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Standing Up Against Classroom Dissection: 4 Easy Steps

If you see someone being bullied or taken advantage of at school, the right thing to do is to step in and say, “Leave them alone!” And animals need us to stand up for them at school, too, so explain to your classmates that they shouldn’t be used for food or science experiments—especially if your teacher wants you to dissect them. Tell your teacher that our animal friends are killed for these cruel lessons and that you refuse to exploit others. Speaking up for animals and opting out of dissection saves lives.

Some states, cities, and school districts protect students’ right to opt out of animal dissection, but many kids live in places without these protections. But that’s OK—no matter where you live, you can always do what’s right! And PETA Kids will help you stand up against dissection and get your teacher on board with animal-free learning tools like digital dissection software.

Here are four steps that you can take to opt out of dissection at school and save animals.

Step 1: Get a Class Syllabus and Look Into Humane Options

Ask your teacher if there’s an animal-free lesson you can do instead of the dissection lesson in your class syllabus. If they don’t have one ready, sit down with your grown-up and click here to find a modern replacement. All animals value their lives and deserve to live free from harm, and luckily, there’s an animal-friendly option for almost any dissection lesson.

Step 2: E-Mail Your Teacher and Set Up a Meeting

E-mail your teacher (or ask your grown-up to do so) and explain why you’re opting out of animal dissection. An e-mail may be enough, in which case you won’t even need to have a meeting. But if you do, look up facts about the cruelty of dissection and bring notes with you to the meeting. You can also talk about studies proving that students learn better using animal-free tools like SynFrog and eMind. Mention that dissection can make them not care about animals or scare them away from wanting a job in the sciences.

Step 3: Talk to Someone Else if Necessary

Is your teacher OK with your idea of using non-animal tools? If so, that’s great—you can skip to the last step! If your teacher still isn’t ready to let you ditch dissection, think about what was said in the meeting and come up with more good reasons why you want to opt out based on your teacher’s concerns. PETA Kids can help you do this—just e-mail us at [email protected]. Ask your grown-up to schedule another meeting, but this time, maybe you could talk to another teacher you trust or the principal.

Step 4: Help Your Friends Stand Up Against Dissection, Too!

Once your teacher agrees to let you participate in the lesson using an animal-free learning tool instead, tell your friends! You can encourage them to save animals, too, by using the same humane option you’ll be using. They’ll be so happy that you already did the research. And don’t forget to thank your teacher for respecting your choice not to harm animals.

Stand up against dissection


Animal-free tools like digital dissection save schools money because they can be used again and again—and they even teach students better, because you can repeat the lesson until you understand. They’re also safer because you won’t be exposed to dangerous chemicals used to preserve dead bodies. And the best part of all is that no animals are hurt or killed for them—and they don’t send students the wrong message that animals are tools for people to use.

Animals are sensitive individuals who love their families and their freedom. They like to eat their favorite foods, play and exercise in the sun, solve problems, and enjoy their lives—just like you!