SOURCE: NEAVS

November 02, 2006 14:21 ET

Students Can Voice Their Choice in Massachusetts

DOE Policy Spurs Student Awareness Campaign

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 2, 2006 -- A Massachusetts educational policy that protects students' rights is being commended and is spurring a statewide student awareness campaign. The Ethical Science & Education Coalition (ESEC), an affiliate of the Boston-based national organization, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), is spreading the word to students about the Massachusetts Department of Education's (DOE) policy that protects students who choose not to participate in animal dissection. The DOE's policy allows students to learn through humane alternatives.

"ESEC's longstanding and unwavering efforts have resulted in protecting students' rights to humane dissection alternatives," says Dr. Theodora Capaldo, president of NEAVS. "We are pleased to see the DOE's support for a student's right to choose humane alternatives, which offer an equal if not better learning experience. We are also grateful to Representative Louis L. Kafka (Eighth Norfolk district) and Senator Pamela P. Resor (Middlesex and Worcester district) who worked tirelessly for the rights of Massachusetts students."

The DOE student choice policy provides that "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." ESEC testified before the DOE and the Massachusetts legislature and supplied the Education Commissioner, his Board, and legislative leadership with expert information on the necessity and advantages of protecting dissection choice.

ESEC is now spreading the word to Massachusetts students by visiting schools throughout the state starting tomorrow at North High School in Worcester from 1:45pm - 3:00pm. Information on the DOE's policy language, humane education bookmarks, magnets, and information on ESEC's free loan program will be distributed.

The ESEC team will also be visiting schools in Boston, Springfield, and Cambridge. There are also plans for outreach in Rhode Island and Maine -- other New England states that support a student's right to alternatives. Currently, 14 U.S. states have dissection choice laws or policies.

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