So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

The only frog dissections PETA wants in LA Unified schools are virtual ones


A screenshot from iPad app Frog Dissection, which PETA is offering to LAUSD for free as it argues for using the app over doing actual dissections.

With the Los Angeles Unified School District's push into iPads in schools, animal rights group PETA wants the district to stop dissecting real animals and instead dissect virtual ones. It's offering the district a free app to simulate dissections.

The pitch? Along with avoiding cruelty to animals, PETA argues that this represents a significant cost savings to L.A. schools.

"Since software can be used over and over, it's much more economical," Marta Holmberg, of PETA, said in a press release. The Frog Dissection app promoted by PETA costs $3.99 retail — but the group said it'll provide it to the district for free.

The group wrote a letter to L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy saying the money saved by not having to purchase animals for dissection every year could be put to other purposes, such as buying wireless keyboards for its student iPads.

"Studies have repeatedly shown that these humane teaching methods, which are endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association, teach students as well as or better than cutting up animals," PETA researcher Samantha Suiter wrote in the letter to Deasy Thursday.

The district is testing out a program to put iPads in the hands of every student and teacher. It picked 47 of its roughly 900 traditional public schools to test the tablets out this school year, at a cost of about $30 million. Teachers have been trained, but most students have yet to receive the devices.

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