This article from today answers the question of a recent letter on the ARA website concerning dissection. Stated below is the current NYS policy, with the upcoming change to take effect in July of this year.
Rochester, N.Y.- A change to the Humane Education law means school districts will have to notify students and parents that students have the choice to opt out of dissecting animals in science class.
The law goes into effect July 1, 2011.
The mandatory notice law requires that students and parents be informed about the option of performing alternative projects to dissection.
The law currently mandates that any student who expresses "a moral or religious objection to the performance or witnessing of the dissection of an animal... shall be provided the opportunity to undertake and complete an alternative project that shall be approved by such student's teacher" and the student shall not be penalized for performing the alternative project.
For more information, visit: http://www.nysba.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=+Humane_Education
Robin J. Yager, Director