Should pets be kept in classrooms? - VeggieBoards
View Poll Results: Should animals be kept in classrooms?
Yes 1 3.33%
No 19 63.33%
Well that depends. 10 33.33%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 Old 09-19-2011, 01:28 AM
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I just found out that Petsmart is offering grants to teachers to help them get pets in the classroom. I was pretty annoyed by it. I feel like there are so many reasons animals shouldn't be in classroom that I don't even know where to start. Some common suggestions where guinea pigs or leopard geckos. Classrooms with a lot of activity could frighten animals like guinea pigs. What happens to them on the weekend? Do they get enough attention in a classroom setting? Don't you have to have more than one? Leopard geckos are primarily nocturnal. I only keep one as a pet because I keep such unusual hours that I can feed him and hang out with him according to his schedule. They would get stressed out being taken home on the weekends but I guess they'd fare better for 2days than a guinea pig would. Hermit crabs? If the water evaporates out on Saturday that guy is without until Monday.
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#2 Old 09-19-2011, 07:54 AM
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I think it depends. In my childhood classroom we had a turtle that lived in his tank in class and he didn't seem disturbed by children. The teacher even let me take him home on holidays, weekends, that sort of thing to care for him. I remember we used to let him play in our big bath tub, too, and he loved it.

Also, the class let us bring pets for show and tell. I brought my guinea pigs once and they were there all day and they never seemed scared, but it was a small amount of kids compared to public schools. There were no more than ten kids per grade and the room housed grades 1-3 and was a large room. We also had a centipede and later hermit crabs. Different people took those home each weekend and holiday, depending on who's family knew how to care for them and was suited to. Another classroom had a bunny, the teacher's pet, and the bunny loved kids. It had been there from a young age so it was used to them. Also, my classes weren't loud and out of control like typical schools. Other than recess, you could hear a pin drop while teachers taught, and the most noise there was was the very quiet conversation during lunch or while we helped each other as we worked, so the animals weren't scared of the noise.

We also had a coop of chickens, but they lived outside of a class, and there was school even on holidays and teachers there even on weekends to take care of them.

But I think in a public school, where classes now have up to 50 kids in a small room, a pet is not a good idea to have in class
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#3 Old 09-19-2011, 09:48 AM
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#4 Old 09-19-2011, 09:53 AM
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If it's older kids, then I would have few problems with it.

"Hell exists not to punish sinners, but to ensure that nobody sins in the first place."
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#5 Old 09-19-2011, 10:21 AM
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I think that although classroom "pets" can provide exeptional learning opportunities, I do not support keeping animals in a classroom environment to live. I think it is better to bring animals who have permanent homes into the classroom for particular educational experiences - humane education with therapy dogs, for example - rather than to make animals live in the classrooms. I have heard too many sad stories about animals "forgotten about" over weekends, breaks, or summers when janitors turned off the a/c or heater or when they used harsh chemicals in the classroom. And too many teachers find it necessary to rehome or abandon animals who become too much of a burden or who outlive their educational purpose. More field trips to sanctuaries and fewer live animals in the classrooms!
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#6 Old 09-19-2011, 11:25 AM
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NO!!! I adopted a hamster that was a classroom pet. I was just about the only kid who treated it nicely. When the teacher wasn't looking kids would throw the poor thing at each other.

ÂAn animalÂs eyes have the power to speak a great language.Â
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#7 Old 09-19-2011, 11:30 AM
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When I was in 5th grade, our classroom had two cockatiels. They weren't specifically 'class pets' though. They belonged to our teacher, Ms A. On weekends and vacations the birds would always go home with her. During the week, she would let us volunteer to take care of them. She took the time to educate us about them and their behavior and made it perfectly clear from day one that we were all to treat them very carefully and respect them as living creatures- she would not tolerate anyone being cruel to them. Some days we would lock up the room and let the birds roam around. They'd perch on desks or shelves and everyone treated them well. Ms. A always told us that once they got older she would just leave them at home with the rest of her animals. She obviously cared about them, and from our time in her class we learned a lot about them. I realize that even though it was a positive experience, there are many, many more classroom pets that have very poor lives. Overall, I'm against the idea of keeping animals in classrooms. There are just too many things that could go wrong. I only wanted to point out that some class pets are genuinely loved and looked after and that under the right supervision it doesn't have to be a bad situation for the animal.

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#8 Old 09-19-2011, 02:10 PM
 
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I'm torn. On the one hand, I think it really is a responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the animal is treated properly and is well taken care of. Obviously there is no guarantee that would occur.

BUT I have heard of a study that teaches children to take care of babies. The premise is that, being taught to properly take care of a creature that is dependent, actually decreases the liklihood that the children will grow up to be abusive. I'm a little hazy on the details (it was a while ago that I heard of it) but if it were true, I can see the same thing being effective with animals. I think it would be worth it to have animals in the classroom if it prevented children from growing up thinking it was ok to abuse animals.

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#9 Old 09-19-2011, 02:13 PM
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One of my sister's bunnies used to be my nephew's class pet in kindergarten. The teacher didn't even feed her rabbit pellets half the time (my sister said she once caught them trying to feed BIRD food to the rabbit ), forgot to give her water, and the kids would traumatize the poor thing. At the end of the school year, my sister decided to just walk into the classroom one day with a carrier and walk out with the rabbit, whether the teacher liked it or not. Five years later, that rabbit has been living with my sister, nephews, and another rabbit all this time, and she's still incredibly shy and easily spooked.

As Elaine said, bringing animals into the classroom for a day as a learning experience can work out ok, but housing them there tends to be a recipe for disaster.

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#10 Old 09-19-2011, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelii36 View Post

NO!!! I adopted a hamster that was a classroom pet. I was just about the only kid who treated it nicely. When the teacher wasn't looking kids would throw the poor thing at each other.

This is the type of thing that would concern me as well. I voted a definite no.
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#11 Old 09-19-2011, 05:54 PM
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I would use visuals and have someone bring in the same animal or pet and only on the day or week they are studying them. So yeah I am against animals living there.
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#12 Old 09-19-2011, 06:05 PM
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i voted for depends but I may not know enough about those animals. i would think hamsters are ok with being in a cage and have people around or some reptiles. but i don't know much about those pets since i never had them.so my answer is pretty much "as long as it doesn't stress the animal out
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#13 Old 09-19-2011, 06:10 PM
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No!!!
One of my rabbits was a classroom pet for a schoolyear. Then the teacher couldn't find a parent willing to take care of him over the summer, so she dumped him back at the animal shelter she had originally adopted him from. For the time he was a class pet, he was kept in a TINY cage, with no "house" to hide in and no litter box. It was obvious that he was not ever allowed time to run around, as he was so overweight he couldn't even keep himself clean. When he came to me, he didn't know how to use a litter box (he still has some issues with that, but he is much improved now) and did not know how to eat fresh vegetables or hay, and did not like the healthy pellet food I feed my bunnies. (Obviously been fed nothing but junk pellets.) He was in a pre-school, and even after being with me for two years, he still has issues with loud noises and hands reaching towards him.

Most classrooms do not have the space to provide adequate housing for most types of animals. I can almost say it would be ok for a small reptile that didn't need a lot of space, given a proper environment, but even then- what happens if the animal gets sick on Friday night?

EXACTLY. Absolutely not. My FFA teacher in high school left the pets alone on the weekends, in the dark. The classroom had automatic lights and without anyone to sensor them on, the room stayed dark with no window lighting. She would pawn them off on students over breaks, which made me uneasy.
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#14 Old 09-19-2011, 06:26 PM
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Nope. Too many kids have no idea how to act around animals, and too many adults in charge don't care to show them.
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#15 Old 09-19-2011, 06:46 PM
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Oh, and I almost gave Mason to her. This was back before I took her class and realized how crappy of a pet owner she was.
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#16 Old 09-19-2011, 07:09 PM
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I'm totally for it! If there are animals in the classrooms, kids learn about the animals and how to care for it. It's all about educating the general public.

But it depends on the teacher, the kids, and the pet. Teachers need to make an informed decision. I used to work for PetSmart, and if a teacher cam in and told me they wanted a class pet, I'd go though EVERYTHING with them. Some animals are better than others in a classroom, while some do better with older children, than younger ones. I'd go over care of each animal, what they needed to be happy, best types of food, supplementation. I'd tell them how to handle the pets, about their temperaments, what kind of attention they need, cage cleanings, if they were noise sensitive, if they scared easily, whether or not they could be left alone foe the weekend without someone to check on them or if they needed to be taken home.

I'd also ask about what would happen if the kids couldn't be trusted with the pet. Like posted above, some kids want to throw hamsters, so this class wouldn't be suited to have a pet they can handle. It's all about individual situations.

If the teachers made an informed decision, it's fine. I've had teacher come back and say the kids love their new class rat, or fish, or turtle. But I only recommended they get the pets that work for their class. Not every class should have a pet, and not every pet is right for every class. Public education is a wonderful tool to help stop animal cruelty.
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#17 Old 09-19-2011, 08:05 PM
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I believe as long as the teacher has done the research on what type of pet would do well in their particular classroom setting and is willing to take good care of the pet and educate the children on compassion and proper care, there is no issue with having a class pet.
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#18 Old 09-19-2011, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelii36 View Post

NO!!! I adopted a hamster that was a classroom pet. I was just about the only kid who treated it nicely. When the teacher wasn't looking kids would throw the poor thing at each other.

Wow that is awful!!!
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#19 Old 09-20-2011, 08:46 PM
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Wow that is awful!!!

It was when I was in the 4th grade. The boys in that class would try and scare the girls by tossing her on their desks. Once she bit one of them, so the teacher needed to find a home for her. That's how I got her. I got her a huge cage with a ton of those tubes and a wheel. Before she had been living in a tiny wire cage.

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#20 Old 09-20-2011, 08:48 PM
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I did have another teacher in the 6th grade who had a tarantula named Bubba. That was OK because no one could play with it. We would hatch him eat crickets and roaches. It was pretty cool for science.

ÂAn animalÂs eyes have the power to speak a great language.Â
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#21 Old 09-21-2011, 12:13 AM
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I agree with what Elaine said. Bring pets in for a visit or go to sanctuaries.
But I guess it can depend on circumstance. I once knew a teacher that had guinea pigs in her the classroom and the janitor fed them, watered them and even played with them on Saturday and our Sunday school class was allowed to care for them on Sunday.
One of the stories I read on petsmarts facebook page was a class that had a free roaming iguana. The idea horrified me. I keep free roaming iguanas at home and so do my parents. They are absolute sweethearts but I can tell a story of each of them of ONE time they attacked one of us and we couldn't quite figure out why.
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#22 Old 09-24-2011, 12:17 PM
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I did have another teacher in the 6th grade who had a tarantula named Bubba. That was OK because no one could play with it. We would hatch him eat crickets and roaches. It was pretty cool for science.

Tarantulas make awesome classroom pets - it makes kids think their class is the cool class, they learn to be less afraid of spiders so they're more likely to escort smaller ones outside if they find them, and very little (if any) stress for the pet. It's a big win-win.
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#23 Old 09-25-2011, 01:23 AM
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NO.

I rescued a class room rat from a kid that dumped it after he decided she was boring (really it was because she had a tumor) and It's hard for me to even go into allt he horrible things that happened.

The cage wasn't even the proper size for a hamster, let alone a rat. She was kept alone (rats should never be kept alone except on special rare circumstances) and she was fed the worst food possible. The teacher was breeding her with another teachers rat and giving the babies out to kids and none of them knew how to properly take care of them because the teacher certainly wasn't a good example and many of them got dumped at animal control and PTS.

She was the sweetest rat ever. She was my best friend for the few months I had her. I was able to give her a good life for a short time but I know she appreciated it. It's still all so heartbreaking. She died of a horrible disease that I'm sure all of her babies got too.

I tried to contact the principal with my concerns not only for the animals the teacher got every year but for the kids since she was teaching them to be irresponsible pet owners. The principal pretty much told me she didn't care.

It's all so heart breaking. She deserved so much of a better life.

This teacher still does this every year. Every year another rat is doomed.
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#24 Old 09-27-2011, 11:18 AM
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NO.

I rescued a class room rat from a kid that dumped it after he decided she was boring (really it was because she had a tumor) and It's hard for me to even go into allt he horrible things that happened.

The cage wasn't even the proper size for a hamster, let alone a rat. She was kept alone (rats should never be kept alone except on special rare circumstances) and she was fed the worst food possible. The teacher was breeding her with another teachers rat and giving the babies out to kids and none of them knew how to properly take care of them because the teacher certainly wasn't a good example and many of them got dumped at animal control and PTS.

She was the sweetest rat ever. She was my best friend for the few months I had her. I was able to give her a good life for a short time but I know she appreciated it. It's still all so heartbreaking. She died of a horrible disease that I'm sure all of her babies got too.

I tried to contact the principal with my concerns not only for the animals the teacher got every year but for the kids since she was teaching them to be irresponsible pet owners. The principal pretty much told me she didn't care.

It's all so heart breaking. She deserved so much of a better life.

This teacher still does this every year. Every year another rat is doomed.

That was so kind of you to give that poor little ratty a loving home for a few months. She was a blessed rat and I'm sure she appreciated your attentiveness. Too bad though about the silly teacher who hasn't got a clue.
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#25 Old 09-27-2011, 02:22 PM
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I didnt get to vote,but I was a 2nd grade teacher once, and I think it depends a lot on the teacher. I had a classroom hamster, and he came home with me on weekends, holidays and even if there was a threat of a snow day. I had 2 cages for him and he spent time at my home and the school. I did not let the students interact with him without supervision and for some of them,living in the inner city it was the first time they had a pet and could experience caring for another being. I think it was a very positive experience for my students and I ...and George the hamster who lived with me for several more years after i stopped teaching. He seemed to be a very happy little fellow and was certainly loved not only by me but by a class of little kids as well. I know there are teachers out there who were not as responsible, but for me it was a great experience
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#26 Old 09-27-2011, 02:31 PM
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No no no no no. Absolutely not. I've never known of a time where it wasn't horrible for the poor animal(s) involved. Or there were babies everywhere, or feeding cat/dog food to herbivores, living in tiny, tiny places, being dropped or thrown. No. And kids do not know how to take care of them, neither do many parents. One time I was in 5th grade, one of the teachers had gerbils in their classroom, and they had a lot of babies. They were trying to pawn them off on the students, sending a permission slip home for parents to sign if they could get one. One of my friends took one home, and then her baby sister squeezed him/her to death. I ended up naming my hamster I got a year or two later after that gerbil in memoriam of the poor thing.


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#27 Old 09-27-2011, 02:44 PM
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I didnt get to vote,but I was a 2nd grade teacher once, and I think it depends a lot on the teacher. I had a classroom hamster, and he came home with me on weekends, holidays and even if there was a threat of a snow day. I had 2 cages for him and he spent time at my home and the school. I did not let the students interact with him without supervision and for some of them,living in the inner city it was the first time they had a pet and could experience caring for another being. I think it was a very positive experience for my students and I ...and George the hamster who lived with me for several more years after i stopped teaching. He seemed to be a very happy little fellow and was certainly loved not only by me but by a class of little kids as well. I know there are teachers out there who were not as responsible, but for me it was a great experience

It sounds nice, but do you think that many of them came to the conclusion that buying and "owning" animals is o.k.? Was there a rescue focus? I really don't like the idea of animals bred to be caged, or animals caged at all, unless they are rescued and there is no option. I really don't like the concept of bred, domestic animals, because the majority do not fare well, and animals deserve their freedom and autonomy as much as we do, rather than a life of captivity in the hands of humans who are as a rule careless.

"If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

 

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#28 Old 09-27-2011, 02:55 PM
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It sounds nice, but do you think that many of them came to the conclusion that buying and "owning" animals is o.k.? Was there a rescue focus? I really don't like the idea of animals bred to be caged, or animals caged at all, unless they are rescued and there is no option. I really don't like the concept of bred, domestic animals, because the majority do not fare well, and animals deserve their freedom and autonomy as much as we do, rather than a life of captivity in the hands of humans who are as a rule careless.

As for the kids in my class...well it was the inner city and I hope that they benefited from the experience of caring for another creature, most of them came from families that could not afford to have pets, many of them had never seen a hamster before. As for the rest...this was years ago (those kids are now in college...) and my own personal opinions on having animals in the home and where one would acquire a companion animal have changed and continue to evolve. My point was merely that there are some responsible teachers out there who do properly care for animals in their classroom, just as there are people who do not, so I have mixed feelings on the issue..its not a black and white one for me personally
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#29 Old 09-28-2011, 08:52 PM
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In my opinion..no, they shouldn't. I feel as if it teaches the children that animals are "things", not beings. Plus, it can totally stress out the animal.

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#30 Old 10-25-2011, 09:08 AM
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If the animal is treated nicely, the kids aren't torturing the animal behind the teacher's back, if the animal has enough room, gets attention, out of the cage time (depending on the animal) the right food.... but for the most part, no they shouldn't be kept in classrooms

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