Stop Classroom Hatching Projects in Marin County Schools
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Schools sometimes engage in hatching projects in the classroom as a science project, believing that this is a good learning experience for children. Unfortunately, there is often little thought given to what will happen to the chicks or ducklings after they are born. The chicks usually start their lives in aquariums or plastic boxes, deprived of the nurturing of the mother hen, while being oggled and handled by children. After the biology project ends, the chicks are no longer useful and disposed of by the school in one way or another. While on occasion, they may find a loving home with a family, more often than not, they are sent off to an unknown fate at a factory farm where they will likely be slaughtered. The likelihood of this fate is higher if the chick turns out to be a rooster.
In the United States, 9 billion chickens are killed each year. Schools do not need to add even more lives, only to end them meaninglessly. If the goal is to teach reproduction and biology, there are other methods, including books, online media, and other resources. Children need to learn from a young age the value of all lives, including that of animals. Simply bringing in life with no plan or regard to what will happen to them does little but reinforce the belief that these animals are disposable commodities. These practices desensitize children to animal cruelty; instead, schools should be nurturing compassion in their students and teaching them to become caring adults. Hatching chicks, only to gawk at them in boxes, then discard them, only serves to harden young hearts.
In Marin County, a place that prides itself on progressiveness, several schools continue to hatch eggs in the classroom under the auspices of education. Bacich Elementary and Neil Cummins School hatch eggs every year and dispose of the chicks in various ways. Many of the chicks have ended up at factory farms. Some of the lucky ones this year found their way to a local animal sanctuary, but this is not always the guaranteed fate of these innocent beings.
Schools need to be encouraged to explore other teaching methods that do not involve bringing more lives into the world. Please ask schools in Marin to stop hatching eggs in their classrooms.
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