A Florida 7th grader finds herself at the intersection of an animal rights and educational debate after she said her teacher made fun of her for refusing to dissect a frog.
Sarah Wingo is a passionate animal lover and an active member of PETA who says she doesn't believe in dissecting animals.
"I don't feel that animals should be used for testing and dissecting when we have alternatives that can be used without hurting them."
Wingo said her teacher knew about her opposition to the experiment. However, on dissection day, she said the teacher simply dumped a frog on her desk.
"When she called my name that is when I saw it and she dropped them on my binder and that is when I started crying. And then she walked away laughing," she told WFTX-TV. "I felt like she was trying to make fun of me and the way that I believe not to do it and I just thought it was a way of hurting me."
Sarah told her mother, who reported what happened to the principal.
"She said to me at that point she had been in this business long enough to know nothing was really going to happen," said Carrie Wingo.
But PETA wants to make sure something does happen to the teacher.
"We are calling on the school district and the state to ensure she is removed from her position," said PETA spokesman Justin Goodman. "The state laws and the school policy allows this. [refusal to dissect]. Second of all, we have offered to purchase North Naples Middle School modern, humane, biology learning tools, like interactive computer programs to completely replace animal dissection."
The school said it is investigating the incident.
"I think that it is wrong and it shouldn't be done to students, just as much as she doesn't want students doing it to other students," Sarah said.
Regardless of where you fall on the animal rights aspect of this story, you have to question the teacher's apparent attitude and actions in this case.
At a time when students are bullying each other across the nation at an alarming rate, teachers should be part of the solution, not becoming yet another bully.
The teacher may have thought her reported laughter was all in good fun, but she should have known better. Mocking a student's beliefs -- especially in front of her classmates -- is no laughing matter. It would not be accepted from another student. It certainly should not be tolerated from a teacher.