Michigan State Board of Education Policy: Student Options for Animal Dissection Coursework
The Michigan State Board of Education recognizes that a growing number of students have moral, ethical, religious, or other objections to animal dissection and that modern nonanimal teaching methods (e.g., interactive computer software) are available. The State Board of Education also recognizes that these alternative teaching lessons may be more effective and less expensive. Consistent with the recommendations of leading science education organizations, to accommodate these students and create an inclusive learning environment, any K-12 student who objects to dissecting animals or animal parts should be permitted to opt out of dissection activities without fear of reprisal.
School districts should establish a written policy stating that options are available for students who object to dissection activities, and that upon written request, the school will permit a student who objects to dissection activities to demonstrate competency through an alternative method.
Teachers shall provide these students with an alternate project (i.e., completing modules on interactive computer software) that does not involve participating in or observing dissection and through which they can learn and be assessed on the material required by the course. The alternate project should be selected by the teacher and entail a comparable amount of work to the dissection activity.
No student shall be punished or discriminated against based up on his or her decision to opt out of animal dissection activities.
A student who is reluctant to voice his or her concerns about animal use in a particular course, or who thinks these concerns have not received proper attention, may seek assistance from their principal.