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Is it illegal to make students disect an animal in public schools in Australia?

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Clud Clud VIC Posts: 1559
1 14 Jan 2011
Im worried there is going to be some disections this year in bio. Last year there was but they wern't assesibly so the teacher didn't mind me not staying class for that. I read on peta that in the US it is illegal for teachers to make you disect animals in public schools, is it the same here?
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xMISSMONSTERx xMISSMONSTERx WA Posts: 2582
2 14 Jan 2011
Callum said:
Im worried there is going to be some disections this year in bio. Last year there was but they wern't assesibly so the teacher didn't mind me not staying class for that. I read on peta that in the US it is illegal for teachers to make you disect animals in public schools, is it the same here?
As far as I am aware, dissection is a very normal part of school curriculum over here. You may not have to dissect an entire animal, but you may need to dissect a heart or something, to learn your anatomy. You should be able to get away with refusing, or grouping with someone else so you don't have to do it.
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V V SA Posts: 248
3 14 Jan 2011
I don't think it's illegal, but you can say you don't want to do it, when we did it, this was before i was a Vegetarian, a few girls went to do something else while the rest of us did it. So there should be no problems there.
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Clud Clud VIC Posts: 1559
4 14 Jan 2011
What if its assesible though? Because assesment for you Atar can be quite strict.... i guess ill just group with someone if i have to.
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V V SA Posts: 248
5 14 Jan 2011
No one can force you to do anything at school, they can tell you to do something, but they can't force you.

I guess it's up to you if you want to get the grade or not disect.
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xMISSMONSTERx xMISSMONSTERx WA Posts: 2582
6 14 Jan 2011
V said:
No one can force you to do anything at school, they can tell you to do something, but they can't force you.

I guess it's up to you if you want to get the grade or not disect.
That's a bit harsh, without the grade he could potentially miss out on a high op and get into vet school or something similar which would help a lot of animals.

You should be able to just group with someone if it comes down to it, and not actually do any of the dissecting, they usually don't use full animals, but it's a possibility.

Maybe have a word with your biol teacher, they usually have a set out curriculum they adhere to, so they should be able to tell you if there's any dissecting, and if there is, get onto the teacher early and explain the situation, you should be able to work something out! They're usually pretty accomodating as long as you want to learn, and are doing good.

(hint: I did biol and genetics in grade 12, and I never had to do a dissection wink )
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..1 ..1 TAS Posts: 2265
7 14 Jan 2011
I was going to do bio in year 12, but after seeing the photos of the innocent frog pinned down I decided not to. Anyone who thinks it's okay to take an innocent life for the purpose of education or science is sick and cruel, in my opinion. I dissected the eye of a cow in grade 9 before I was vegetarian, and it's one of my biggest regrets. In grade 7 my science teacher brought it all these chicken parts and told us we HAD to dissect it. We refused to, and there was nothing he could do about it.

If you refuse to dissect because of your beliefs then that's your choice. There will probably be other opportunities to get marks for the criteria anyway.
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JayT JayT VIC Posts: 525
8 14 Jan 2011
Of course it's not illegal. You should take the problem straight to the principal or someone of high authority and tell them how wrong dissecting animals is wrong, and that there are programs on the web that let you do the same thing, just without the playing with real dead animals. Don't be afraid to speak up. Schools must stop doing this!
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Imaginary Product Imaginary Product NSW Posts: 142
9 14 Jan 2011
I think instead of going in aggressively protesting and refusing to do the dissection, you should go in armed with a compromise and and have a frank and mature talk with the head teacher or even the principal.  Say you understand the importance of learning anatomy, but you are not comfortable dissecting a real animal so would it be possible for you to sumbit a written report on anatomy with diagrams etc to demonstrate your understanding.
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Jesse Jesse VIC Posts: 1117
10 14 Jan 2011
Unleashed Admin
The laws are not clear cut.. but effectively, your school cannot make you do dissections (and should not be able to penalise you for not doing associated assessment) if there are proven alternatives. Depending on the school, they may make it harder or easier on you. Sadly many schools still are not very supportive of students who object to dissection. But don't let that stop you!

One of the Unleashed team, Jane, did her entire animal sciences degree without doing a single dissection (and got great grades). (http://www.unleashed.org.au/blog/2010-04/Who-Hates-Exams) So it can be done!

If you run into problems and need any help, shout out and I can put you in touch with some helpful people to give you guidance wink
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