Student Choice Bill Passes in the Nick of Time

Adapted & posted with permission by Sheryl Rapee-Adams, Best Friends Network
Photo by Sheryl Rapee-Adams

Just hours before Vermont’s legislative session ended for the season, the Student Choice bill passed the Vermont Senate unanimously. Longtime friend to nonhuman and human Vermonters Senator John Campbell (D-Windsor) advocated strongly for this bill and negotiated with the House Education Chair on its behalf.

The Superintendents Association and Principals Association opposed the Student Choice bill and lobbied against it at the Vermont State House until the end of the season. Advocates felt the tension as one day it was on, one day it was off.

Around the year 200, my daughter, Lauren Summer Skaskiw, entered her high school biology class. With no warning, she found fetal piglets laid out to be dissected. Lauren was horrified. The teacher did not want to give her an alternative project and encouraged her to just "try it." Lauren refused and took up the cause of Student Dissection Choice. Now a teacher herself, Lauren was present this week at the Vermont State House and gratified to see "her" Student Dissection Choice bill finally pass.

Note: Click here for a copy of the bill which gives Vermont students "the right to be excused from participating in any lesson, exercise, or assessment requiring the student to dissect, vivisect, or otherwise harm or destroy an animal or any part of an animal, or to observe any of these activities".