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Hawaii: Student Choice Bill Introduced in Senate

Hawaii: Student Choice Bill Introduced in Senate 

Name: Student Informed Consent for Animal Dissection

Bill Number: SB 256

As part of its CHOICE (Compassionate Humane Options in Classroom Education) initiative, NAVS continues to reach out to legislators in states that do not currently have a statewide law or policy in place that guarantees students in grades K-12 the right to use an alternative instead of dissecting an animal in the classroom. In Hawaii, Senator Gabbard has once again taken the lead by introducing SB 256, which would allow public school students in grades K through 12 to decline participation in dissection, vivisection, and other procedures harmful to animals. The bill would also require schools to make alternative educational projects available and would require the board of education to develop rules and give notice to all schools.

This is the third legislative session in which Hawaii is considering this legislation. It is essential that legislators hear from you, their constituents, that student choice for dissection deserves their support—and their vote.


Call to Actions:

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



  • Your State Senator or Senators


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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 grades K-12 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, it is not true 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.

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. Moreover, the cost of using alternatives instead of using animal specimens is generally much lower, and the alternatives are not single use. They can be used many times by multiple students, making them cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

In an article published in the "American Biology Teacher" journal, 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.

Please do not make students choose between their moral convictions and the study of science. 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.

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