SAMPLE LETTER FOR STUDENT CHOICE: DISSECTION OPT-OUT
Your child is presently enrolled in a course in which animal dissection is part of classroom instruction. Dissection is defined as “the manipulation of preserved animals or animal parts for scientific study, which includes incising and may be followed by inspecting, touching, handling, and mounting.”
In compliance with Education Law 809, students have the right to “object to the performance or witnessing of the dissection of an animal, either wholly or in part”. The (NAME OF SCHOOL) district offers students alternatives to animal dissection should their parents wish their child to abstain from these activities.
Alternatives to animal dissection may include, but are not limited to: computer programs, plastic models, videos, and charts. Alternative dissection techniques are designed to provide students with the same knowledge as those who participate in the dissection.
Students who have opted out of animal dissection exercises are given specific activities and resources to use as their alternative assignment, while also being provided with assistance for their alternate learning. Students who perform alternative dissection studies rather than participate in the dissection of animals shall not be penalized.
If you do not wish your child to participate in animal dissection activities as described within the course, please complete and sign the form below and return it to your child’s science teacher.