State of Illinois
91st General Assembly
Public Acts

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Public Act 91-0771

HB3254 Enrolled                                LRB9111265EGfg

    AN ACT in relation to alternatives to dissection.

    Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:

    Section  1.   Short  title.  This Act may be cited as the
Dissection Alternatives Act.

    Section 5.  Findings and purpose.
    (a)  The General Assembly finds  and  declares  that  the
appropriate  use  of dissection in research and education has
contributed a great deal to the advancement  of  medical  and
biological   science.   Without  dissection  the  science  of
anatomy could not  have  advanced,  and  it  is  the  bedrock
supporting  the modern practice of surgery in its many forms.
The appropriate use of dissection has brought  many  benefits
to  the  people  of  this  State,  and  it  continues to play
important roles in medical and veterinary practice, research,
and education.
    (b)  The General Assembly also finds that the  remarkable
progress  of  the  last  few decades has produced significant
advances in computing and the  graphic  and  representational
arts,  and  that  these  developments  have  resulted  in the
creation of  many  new  technologies  for  teaching  anatomy,
physiology,  and  other  medical and biological sciences.  In
certain circumstances these new technologies are  capable  of
providing  an  educational experience superior to dissection,
and they have often proven to  be  less  expensive  and  more
    (c)  The  General  Assembly  also  finds  that the use of
dissection, when  inappropriate  or  poorly  supervised,  can
result in the inhumane treatment and unnecessary suffering of
animals.   The inappropriate or careless use of dissection in
schools has also in some instances traumatized  students  and
contributed to a failure to teach proper respect for life and
living creatures.
    (d)  It  is  the purpose of this Act to encourage schools
in this State to  make  available  and  use  alternatives  to
dissection  when  those  alternatives are appropriate and can
provide an educational experience that is equal  or  superior
to  the  traditional use of dissection.  It is not in any way
the intention of this Act to discourage the  appropriate  use
of  dissection  in  research  or  when it provides a valuable
educational experience to students.

    Section 10. Definitions.  For the purposes of  this  Act,
unless the context otherwise requires:
    "Student" means a pupil at a public or private elementary
or secondary school in Illinois.
    "Teacher"  means  a person who is teaching at a public or
private  elementary  or   secondary   school   in   Illinois,
regardless  of  whether  that  teaching  is on a full-time or
part-time, temporary or permanent, or regular  or  substitute
    "Dissection"  includes  cutting,  killing, preserving, or
mounting of living  or  dead  animals  or  animal  parts  for
scientific   study;   but   does  not  include  the  cutting,
preserving, or mounting of (1) meat or other animal  products
that   have  been  processed  for  use  as  food  or  in  the
preparation of  food  or  (2)  wool,  silk,  glue,  or  other
commercial or artistic products derived from animals.

    Section  15.  Alternative student projects.  A school may
excuse a student enrolled in a course in which  students  are
ordinarily  expected  to  perform, participate in, or observe
dissection  who  objects  for  any  reason   to   performing,
participating  in,  or  observing that dissection and instead
allow the student to complete an  alternative  project.   The
alternative  project  should  be  nonpunitive  and  should be
reasonably chosen to provide the student, through means other
than dissection, with knowledge similar to that  expected  to
be  gained  by  other  students  in  the  course who perform,
participate in, or observe the dissection.   The  alternative
project   should   be  consistent  with  any  guidelines  for
alternative projects that have  been  adopted  by  the  State
Board of Education.

    Section  20.  Guidelines for notification of students and
    (a)  The State Board of Education shall develop and  make
available   guidelines   that  may  be  used  by  the  public
elementary and secondary schools within this  State  to  give
appropriate  notice  of  the  following to students and their
parents or legal guardians:
         (1)  Which, if any, of the  courses  taught  at  the
    school   ordinarily  require  or  allow  the  student  to
    perform, participate in, or observe dissection.
         (2)  Whether or not the school  makes  available  to
    students  the  opportunity  to  complete  an  alternative
    (b)  When offering high school students an opportunity to
choose between dissection or an alternative project, teachers
should  encourage the students to take into consideration the
expectations and requirements of the  colleges  and  graduate
programs that they may be interested in attending.

    Section  25.   Discrimination  prohibited.  A student may
not be penalized or discriminated  against  in  any  way  for
refusing to perform, participate in, or observe dissection.

    Section  99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect upon
becoming law and first applies to the 2000-2001 school year.

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