Nov 14, 2008 • Laws & Policies


A student in a public elementary or secondary school or an approved independent school shall have the right to be excused from participating in any lesson, exercise, or assessment requiring the student to dissect, vivisect, or otherwise harm or destroy an animal or any part of an animal, or to observe any of these activities, as part of a course instruction; each school district and approved independent school shall adopt and implement policies regarding a student’s right to be excused under this section, which shall include: procedures by which the school shall provide timely notification to each student enrolled in the course and to the student’s parent or guardian of the student’s right to be excused from participating in or observing the lesson and the process by which a student may exercise this right; alternative education methods through which a student excused under this section can learn and be assessed on material required by the course; and a statement that no student shall be discriminated against based on his or her decision to exercise the right to be excused afforded by this section. As used in this section, the word “animal” means any organism of the kingdom of animalia and includes an animal’s cadaver or the severed parts of an animal’s cadaver. H. 711, 16 V.S.A. § 912 (2008).