School Teachers Release Invasives

As many as 1,000 different non-native organisms used in the classroom are being released into the wild by school teachers.

By Edyta Zielinska | August 9, 2012

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region" > Volunteers clearing invasive water chestnut plants in Ellicott Creek ParkFlickr Creative Commons, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region

A recent study presented at the Ecological Society of America found that school teachers who use live animals as teaching tools could be contributing to the invasive species problem in North America.

“Some of our schools—and the biological supply houses that provide their organisms—are creating a potential new pathway for non-native species to become invasive,” said author Sam Chan of Oregon State University in a press release.

The researchers surveyed more than 2,000 teachers in eight locations across the United States and Canada, and found that roughly 1,000 species were released by teachers. Indeed, many of the released plants and animals, including crayfish, amphibians, aquatic plants, and snails, are known invasive species.

One of the biggest problems, said Chan, is that teachers are evenly split on whether to euthanize the animals after the curriculum ends. He encourages teachers to consult local veterinarians, and to include native species rather than ordered plants and animals whenever possible.

“Many of the teachers were mortified when we pointed out they may be exacerbating the invasive species problem,” Chan said. “They want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

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Avatar of: jhnycmltly


Posts: 65

August 9, 2012

“Many of the teachers were mortified when we pointed out they may be exacerbating the invasive species problem,â€쳌

They were mortified their stupidity was so easily made apparent.

August 9, 2012

Yes, teachers are not as bright as one would assume, that's because most of them are democrats, fed on the public teat.

August 9, 2012

get a life dude, this has nothing to do with politics....go blow your two cents worth of Romney'ism someplace else.

August 9, 2012

By the tone of your response, I would surmise that you are a Democrat and most likely a teacher, and by the way, I AM NOT A DUDE! JACKWAGON!

Avatar of: Jack Carone

Jack Carone

Posts: 1

August 9, 2012

It would be unfortunate if this leads to teachers killing animals instead. How about, you don't need live animals to teach with the many other options available now.

Avatar of: ScientiaVinces


Posts: 1

August 10, 2012

Thanks for calling it out Thomas! The spread of right-wing political trolling from anti-intellectual reactionaries into _every_ corner of the Internet has become the most odious "invasive species" of the day.

Avatar of: Stuart Saunders

Stuart Saunders

Posts: 1457

August 21, 2012

Explain Akin then.

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