NAVS’ CHOICE Initiative Promotes Humane Education

Ask your legislators to give students the right to opt out of dissection

Update: Maryland Senate bill approved in committee; House bill introduced. Take action below for bills in your state—and check back soon for more state introductions!

In anticipation of the 2017 session of state legislatures, NAVS has expanded the scope of our CHOICE (Compassionate Humane Options in Classroom Education) initiative to encourage states without a student choice law or policy to consider introducing one in the new legislative session. CHOICE is a state-by-state effort to ensure that no student is punished for standing up for their right not to harm an animal.

There are many reasons that NAVS strongly supports the passage of statewide student choice laws and policies. The primary one being that students should be able to receive a humane education and spare animal lives used for dissection.

Other points that are important in promoting this legislation are:

  • Modern, non-animal teaching methods (e.g., interactive computer software) are widely available and have been recognized to be more effective and less expensivethan traditional animal dissection.
  • The results of an independent, nationwide survey conducted on behalf of NAVS, which were published in the National Association of Biology Teachers’ peer-reviewed journal, The American Biology Teacher,revealed that most teachers have an interest in using alternatives.  It also showed that more than a third of biology students preferred the use of alternatives over animal specimens.
  • And most importantly, the adoption of a law or policy that mandates student choice has the potential to spare the lives of animals, reduce costs and integrate better technology in the classroom.

As the first step in the 2017 CHOICE initiative, letters have been sent to every Senator and Representative (or Assemblyperson) in states that do not already guarantee students in grades K-12 the right to use an alternative to dissection. NAVS provided a copy of a model law to all legislators in states without a law or policy.

While NAVS has solicited the sponsorship of thousands of legislators, what they really need is a push from their constituents. Your legislators want to know that you support this effort and that you are asking for this change.

We need your help to give legislators the push they need! If you live in one of the states below, please contact your state legislators and ask them to sponsor legislation giving students choice in your state.

Some states already have student choice laws or policies. This campaign is directed at those states that leave a decision about requiring students to dissect to individual teachers or schools. Because while that may be sufficient in some cases, all students have a right to a life science education that does not involve cruelty.

If your state is not on the list below, please consider sending your state legislators a model law for them to consider introducing in your state.

Please take action if your state is listed below:

Hawaii, SB 777 and SB 818


Maryland, SB 90  – Full Senate vote as early as Monday, 2/27, 8pm EST


Maryland, HB1556


North Dakota  HB 1266 – Failed to pass House 1/25/17


This entry was posted in News on February 8, 2017.
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