Name: Student Right of Refusal for Animal Dissection
Bill Number: SB 90
Ask Maryland legislators to vote “yes” on a bill to ensure
that students are not punished for standing up for their right to choose humane
dissection alternatives in the classroom. County policies throughout the state
are inconsistent and under-inclusive, and are often difficult or impossible to
find. A statewide law is needed to ensure at all students have a choice not to
dissect in grades K-12.
Learn more about the NAVS CHOICE initiative
Call to Actions:
If you take action and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from National Anti-Vivisection Society.
Please vote YES on SB 90, giving students a choice about dissection
Dear [Decision Maker],
I am writing to ask you to support SB 90, which would give students the right to refuse to participate in or observe a dissection activity in the classroom. It would also require teachers to provide an educationally appropriate alternative. While some county boards or schools already have policies in place to accommodate student requests for an alternative to animal dissection, it is not the case throughout the state, and the policies are not always the same. A 2016 survey of county policies on dissection revealed inconsistencies and, in some cases, an inability to find any policy even after calling the county school board for assistance. Advancements in computer software now make it possible for schools to respect each student's ethical, moral or religious position regarding the humane treatment of animals without sacrificing learning objectives. There are many excellent alternatives to dissection available online and through free loan programs. The ready availability of free or low cost alternatives means there is little cost to a school--or to the state--in implementing a student choice policy.A recent article published in the journal "The American Biology Teacher," showed that a majority of teachers have an interest in using alternatives, and over a third of biology students preferred the use of alternatives over animal specimens. Please vote "yes" to ensure that all students in Maryland have access to these alternatives and can exercise their right to refuse to participate in dissection. Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]