Do not accept unacceptable behavior.
If your student chooses to not dissect an animal and is given a hard time, explain to the teacher that you know the state policy. For example in Massachusetts the 2005 State Board of Education Policy gives anyone the right to refuse to cut up animals. In fact Massachusetts residents can mention the following policy:
“All public schools that offer dissection as a learning activity should, upon written request by a student’s parent or guardian, permit a student who chooses not to participate in dissection to demonstrate competency through an alternative method.” [2005 MA State Board of Education Policy]
Look up the policy where you live and have it ready to go to avoid being intimidated.
Many students feel the stress of peer pressure and fear of repercussions by the teacher when not wanting to dissect animals in biology classes. These students find cutting up animals to be morally objectionable, yet feel forced to do so. In fact this moral dilemma can cause grades to go way down. Some people do not realize that even though each year, 10 million animals (including frogs, cats, and fetal pigs) are killed and then cut up in classrooms across the country, humane alternatives do exist. Studies have shown that students who use alternatives to dissection perform just as well as, if not better than students who cut up animals. In most states students have the right to refuse to dissect animals if they choose and most do not even realize it. The reality is your student does not have to dissect animals if they do not want to and it is the school’s responsibility to find alternatives for each student.