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Apr 27, 2015

Should Classroom Pets Be Banned?

For the past 40 years, a turtle named Molasses has been a classroom pet at a school called Friends Seminary in New York City. “The kids love having Molasses in the classroom,” says teacher Linda Chu. “She receives more Valentine’s Day cards than I do.”

Many other classrooms across the U.S. have turtles, hamsters, and other pets. But some people think pets don’t belong in schools. They argue that classrooms aren’t the best places for animals, which are often left alone overnight and on weekends. Others worry that the pets may carry bacteria and can trigger allergies.

“[There are] concerns about cleanliness,” says Gerald Gabbard. He is the assistant superintendent of the school district in Port Angeles, Washington, which banned most class pets in 2012.

But others say having classroom pets is a great way to teach kids about the animals and their habitats, as well as other valuable lessons.

“The purpose of a pet in the classroom is to help teach empathy and responsibility,” says Elizabeth Walker, who works for a group called Pets in the Classroom.

What do you think?

STUDENTS: What do you think?
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TEACHERS: Vote as a class!
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NO

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