Target: Brendan Sharkey, Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives
Goal: Allow students to opt out of dissection activities in science classes
Lawmakers in Connecticut are once again considering a bill that might allow students in the state to opt out of animal dissection in school science classes, the eleventh state to consider such a bill. The bill would simply prohibit schools from making dissection a mandatory activity for students. If passed, students must submit their opposition to the activity in writing. They will not be required to engage in a substitute activity, which would still include simulated dissection via the web or an anatomic model. However, if students opposed to real dissection still wished to learn about anatomy, they would have the option of acquiring simulated materials from state nonprofit organizations, such as NAVS BioLEAP.
Although similar bills were passed in the Connecticut House of Representatives in both 2010 and 2011, neither bill was voted upon in the Senate. In 2012, the bill was discussed in House committees but did not reach the voting stage.
Although many teachers throughout the state already allow students to opt out of dissection, in some classes the practice is still mandatory. This is disturbing for some families who are morally opposed to the practice, and for the growing number of children who are raised in vegetarian households. These students, not wanting to receive a failing grade in science classes, may resort to completing an activity that violates their ethical code. Ask lawmakers in Connecticut to honor the rights of students who wish to opt out of dissection in science class.
Dear Mr. Speaker,
For the past three years, the Connecticut House of Representatives has had the opportunity to pass a bill allowing school children to opt out of dissection activities in science classes. Many children and their families are morally opposed to dissection, and they should have the opportunity not to support an activity which they are against. Children in Connecticut who choose not to participate in dissection will be given the option of obtaining free alternative materials from state nonprofit organizations to learn about anatomy. These materials would include both digital and physical models that could teach children about anatomical principals without using cadavers.
Although many teachers throughout the state already allow their students to opt out of dissection activities, this is not the case in each and every classroom. Students should not have to partake in activities to which they are morally opposed. Please allow Connecticut students to opt out of dissection in science classes.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: madaise via flickr