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Girl Gets ‘C’ After Refusal to Dissect Frogs, Continues Suit

July 1, 1987

VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) _ A high school student who refused to dissect a frog for humane reasons received a C in biology but still plans to pursue her lawsuit against school officials.

″It’s not too bad, but...,″ Jenifer Graham said of her grade Monday after getting her report card.

The 15-year-old Victor Valley High School sophomore said she had earned an A in the class until she refused to dissect the frog.

The Humane Society of the United States tried to help Jenifer win her point with the school district, offering to provide computer models on which she could demonstrate her knowledge of frog anatomy.

But school officials said a model is not the same as the real thing, and refused to accept it in a college preparatory class.

Jenifer said she would pursue her federal lawsuit seeking to prevent school officials from penalizing her because of her conscientious refusal to kill animals for purposes of experimentation or study.

The suit against school officials, district officials and teacher Richard Comly asks that she be tested on her knowlege of biology, including the internal structure of the frog.

School trustees offered to let her take another class or skip the dissection - with an asterisk on her transcript - but she refused.

The trustees ruled that altering curriculum for a student’s personal objections, particularly for an elective class, jeopardizes the school’s integrity with colleges and universities.

Jenifer said the C was better than flunking but still feels she should have gotten an A.

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