100% of U.S. medical schools do not require their medical students to participate in animal dissection. Therefore it is safe to say that cutting open animals is not necessary to become a brilliant doctor or grade school student.
Studies suggest that exposing young people to animal dissection and calling it “science” can foster callousness toward animals and nature.
Studies show that students being forced to dissect animals can actually scare them away from pursuing a career in science-related fields such as becoming a medical doctor.
Did you know that traditional middle school and high school biology animal dissections can do more harm than good for students? There are psychological, physical and environmental dangers associated with animal dissections putting your student at risk. Over the next several days we will take a closer look at the psychological risks that may harm your student. Check back here tomorrow!
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.
The Michigan State Board of Education adopted a dissection-choice policy that allows more than 1.57 million students throughout the state to opt out of classroom animal dissection. Children now have the option of using modern computer software and other humane methods. Michigan joins 21 other states plus the District of Columbia in establishing a policy to allow students to avoid animal dissection. Michigan students can now choose not to dissect without worrying that their grades will suffer or that there will be other repercussions from the teacher.
The policy is important because students who have a moral objection to animal dissection often stay silent and go along with it causing anxiety. This is because they are not presented with a choice or fear being punished for opting out. Michigan was able to make this new policy due to the fact that numerous studies show that advanced computer simulation software helps students learn anatomy even better than old-fashioned animal dissection does.
Tomorrow we will take a closer look at Michigan’s new dissection-choice policy.
If your child has sleep issues due to ADHD and the other sleep suggestions from yesterday do not work, there is another option. Students may benefit from the hormone supplement melatonin to induce drowsiness. Melatonin is produced naturally in the brain as the sun goes down, signaling that bedtime is coming within a few hours.
The theory is that taking this supplement may help people with true insomnia fall asleep. If this is something you are hesitant about trying just yet, you could also consider a simple option of switching your child’s old purple mattress (or whatever the mattress) to something brand new and high quality. This should improve their comfort level and allow them to get a comfortable night’s sleep. Ask your doctor before trying this option and only use it as a last resort. If you suspect that your child is having issues with sleep you might want to try this sleep calculator for kids on sleepify to measure the amount of sleep they are getting.
Last week the New Hampshire Board of Education approved a policy supporting the right of all K-12 students to choose alternatives to traditional animal dissection without being penalized. New Hampshire Board of Education determined that students deserve a right to a science education without compromising personal beliefs on hurting animals. They also decided that biology students learn as well or better with alternatives that do not involve once living animals.
The policy stresses that New Hampshire schools should make equal or better non-animal alternatives like computer simulations available to any student who does not want to dissect frogs, cats, or any other animal. New Hampshire’s Board of Education cannot mandate individual school policies by law, but can issue recommended sample policies like this for schools to adopt.
With New Hampshire creating this policy, there are now 17 states plus Washington, DC that protect a student’s right to choose a cruelty-free education.
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As students return to biology classes, many feel anxiety over being forced to dissect animals. If this is an issue for your child, we suggest the following:
1. See if your state protects your right to choose alternatives.
2. After finding out about their rights to opt-out of dissections, have your student talk with their teacher about the curriculum during the first few weeks of school. Have them ask the teacher about any planned dissection labs and if they will use animals and/or offer alternatives.
3. If they do want to opt-out, now is the best time to let teachers know that they will be choosing dissection alternatives so the teacher will have the opportunity to plan accordingly.