As a result of recent state legislation, public school students from kindergarten through grade 12 may decline to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or their body parts as part of a class. Schools are also required to provide alternative education projects for those students who choose to “opt out” of these activities.
Schools are required to notify pupils and their parents or guardians of this right to decline to participate in these activities. Within two weeks of notification by the school, parents or guardians must indicate their desire to have their child excused from participating and provided with an alternative education project.
For questions regarding requirements of the law, contact NJ Department of Education science coordinator Michael Heinz at 609-984-7453. A copy of the law and a question and answer document are also available online.