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Posted by Rob Carmichael, Wildlife Discovery Center on October 20, 1998 at 18:02:37:
In Reply to: Re: Herps in School posted by KJ on October 20, 1998 at 06:39:41:
I was recently able to get approval from our city council to utilize our old fitness room as a nature room featuring a live reptile display. The factor that most concerned them was safety to the public (i.e. students). I assured them that all cages would be kept locked when not in use. My advise, make sure you use a cage that can be securely locked. Next, you want to build support among your students and their parents. The more support you can generate the better chances you'll have to keep herps in your classroom. We began a zookeeper/mentorship program where we trained junior/senior high students on how to take care of the animals. They got their parents so excited that we now have parents coming in with their kids taking care of the reptiles together. We are seeing an unbelievable surge in interest in herps (and wildlife in general) as a result of our grassroots program. I include our youth in many of our planning and by getting the community behind you will give you lots of leverage against close minded adminstrative staff (this is a general statement; and, yes, we had some city council members who were very open to this program). I am also starting an after school herpetology club and we have receive an excellent response so far.
: :but it gets them to think and to write.
: It almost seems that schools are getting to the point where they are scared of getting sued for making a student think more so than an animal bite. If anyone disbelieves this, just look at how readily studets are "pushed" along through schools without ever learning how to properly communicate via the written medium. Heck, I see this at the graduatinge Undergraduate on the college level every day! I guess I'm just cynical this early in the morning.
: Anyway Mike, How's it beeg going? We try to give a few hatchlings to schools every year locally, but it is often hard (=time consuming) finding someone to take them here. We end up just giving up. My sister is a Junior High teacher, but she is so scared of "anything alive" that it's pointless trying to get her class set-up as a herpers dominion. Oh, well.
: I' talk to you later--Kasi's whinin that I'm not giving her enough attention. How's the Prairies?