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Hawaii: Student Choice Bills Still Under Consideration in Senate and House

Hawaii: Student Choice Bills Still Under Consideration in Senate and House

Name: Student Informed Consent for Animal Dissection

Bill Number: SB 777, SB 818, HB 1003

In 2017, NAVS CHOICE initiative resulted in the introduction of three student choice bills in Hawaii, all of which are still under consideration in 2018. SB 777, SB 818 and HB 1003 would allow public school students in grades K through 12 to decline participation in dissection, vivisection, and other procedures harmful to animals. The bills would also require schools to make alternative educational projects available, and would require the state’s board of education to develop rules and give notice to all schools.

SB 818 would also require that a public school obtain written consent from a student’s parent or legal guardian before that student participates in any dissection, vivisection, incubation or other school project involving harming, capturing or destroying an animal.

In a recent Newsweek article, the cruelty to the animals used for dissection is exposed, highlighting another reason why schools should move away from dissecting animals in the classroom.

While these bills were not called for a vote in 2017, the state’s two-year session, a recommitment from the sponsors, means that they may be called for a hearing this year.

 

Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact your state Senator and Representative and urge them to support student choice legislation.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

 

Recipients

  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives

Contact

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If you take action and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from National Anti-Vivisection Society.

Message

Please Give Students a Choice Not to Dissect Animals in School

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to ask you to support legislation that would give all K-12 students in Hawaii public schools a choice of whether or not to participate in dissection and vivisection for classroom activities. While some schools or teachers may already have policies in place to accommodate student requests for an alternative to animal dissection, this is not the case throughout the state. Students in one school may find accommodation for their individual ethical or religious beliefs, but students in another school may face a failing grade in science for acting on those beliefs.

The sponsors of this legislation find that 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, in fact, many educationally excellent alternatives to dissection available, on the internet and through free loan programs, such as BioLEAP, a program of the National Anti-Vivisection Society. Computer simulations, models, videotapes and workbooks can provide an equal or superior educational experience. Because many of these materials are available through free loan programs or at little or no cost online, there is little cost to a school--or to the state--in implementing a student choice policy.

In a recent article published in the journal "The American Biology Teacher," a survey 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, when given a choice. A small sampling of Hawaii school teachers indicated that 80% of them plan to use animal dissection as a classroom activity in the coming year, yet none knew if their school district had a student choice policy in place. A majority indicated that they would support a statewide policy on this issue.

In a recent "Newsweek" article, published on November 21, 2017, the cruelty to the animals used for dissection is exposed, highlighting another reason why schools should move away from dissecting animals in the classroom.

Please vote "yes" to ensure that students in Hawaii have access to these alternatives and can exercise their informed consent to request them instead of participating in animal dissection or vivisection in the classroom.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]