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Arizona

 

State law: Parental involvement in the school [AZ. Stat: (Educ.) § 150102]

https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https://www.azleg.gov/ars/15/00102.htm

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • The governing board, in consultation with parents, teachers and administrators, shall develop and adopt a policy to promote the involvement of parents and guardians of children enrolled in the schools within the school district, including: Procedures by which parents who object to any learning material or activity on the basis that it is harmful may withdraw their children from the activity or from the class or program in which the material is used.

 

California

 

State law: Pupils’ Rights to Refrain From the Harmful or Destructive Use of Animals [Cal. Educ. Code § 32255-32255.6 (1988)]

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=EDC&division=1.&title=1.&part=19.&chapter=2.3.&article

 

Covers: Students under 18, from grades 1 to 12, in all public schools, with the exemption of students participating in ‘classes and activities, conducted as part of a program in agricultural education that provide instruction on the care, management, and evaluation of domestic animals’.

 

Summary:

  •  Students have the right to morally object to dissecting, harming or killing animals.
  • Teachers using live or dead animals or animal parts should inform students of their rights to ‘Refrain From the Harmful or Destructive Use of Animals’
  • Teachers should work with the students to provide them with an alternate education project comparable in time and effort investment.
  • Students should not be penalized for their decision.

 

Connecticut

 

State law:An Act Concerning Dissection Choice. [Connecticut Public Act No. 13-273]

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/ACT/PA/2013PA-00273-R00HB-06329-PA.htm

 

Covers: Students enrolled in local or regional school district institutions.

 

Summary:

  • Students have the right to not participate in, or observe, the dissection of any animal, and to be provided with an alternate assignment. 

 

District of Columbia

 

State Policy: Animal Dissection Opt Out Choice for District Students

 

Covers:This guidance applies to all Local Education Agencies within the District of Columbia who use animal dissection as a portion of their science instruction.

 

Summary:

  • Although schools and teachers are free to use dissection as a part of their lesson plan, students who do not wish to dissect an animal for moral or religious reasons can be provided with an alternative lesson that accomplishes the same level of mastery. Alternatives to animal dissection may include web-based dissection, plastic or clay model dissection, videos/films, books, transparencies and any other activities crafted by educators that address the same standard(s).

 

Florida

 

State law: Biological experiments on living subjects [Fla. Stat: (Educ.) § 1002.20]

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1003/Sections/1003.47.html

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Parents may request that their child be excused from performing surgery or dissection in biological science classes .

 

Hawaii

 

State policy: Hawaii Department of Education Regulation [2210.1]

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Parents/legal guardians may ask in writing that their child be excluded from a specific lesson or activity and be provided an alternate learning activity.

 

Illinois

 

State law: Dissection Alternatives Act [Illinois Public Act 91-0771;105 ILCS 112/15 et sq (2000)]

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/pubact91/acts/91-0771.html

 

Covers:Students at a public or private elementary or secondary school in Illinois.

 

Summary:

  • A school may excuse a student enrolled in a course in which students are ordinarily expected to perform, participate in, or observe dissection who objects for any reason to performing, participating in, or observing that dissection and instead allow the student to complete an alternative project. The alternative project should be nonpunitive and should be reasonably chosen to provide the student, through means other than dissection, with knowledge similar to that expected to be gained by other students in the course who perform, participate in, or observe the dissection.
*A student may not be penalized in any way for refusing to perform, participate in, or observe dissection. **“Therefore, be it resolved that the Legislature of Louisiana does hereby urge and request the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop uniform alternative educational projects to be offered by city and parish school systems to students in elementary or secondary schools who choose to refrain from performing, participating in, or observing the dissection of animals, reptiles, or amphibians in a manner which would be destructive.”

 

Maine

 

State policy: 1989 State Department of Education Policy

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • School administrative units should recognize that students who show a legitimate conscientious, ethical reason not to do dissection should not be required to do so and should be offered an alternative assignment to dissection.
  • School administrative units should establish a local policy which allows students to refuse to do dissection and states that alternative assignments to dissection which meet student needs while at the same time preserve the integrity of the biology program will be provided to students on request. The school should also make known that students have an alternative to dissection through such means as course description materials, posters, or school announcements, and the school should establish a procedure whereby students may request, and the school may review and approve/disapprove, an alternative.

 

Maryland

State policy: Maryland adopted a consensus of county policy through the department of education in 1997. In 2013, Baltimore City Public Schools created a dissection policy allowing students who are ethically opposed to dissection the opportunity to utilize non-animal methods to learn biology. In 2019, a bill was presented which would ensure students and teachers know that a policy is available to allow students to opt out of dissection without penalty.

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Every Maryland school district allows students to opt out of dissection and be provided with an alternative without penalty.

 

Massachusetts

 

State policy: 2005 State Board of Education Policy

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • All public schools that offer dissection as a learning activity should, upon written request by a student’s parent or guardian, permit a student who chooses not to participate in dissection to demonstrate competency through an alternative method.

 

Michigan

 

State policy: Michigan Board of Education policy

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • The Michigan State Board of Education recognizes that a growing number of students have moral, ethical, religious, or other objections to animal dissection and that modern non-animal teaching methods are available. To accommodate these students and create an inclusive learning environment, any K-12 student who objects to dissecting animals or animal parts should be permitted to opt out of dissection activities without fear of reprisal.

 

Minnesota

 

State law: Minnesota Statutes 120B.20

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Each school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section.

 

New Hampshire

 

State policy: New Hampshire Student Choice Policy [New Hampshire Board of Education]

 

Covers:

 

Summary:

  • Any student, for any reason, may choose to replace an activity that causes harm to animals, whether they be already dead, such in dissections, or living, such as animal testing, with an alternative activity that does not. Those instructors that teach dissection/vivisection in their classes should verbally announce the Student Choice Policy to all students on the first day of their class, and include the policy in their course syllabus. The policy is also available for review on the district website. Teachers should also inform their students that alternatives to killing, harming, or dissecting animals will be made available to them at the time of the activity in which animals will be used. Students must inform their teachers of their intention to replace an activity prior to the start of that activity. Teachers should include alternatives to the activities covered by this policy in their curriculum, and syllabi, and information on the replacement process should be provided in course syllabi and Program of Studies, or Course Catalogue.

 

New Jersey

 

State law: Refusal to participate in certain school activities related to animal dissection, etc[New Jersey Statue § 18A:35-4.25]

https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/new-jersey/nj-laws/new_jersey_laws_18a_35-4-25

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • A public school pupil from kindergarten through grade 12 may refuse to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals.
  • A school must notify pupils and their parents or guardians at the beginning of each school year of the right to decline any form of participation in the activities enumerated in subsection
  • Any pupil should be offered an alternative education project. The project must provide the pupil with the factual knowledge, information or experience required by the course of study.
  • A pupil shall not be discriminated against for their decision to not participate in dissection or anything that may harm animals.

New Mexico

 

State policy: 2005 State Board of Education Policy

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • All science classes that include dissection activities as part of the curriculum shall provide virtual dissection techniques as alternative activities for any student who is opposed to real dissections for ethical, moral, cultural or religious reasons. Alternative techniques shall approximate the experience of real dissection activities as closely and appropriately as possible. A virtual dissection technique means carrying out dissection activities using computer two-dimensional or three-dimensional simulations, videotape or videodisk simulations, take-apart anatomical models, photographs, or anatomical atlases.

 

New York

 

State law: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the dissection of animals [N.Y. Educ: Law § 809(4) (1994)]

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2009/A3467

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Any student expressing a moral or religious objection to the performance or witnessing of the dissection of an animal should  be provided the opportunity to undertake an  alternative project which does not involve the harm of animals.
  • No school district, school principal, administrator, or teacher/supply teacher shall require or permit the performance of a lesson or experimental study on a live vertebrate animal in any lesson that involves : (i) micro-organisms which cause disease in humans or animals, (ii) ionizing radiation, (iii) known cancer producing agents, (iv) chemicals at toxic levels, (v) drugs producing pain or deformity, (iv) severe extremes of temperature, (vii) electric or other shock, (viii)( excessive noise, (ix) noxious fumes, (x) exercise to exhaustion, (xi) overcrowding, (xii) paralysis by muscle relaxants or other means, (xiii) deprivation or excess of food, water or other essential nutrients, (xiv) surgery or other invasive procedures, (xv) other extreme stimuli, or (xvi) termination of life.
  • If there is any lessons involving animal harm then the student must be in grade ten, eleven, or twelve; and the students shall be under the supervision of one or more teachers certified in science.
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Oregon

 

State law: Animal dissection [Oregon Revised Statutes §337.300]

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/337.300

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • A kindergarten through grade 12 at public school student may refuse to dissect any vertebrate or invertebrate animal or the parent or legal guardian of the student may refuse also.
  • A school district that includes dissection as part of its coursework must provide alternative materials and methods.
  • A student should not be discriminated against for their choice. A school district shall notify students who have dissection as part of their coursework.
  • A school district shall notify students who have dissection as part of their coursework and the parents and legal guardians of those students about the provisions of this section.

 

Pennsylvania

State law: Pennsylvania Statutes Title 24 P.S. Education § 15-1523. Pupil's right of refusal;  animal dissection [24 Pa. Cons. Stat. §15-1522 (1992]

https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-24-ps-education/pa-st-sect-24-15-1523.html

 

Covers:Public and nonpublic students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Students may refuse to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of their course of instruction.
  • Schools shall notify pupils and their parents or guardian of the right to decline to participate in any education project involving the harm of animals at least three weeks before they are scheduled to participate in harming animals
  • A pupil who chooses to refrain from participation or observation shall be offered an alternative education project and must not be discriminated against.

 

Rhode Island

 

State law: The Rhode Island Board of Education Act [R.I. Stat. § 16-22-20 (1997)]

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE16/16-22/16-22-20.HTM

 

Covers:Public and nonpublic students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

 

  • Rhode Island law states that parents or legal guardians of any student may refuse to allow their child to dissect or vivisect any vertebrate or invertebrate animal, or any part of a vertebrate or invertebrate animal.Students who refuse shall not be discriminated against for not participating in dissection and shall be offered an alternative method of learning the material.

 

Texas

 

State law: Public Education Code, Section 26.010

https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/education-code/educ-sect-26-010.html

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • A parent is entitled to remove the parent’s child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent’s child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity.

 

Utah

 

State law:Utah R277-105-5

 

Covers:Public school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary

 

Vermont

 

State law: Student's right of refusal; animal dissection[16 V.S.A. § 912]

https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/16/005/00254

https://law.justia.com/codes/vermont/2018/title-16/chapter-23/section-912/

 

Covers:Public and approved independent school students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Students have the right to be excused from participating in any lesson, exercise, or assessment requiring the student to dissect, vivisect, or otherwise harm or destroy an animal or any part of an animal, or to observe any of these activities, as part of a course of instruction.Students who refuse shall not be discriminated against for not participating in dissection and shall be offered an alternative method of learning the material.

 

Virginia

 

State law: [Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-200.01 (2004)]

https://ballotpedia.org/School_choice_in_Virginia

 

Covers:Students from kindergarten through grade 12.

 

Summary:

  • Local school divisions shall provide students with alternatives to animal dissection techniques within the relevant public school curriculum or course.
  • The school division should include notice of alternatives to animal dissection in the relevant biological sciences syllabi, student course selection guides, or local school division policies or directives.