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Spiders in the classroom?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Lucille, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Lucille

    Lucille Arachnosquire

    There are several facets to this concept. On the one hand, many kids in school these days are in the cities and suburbs and do not get exposed to the wonders of various kinds of critters. Ignorance breeds fear, so showing kids all about their world can make a healthier happier adult in my opinion.

    The other facet, however, is that spiders are Wild Animals. This is a legal concept.
    What this means is that unlike, let's say, a dog bite, a dog being a domestic animal, a spider bite is much more dangerous legally to the owner of the spider.

    In a bite from a domestic animal, one is allowed to explain circumstances. Frinstance, the dog escaped the back yard. Or it was being teased. Or it was defending its home.

    There are VERY few defenses to the strict liability involved to the owner/keeper in the damage caused from a wild animal. It doesn't matter that there was a lock on the cage and a lock on the door and signs everywhere and an alarm, and that once a day the kids recited a pledge of spider safety.
    If that sucker gets out and bites a kid causing damage, the teacher may be held strictly liable for the damage both actual and possibly consequential.

    Should you have a spider for your classroom, or for show and tell?

    I think your choices are your own. Know the consequences, and make your choice in a prepared way.
  2. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    well, a rosie bite isn't going to do anything to a kid. except a little ouchie maybe :rolleyes:

    put it in a crazy cage with a big lock. tell the parents on parent/teacher conference day :)

    eh, i don't see a problem with it at all. cover with glass so no urticating hairs get out either ;)
  3. There's always the idiot that will hurt/provoke/hurt someone else with the T. Because of all the misconceptions on tarantulas, if a bite incident occurs it turns into "OMG A deadly spider just bit a student, oh noez!!!11!"
  4. Lucille

    Lucille Arachnosquire

    Notice I used the word damage. If the kid is bitten and gets scared and runs away, falling and fracturing his leg, you may well be responsible for all those expenses also.
  5. 8legedemily

    8legedemily Arachnopeon

    it would be cool to have a T as a class pet :D

    (but my teacher would freek out):eek:
  6. 8legedemily

    8legedemily Arachnopeon

    I have my Ts in for plenty of times and it went well
  7. It is a great idea just to big of a liability for most people.
  8. Well I can't say I'm against it as long as kids are never left with the cage unsupervised, locked or not. Heck, my first T was a classroom pet I bought from a retiring teacher. I also had my first real contact with Ts in that particular classroom {D
  9. Kris-wIth-a-K

    Kris-wIth-a-K Arachnoprince

    A school around here had an Avi for a pet and it got loose and they banned t's from the school.

    In my opinion it is okay BUT knowing kids they will want to touch poke and tab at the T so you would have to get a tank with a lock and keep it locked and what not.

    Also not a T that is defensive. A Rosie would be neat but spice it up and make it a RCF rosie..
  10. Sukai94

    Sukai94 Arachnobaron

    #1. In many states you are not allowed to sue the teacher, you must sue the school district.

    #2. buy an umbrella liability policy. Your homeowners insurance should offer it (or renters insurance) For about an extra $200 a year I get $1,000,000 liability per incident coverage.

    A few years ago I was walking a friends dog. It bit someone. Even though the bite was provoked she still sued. My insurance took care of all of it. Hiring the layer, paperwork, settlement etc.

    It is worth it, tarantula or not. Almost everyone in this country is so greedy they will do anything to get their hands in someone elses money.

    my .02
  11. Windchaser

    Windchaser Arachnoking Old Timer

    There are several teachers here at AB that have had tarantulas in the class room. Several have also incorporated them into science lessons. As with anything it depends on how well you use them as a teaching tool as opposed to sing them for the shock/cool/interesting factor. They can be a great learning tool in the class room.
  12. El Viejo

    El Viejo Arachnoknight

    I have kept a rosie in my classroom for a couple months now, and have had other T's in times past (mostly Aphonopelma sp.). "Fangs" (That's what I get for letting the kids name it!) is in a critter keeper, and the students are warned about all animals in my classroom, that if anyone "messes" with anything in any way, it's checking out of school, never to return. I only had to enforce that once about 15 years ago when I found a pencil floating in the 20-gal salt water aquarium. It was gone the next day. The students know that it's a privilege to have critters (along with a myriad of other items) in the classroom, and they respect that. I might add that I teach GT kids so they have a little better understanding of rules & consequences (generally).
    I know there are risks, but there are also great benefits. It's the best way I know of for me to try to teach the younger generation to respect what we have grown to love over the years. Many of them have become very interested in keeping tarantulas as well as snakes, lizards, etc.
  13. Lucille

    Lucille Arachnosquire

    As the teachers are teaching their students about Ts, my initial post was an attempt to teach the concept of strict liability so that those who do bring their Ts into the classroom, or anywhere else for that matter, have an appreciation of the risks of doing so.

    I do think as I said in my initial post, that children should have the opportunity to see more of the world and its critters that many of them do.
  14. Windchaser

    Windchaser Arachnoking Old Timer

    I would rather accept that there is a very slight chance of a liability issue than deny the kids the learning opportunity. There are lots of things you can do to minimize something from happening. I have given tons of presentations to schools and local libraries and have not been that concerned with any liability issues. There is risk with virtually every aspect of life. The likelihood of a kid getting hurt by a pencil, and more severely I might add, is probably far greater than any problem as the result of a tarantula being in the class room. Should pencils be avoided because of the risk?

    That is a major problem with our society today is that people aren't willing to take responsibility for their own actions. People would prefer to say it was the teacher's fault that little Johnny got bit because she brought the tarantula to school, kept it in a secure enclosure and instructed the kids regarding it rather than say little Johnny has now learned a valuable life lesson now that he got bit after ignoring the rules and doing what he was not supposed to do. Now I'll get off of my soap box.
  15. Widowman10

    Widowman10 Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    darwin's concept here. survival of the fittest/smartest ;) i might be prone to laugh if the kid was stupid. anyway.
  16. Lucille

    Lucille Arachnosquire

    I respect what you have said. I think it is VERY important that each keeper of Ts understands the issue and risk.

    To me, there is great value in presenting such info if from the very start it is couple with the understanding that each of us has a choice.

    After all, the whole concept of education is to give information so that those educated can make informed choices with their lives.
  17. Lucille

    Lucille Arachnosquire

    You would laugh at a frightened child?
  18. Julia

    Julia Arachnobaron

    I had a teacher in 7th grade who had a tarantula as a class pet. He was a science teacher, who later taught almost a charter-type science program within the school. He did not let students hold the tarantula because he explained about the dangers of letting them fall and such. He did get bitten one day though. He was walking the tarantula around the room, carefully and slowly, and it started to walk up his arm. He got it back onto his hand, then cupped his other hand over the top to walk it back to its tank. The T got scared and bit him. First time we ever heard a teacher curse in class! Hehe... But he even used that experience as a teaching tool.

    Also, I do believe the T was a rosea.
  19. Arachtis

    Arachtis Arachnosquire

    Obviously a T in the classroom makes for a great learning tool, but I would not allow handling, simply due to the fact that children can get excited sometimes, and might drop or throw the animal.
  20. El Viejo

    El Viejo Arachnoknight

    Yeah, my students don't hold the T. They do get to watch it & the snakes eat on Friday if they've behaved themselves during the week.