Even though I’m embarrassed to live in a state that doesn’t even recognize civil unions, I’m at least proud that now Virginia requires alternatives to dissection for high school students who wish to “opt out” of the standard slice-and-dice curriculum. It seems pretty silly to me that dissection has been required in high school biology classes even though the majority of people in those classes will never go into anything requiring the knowledge of what a frog spleen looks like. It’s nice to see more states requiring alternatives to students that object for ethical reasons.
In addition to Virginia, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, and Illinois have similar laws and New Jersey is also considering it. Argentina, India, and Israel outright ban dissection in schools.
For more information, visit the Humane Society’s page on dissection laws.