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How School Teaches Science: Jump-Roping With Cat Intestines

Though Texas district says it'll change lesson plan after anatomy class video went viral
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2016 7:44 AM CDT

A "concerned whistleblower" blew long and hard by sending a video to PETA that showed a Texas high school class jumping rope with cat intestines—but the school district says it was all part of a lesson plan that wasn't meant to be cruel to animals, per KENS 5, and the teacher won't be disciplined, the AP reports. The incident happened in an anatomy class at Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio in early May, with the unidentified teacher using the technique to show how long and resilient cat intestines are (she had witnessed a similar demo when she was a student at Texas A&M University, notes). The teacher and the juniors and seniors shown in the video, which a North East Independent School District spokeswoman says was apparently posted to a student's social media account, are "very upset" about how the incident is being portrayed.

"This was not meant to be degrading or disrespectful," she says. "The idea of the lesson was to explore the tensile strength of the organs." But while the school is sticking by the teacher's good intentions, PETA isn't taking the video lightly. "Behavior that makes light of the suffering and mutilation of animals is not only disturbing but also violates leading science education organizations' guidelines, which state that classrooms must treat animals respectfully and ethically," the group said in a statement. The teacher won't be disciplined, but she'll likely be rearranging how she teaches this particular subject. "Moving forward, we will need to find a more appropriate but equally effective lesson in the future," Chancellor tells KENS 5. PETA says it's got dissection resources that can help the school move to animal-free experiments; the school isn't saying yet whether it will check out PETA's offer. (A PETA video got the owner of the Life of Pi tiger in trouble.)

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