Left to Right: Bailee Henderson, Senator Ronald Young, Nicole Green
Left to Right: Nicole Green, Bailee Henderson,
Donna Bernstein, Aaron Ness
On January 30, Animalearn Director Nicole Green and Assistant Director Bailee Henderson testified at a Maryland State Senate Committee hearing in support of SB-188, a dissection choice bill that would give ALL K-12 students the right to refuse to participate in animal dissection exercises and instead choose effective and innovative, humane science education alternatives. The bill was introduced by Senator Ronald Young.
In her testimony Ms. Henderson stated, “I see firsthand the emotional distress caused by dissection, the way in which dissection turns students away from science careers, and how forced dissection undermines the very principal our nation was founded on: individual liberty and the right to act according to one’s conscience… Besides, how well can a student truly learn from a lesson when, throughout the lesson, the student is focused on their moral objection to what they are doing?”
Animalearn’s 2018 Humane Student of the Year, Aaron Ness, also provided testimony. He stated, “If there was consistency across the state on this issue [student dissection choice policy] it would lend weight to the value of dissection alternatives, it would educate teachers on the availability and quality of these alternatives, and it would force teachers who are still using archaic methods to teach students to acknowledge and learn more about alternatives. Furthermore, teaching students in a humane fashion with humane tools helps to make a humane society.”
“Overall, this was a very positive experience. The Committee Members asked a lot of great questions as we showed them a selection of dissection alternatives, and also provided an opportunity to respond to testimony opposing the legislation,” said Nicole Green. “We are hopeful that the Senate Committee will pass the bill and give Maryland students the right to a humane science education.”