IMBAA Alternatives to Biological Dissection


The Board recognizes that divergent opinions exist among parents and students regarding the appropriateness of using dissection as a means of achieving certain instructional goals in the biological sciences. Therefore, in order to ensure that legitimate objections to dissection are taken into account, while at the same time protecting the integrity of the instructional program, the following procedure shall be observed:

A. In instances where students and/or parents object to dissection on ethical or moral grounds, a written request from the parents of the student wishing to be excused from dissection shall be submitted to the teacher in whose class the dissection is to occur. The request shall state the reasons for requesting that the student be excused from dissection.

B. The teacher, in consultation with the Principal, shall review the request. Those reviewing the request may wish to schedule an interview with the parent(s) and/or student in order to gain information needed to reach a decision.

C. If the request is approved, an alternative activity, closely related and of comparable rigor, will be assigned in lieu of the laboratory dissection. The alternatives may include such activities as computer simulations and research.

D. If the request is disapproved, the parent(s) may appeal the decision in accordance with the School Board’s policy.

E. The student will be responsible for and evaluated on the material covered in the alternative activity.

F. The alternative activity will carry credit equivalent to the dissection activity.

G. The Superintendent will ensure that sufficient means are put in place to annually inform students and parents about the availability of alternatives to dissection and the procedure for requesting such alternatives.

Adopted:     December 11, 1990
Revised:     March 9, 2004
Reviewed:  November 11, 2010

M.S.A.D. #4