The Buena Vista City School Board provides one or more alternatives to animal dissection for students enrolled in biological sciences classes that incorporate dissection exercises. These alternatives may include computer programs, Internet simulations, plastic models, videotapes, digital videodiscs, and charts. The alternative techniques require a comparable amount of time and effort as do the dissection exercises and provide comparable depth and scope of learning. The alternative techniques provide the student, through means other than dissection, with knowledge similar to that expected to be gained by other students in the course who perform, participate in, or observe the dissection. Testing procedures that do not require the use of dissected specimens are provided for those students who choose an alternative technique.
A student’s objection to participating in an animal dissection should be substantiated by a signed note from his or her parent or guardian.
Legal Ref.: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-200.01.
Guidelines for Alternatives to Dissection (Attachment to Virginia Department of Education Superintendent’s Memo #161 (Aug. 6, 2004)).
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