TMI: Parents decry eye-opening zoo trip

Jolene Butterworth, Education and General Assignment Reporter – Several parents spoke out at Tuesday night’s Puddlegulch School Board meeting against the recent fourth-grade field trip to the Russellville Zoo.

“What those kids saw was not in the approved biology curriculum,” said Susan Fornier, a parent chaperone for the trip.

Just what the students saw was not discussed in open session due to the delicacy of the situation, but fourth-grade teacher Mabel Haskins sent a letter of apology home with her pupils last Friday.

School Board President Fred Hobson said Miss Haskins was not aware that the zoo had made some “controversial changes” to the educational displays outside the primate enclosure. Noah’s ark had been replaced by some sort of “Darwinist tract.”

Inside the enclosure, Mr. Hobson said, several bonobos were “behaving inappropriately with each other.” 

“I tried to pull my Jordan away, but he was riveted,” said Connie Temple, the other chaperone. “There’s no end to the questions now.”

The board voted unanimously to prohibit trips to the Russellville Zoo until further notice.