This school year, all across the United States, millions of animals will be used as dissection specimens in K-12 science classrooms—not because dissection is a requirement of science education, but because it has been a deeply rooted tradition in American classrooms for decades.
NAVS has learned, through our recent nationwide survey, that many students and teachers who take part in dissection exercises are not well-informed about student choice and the availability of dissection alternatives—such as internet-based programs or computer simulations—that can be used in place of once-live animal dissection specimens.
That’s why we need your help to spread the word.
As a new school year begins, NAVS is asking for your assistance to increase awareness about resources that are available for students who do not wish to take part in animal dissection exercises for religious, ethical or other reasons.
Please forward this email to parents of K-12 students, teachers and your local schools to inform them about student choice and the advantages that dissection alternatives have over traditional animal dissection.
Student Choice: What You Need to Know
- Today, 16 states plus Washington, DC, have adopted student choice policies or laws giving students the choice to opt out of dissection. A number of other states have general policies that allow students to opt out of any classroom activity with parental consent.
- What if you live in a state without student choice measures? NAVS has launched the Compassionate Humane Options In Classroom Education(CHOICE) initiative in these states to give students the right to use dissection alternatives rather than animal dissection specimens without punishment. Click here to learn how you can help.
- Most biology teachers will permit their students to use dissection alternatives if requested, so speak up if you have objections to dissection. Students should notify teachers of their intention not to participate in dissection as soon as possible to allow time for an acceptable alternative activity to be arranged.
- NAVS has compiled a valuable, up-to-date collection of resources on alternatives to animal dissection for science education through our Biology Education Advancement Program (BioLEAP). Here, you can find current information about innovative dissection alternatives, a student choice resource toolkit and much more.
- Students using dissection alternatives have been found to perform as well as or better than students using animal models, as advancements in technology have led to the development of interactive virtual dissection alternatives which serve as effective learning tools.
- For teachers and school districts, it is important to know that dissection alternatives are less expensive than traditional animal dissection and require less class time for preparation and cleanup.
Let’s make this school year count for animals and ensure that students receive a quality—and humane—science education! Please forward this email to friends and family members that have children in grades K-12 to make them aware of student choice and the smarter alternatives to classroom dissection exercises.
Help NAVS bring CHOICE to all 50 states—because no student
should be punished for standing up for their right to choose
a humane dissection alternative.