Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1586 Pupil instruction: animal dissection.(2019-2020)


 The heading of Chapter 2.3 (commencing with Section 32255) of Part 19 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

CHAPTER  2.3. Modernization of Biological Teaching Methods and Pupils’ Rights to Refrain From the Harmful or Destructive Use of Animals

SEC. 2.

 Section 32255 of the Education Code is amended to read:

 As used in this chapter:
(a) “Animal” means any living organism of the kingdom animalia, beings that typically differ from plants in capacity for spontaneous movement and rapid motor response to stimulation by a usually greater mobility with some degree of voluntary locomotor ability and by greater irritability commonly mediated through a more or less centralized nervous system, beings that are characterized by a requirement for complex organic nutrients including proteins or their constituents that are usually digested in an internal cavity before assimilation into the body proper, and beings that are distinguished from typical plants by lack of chlorophyll, by an inability to perform photosynthesis, by cells that lack cellulose walls, and by the frequent presence of discrete complex sense organs.
(b) “Alternative education project” includes, but is not limited to, the use of video recordings, three-dimensional  models, films, books, and computers, which  interactive simulation software and computers, and assessments of knowledge that  would provide an alternate avenue for obtaining the knowledge, information, or experience required by the course of study in question. “Alternative education project” also includes “alternative test.”
(c) “Pupil” means a person under 18 years of age who is matriculated in a course of instruction in an educational institution within the scope of Section 32255.5. For the purpose of asserting the pupil’s rights and receiving any notice or response pursuant to this chapter, “pupil” also includes the parents of the matriculated minor.
(d) “Dissection” means the viewing of the, or act of, dismembering or otherwise destructive use of an invertebrate or vertebrae animal, in part or in whole, preserved or freshly killed, in the study of biological sciences. Animal dissection does not include fixed histological samples of any species, including, but not limited to, plain or stained microscope slides, owl pellets, human autopsy viewing, and plastinated human organs.

SEC. 3.

 Section 32255.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:



 (a) A pupil shall not perform dissection in a California public or private school.
(a) (b)  Except as otherwise provided in Section 32255.6, any pupil with a moral objection to dissecting or otherwise  harming or destroying animals, or any parts thereof, shall notify his or her  the pupil’s  teacher regarding this objection, upon notification by the school of his or her  the pupil’s  rights pursuant to Section 32255.4.
(b) (c)  If the pupil chooses to refrain from participation in an education project involving the harmful or destructive use of animals, and if the teacher believes that an adequate alternative education project is possible, the teacher may work with the pupil to develop and agree upon an alternate alternative  education project for the purpose of providing the pupil an alternate avenue for obtaining the knowledge, information, or experience required by the course of study in question.
(c) (d)  The alternative education project shall require a comparable time and effort investment by the pupil. It shall not, as a means of penalizing the pupil, be more arduous than the original education project.
(d) (e)  The pupil shall not be discriminated against based upon his or her  the pupil’s  decision to exercise his or her  the pupil’s  rights pursuant to this chapter.
(e) (f)  Pupils choosing an alternative educational project shall pass all examinations of the respective course of study in order to receive credit for that course of study. However, if tests require the harmful or destructive use of animals, a pupil may, similarly, seek alternative tests pursuant to this chapter.
(f) (g)  A pupil’s objection to participating in an educational project pursuant to this section shall be substantiated by a note from his or her  the pupil’s  parent or guardian.

SEC. 4.

 Section 32255.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

 Notwithstanding any provision of  law to the contrary, this chapter applies to all levels of instruction in all public and private  schools operating programs from in  kindergarten through and  grades 1 to 12, inclusive.