressionable minds and are easily hurt. What images, I wonder, cause schoolchildren to opt to become vegetarians? "A little too graphic?" the presenter shrugs. "It's a risk," says another.
Animals don't have rights. People do. And one of those rights is to an education free of the personal agendas of their teachers.
I am all for having instructors incorporate real-life issues in their lesson plans, but only if they are presented complete with shades of gray.
Having respect for animals and conducting biomedical research are not mutually exclusive activities. Laboratory experiments are designed by trained professionals in the pursuit of procedures to benefit mankind.
I wonder if the teachers showing films touching on this complex issue include footage of human cancer, heart disease and AIDS patients in order to present a few of the individuals whose treatments are often directly derived from basic science research.
Presenting highly emotional reasoning to influence the opinions of others is demagoguery and an abuse of one's position as an instructor.