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Dissecting dead animals has often been a part of middle school and high school science biology and anatomy curriculum. There are many that argue that this is the absolute best way for students to learn about biology and anatomy, but others believe that we should offer students a choice when it comes to dissecting an animal now that new technologies exist.

One amazing ten-year-old boy in Connecticut named Jack Kealy helped lobby for a bill that would give students this choice in his state.

Through his lobbying efforts, he advocated for the choice to use realistic plastic models or computer programs instead of dissection to learn about biology and anatomy in school, according to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

And guess what? The bill has become law! Connecticut now joins 15 other states and Washington, D.C. in having a choice on dissection in the classroom. Woohoo!

According to the HSUS, “It was midnight when state representatives and senators gathered for closing ceremonies. Lt. Gov. Wyman again mentioned what a remarkable job Jack had done. ‘I got a standing ovation from all of them,’ said Jack. ‘It was really great to see that all of our work had paid off.’ A few weeks later, Jack was invited to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office to watch the bill be signed into law.”

What an incredible story of how one voice (even a young one!) can truly make a difference!

The HSUS reports that Jack now wants to work on other issues, like puppy mills. “I’m going to [work] on the bills important to me,” he says.

Way to go, Jack!

To take a look at some of the dissection alternatives available, Animalearn has an extensive selection of animal dissection replacements that schools can borrow or buy through their website. Cool, right?!

Image Source: peta2flickr

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13 comments on “Connecticut Fifth-Grader Successfully Lobbies for State Dissection Choice Law!”

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laura kealey
4 Years Ago

I'm Jack's mom and I just stumbled upon this website -- thank you all for your wonderful comments -- which I can't wait to pass on to Jack in the morning! He's getting a new suit so he can start up lobbying again on some animal bills -- the legislative session just began in CT and he can't wait!My very best to you all, Laura Kealey

Lori Harrison
4 Years Ago


Connie Udell
4 Years Ago

In this day of technology, this should not even need to be a choice...it just should not be happening. I was part of a group of high school students trying to put a stop to dissection.....nearly 60 years ago...Thank you to this fifth grader for his success....

Sarah Rinzin
4 Years Ago

this is great!! well done!!

Anik Medium
4 Years Ago

bravo, la prise de conscience c'est dès l'enfance!

Xelisen Isthmus
4 Years Ago

OMG amazing !! I refused to dissect frogs in 11th grade. my compassionate Biology teacher gave ma a piece of celery to dissect.

Cindy Pfeffer
4 Years Ago

Hope that other states give students the choice to opt out.

Megan Lin
4 Years Ago

Fantastic!! I wish I had had a choice back in the '80's...I was told I had to dissect the frog and the worm in order to pass. I have had a negative outlook on science classes ever since.

Amber Cannon Nielsen
4 Years Ago

I took an F in middle school on dissection day. I came prepared with a note from my mom just in case they tried to hassle me for it.

Kathryn Bulver
4 Years Ago

I can't believe that students don't have the option to not do dissection in 34 states. :-(


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