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Striker loss struck a chord with teacher

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I never thought I would write a letter to the editor, but your article on the rattlesnake named Striker, struck a real chord with me (“Placer High loses its fiercest biology lesson,” Journal, Oct. 5).
I am a kindergarten teacher here in Auburn and have done a social studies unit with my students called “Star of the Day” where we learn about every family in our classroom. The students bring in pictures of their families and then are assigned a particular day to be the “Star.”
For 25 years I have let them bring in a special pet to share with us on their day.
This year I was informed that I would have to write a letter to the school district requesting permission to let the students bring in their pets. I wrote the letter and was informed that the Schools Insurance Group denied my request (no pets would be allowed).
I, also, have always been conscientious to make sure pets are brought in pet carriers or on leashes by adults only. They come for only about 20-25 minutes. I have had small horses, pygmy goats, reptiles, turtles, tarantulas and many dogs, cats, hamsters and rabbits come to the classroom with absolutely no problems (except a goat that went to the bathroom – pellets only)!
This has always been a hugely educational experience with many kids experiencing these animals for the first time ever.
It seems that our country (and that includes insurance companies) have decided that “common sense” needs to be legislated and litigated.
What a shame that these truly hands-on moments are a thing of the past. How many things will be taken away before we stand up and say “enough?”
Barbara Hackett, Skyridge School kindergarten teacher, Auburn