NYC Middle Schoolers Debate Killing, Eating Class Pets: Report

Students at one Upper East Side School are wrestling with a question few New Yorkers have likely faced -- they're deciding whether to eat the class pets.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Ella Baker School, on East 67th Street, have raised several tilapia in a classroom tank this year and are debating whether it’d be ethical to eat the fish.

The teacher who came up with the idea, math teacher Michael Paoli, said the project is a spin on vegetable gardens popular in some schools with added lessons in ethics and math, according to The Journal. In addition to caring for the animals over the school year, his students have calculated ratios important to the animals' habitat.

 “You want to make something matter,” Paoli told the Journal. “I want to think of it as an idea that matters to everybody and math is one of the ways we can learn about it.”

School is almost over, but The Journal reports students are still debating what to do with the fish.

Some students are opposed to the idea of eating them, taking issue with taking the life of something they've taken care of for a whole year.

One student said vowed to stay home if they decided to kill the tilapia. 

“Who are we to kill this fish?” the student told The Journal. “Look how cute they are.”

One student who felt comfortable with the tilapia slayings said her family raised chickens that they would slaughter for dinner.

Another student, who said she wants to be a doctor, wanted to dissect the fish, not eat them. 

"I don’t want to eat them," the 12-year-old girl told The Journal. "I just want to kill them."

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