H.B. NO.














relating to animal dissection in schools.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that moral, ethical, or religious principles regarding the humane treatment of animals make some students unwilling to participate in dissecting or harming animals. Students who are forced to participate in such actions may abandon the study of science altogether if not provided an alternative.

The purpose of this Act is to respect student beliefs, increase student learning, and lower educational costs by:

(1) Allowing students to decline to participate in animal dissections; and

(2) Require schools to make alternatives available to students who have declined to participate in an animal dissection.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A- Dissection of animals; opportunity to decline. (a) Any student may decline to participate in the dissection of any animal, including participating in or observing:

(1) The dissection, vivisection, incubation, infliction of harm, or capture of any animal;

(2) Surgery, an invasive procedure, or the experimentation on an animal; or

(3) The termination of any animal's life,

by informing the appropriate teacher and providing satisfactory proof that the student's parent or guardian has consented to the student declining to participate in the dissection of the animal.

(b) Any student who declines to participate in the dissection of an animal shall be provided with a suitable alternative education project designed to provide the student with the equivalent factual knowledge, information, or experience. Any alternative education project shall not require more time or effort than the dissection. A comparable grading method shall assess the alternative project.

(c) If a test or examination requires the dissection of an animal or the use of a dissected animal, any student who has declined to participate in the dissection of an animal shall be provided with an alternative test or examination that does not use an animal specimen.

(d) No student shall be penalized or discriminated against for declining to participate in the dissection of any animal; provided that the student fulfills the requirements of the assigned alternative education project or test or examination.

(e) Each school shall notify its students and their parents in writing of the option to decline to participate in the dissection of any animal:

(1) At the beginning of each semester; and

(2) Not less than three weeks prior to any scheduled dissection;

provided that any student may decline to participate in the dissection of an animal on the day of the dissection by providing proper parental or guardian consent as required by subsection (a).

(f) As used in this section:

"Alternative education project" means the use of video equipment, models, films, books, photos, pictures, computers, live observation in the wild or in zoos, or any other tools which provide an alternative method to the use of live or once live animals for obtaining and testing knowledge, information, or experience.

"Animal" means any living organism, including frogs, cats, fetal pigs, and earthworms, including an animal's cadaver or severed parts thereof."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Dissection; Animals; Students; Department of Education



Authorizes DOE students to decline to dissect animals. Requires schools to provide an alternative to students who have declined.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.