Target: Theodore E. Comstock, executive director
Goal: Commend animal dissection alternatives in classrooms
The New Hampshire Board of Education recently decided to allow students the option to not dissect animals in science courses. The decision followed soon after Connecticut implemented the policy in their schools. Students who do not want to participate in dissections will instead complete coursework of equal difficulty that does not involve animals directly. The Board is planning to work with schools to help develop individualized alternative coursework as needed. This progressive new initiative should be applauded, as it marks a giant step forward for educational policy.
Officially named the Student Choice Policy, the initiative is particularly valuable because it ensures that students will not receive poor grades due to discomfort over dissections. Students will no longer feel pressured to dissect animals and will not be discouraged from science fields.
PETA announced 20 states that officially allow students to opt out of animal dissection in schools. Sadly, thousands of animals from shelters, slaughterhouses, biology supply companies, and fur farms are collected and used for dissections each year. Foxes, pigs, cats, sheep, rabbits and a variety of other animals are typically used. Shockingly, even pet store animals are reportedly used for classroom dissections.
Support the Student Choice Policy to ensure that the remaining US states adopt a similar policy for students who oppose dissection.
Dear Theodore E. Comstock,
The decision to implement alternatives to animal dissection was a thoughtful and much-needed policy. Students can now complete science coursework without having to worry about uncomfortable situations. This policy will take the dread and reluctance out of science learning for many students who prefer not to dissect animals.
A recent survey collected by AnimalLearn.org showed that a majority of teens (86%) support dissection alternatives in the classroom. Computers are now being utilized to create virtual dissections where students can learn all of the same information. Several students have already reported success and passing grades using virtual learning, and thus are not in danger of falling behind.
Not only is it useful to teach an understanding of animals, but also a respect for them. Needless dissections, especially of animals that some keep as pets, send a mixed message about the ethical treatment of living things.
It is crucial to have this policy implemented in more states across the US so that students can choose comfortable learning methods. We would like to commend your efforts to provide students with wider learning opportunities in classrooms.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: waldo jaquith via Flickr