(1) It is the intent of the Legislature with respect to biological experiments involving living subjects by students in grades K through 12 that:
(a) No surgery or dissection shall be performed on any living mammalian vertebrate or bird. Dissection may be performed on nonliving mammals or birds secured from a recognized source of such specimens and under supervision of qualified instructors. Students may be excused upon written request of a parent.
(b) Lower orders of life and invertebrates may be used in such experiments.
(c) Nonmammalian vertebrates, excluding birds, may be used in biological experiments, provided that physiological harm does not result from such experiments. Anatomical studies shall only be conducted on models that are anatomically correct for the animal being studied or on nonliving nonmammalian vertebrates secured and from a recognized source of such specimens and under the supervision of qualified instructors. Students may be excused from such experiments upon written request of the parent.
(d) Observational studies of animals in the wild or in zoological parks, gardens, or aquaria, or of pets, fish, domestic animals, or livestock may be conducted.
(e) Studies of vertebrate animal cells, such as red blood cells or other tissue cells, plasma or serum, or anatomical specimens, such as organs, tissues, or skeletons, purchased or acquired from biological supply houses or research facilities or from wholesale or retail establishments that supply carcasses or parts of food animals may be conducted.
(f) Normal physiological and behavioral studies of the human animal may be conducted, provided that such projects are carefully selected so that neither physiological nor psychological harm to the subject can result from such studies.
(g) All experiments shall be carried out under the supervision of a competent science teacher who shall be responsible for ensuring that the student has the necessary comprehension for the study to be undertaken. Whenever feasible, specifically qualified experts in the field should be consulted.
(h) Live animals on the premises of public and private elementary, middle, and high schools shall be housed and cared for in a humane and safe manner. Animals shall not remain on the premises of any school during periods when such school is not in session, unless adequate care is provided for such animals.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit or constrain conventional instruction in the normal practices of animal husbandry or exhibition of any livestock in connection with any agricultural program or instruction of advanced students participating in advanced research, scientific studies, or projects.
(3) If any instructional employee of a public high school or career center knowingly or intentionally fails or refuses to comply with any of the provisions of this section, the district school board may suspend, dismiss, return to annual contract, or otherwise discipline such employee as provided in s. 1012.22(1)(f) in accordance with procedures established in chapter 1012. If any instructional employee of any private school knowingly or intentionally fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this section, the governing authority of the private school may suspend, dismiss, or otherwise discipline such employee in accordance with its standard personnel procedures.
Added by Laws 2002, c. 2002-387, § 140, eff. Jan. 7, 2003. Amended by Laws 2004, c. 2004-357, § 84, eff. July 1, 2004.