PETA’s TeachKind Sends California School District Humane Education Materials Following Killing of Guinea Pig

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2 min read

Education has the power to stop violence. That simple message is what TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—wants to convey to Kings Canyon Unified School District staff after a 12-year-old child allegedly kicked a guinea pig to death in Reedley, California.

TeachKind Gets in Touch With Reedley Schools

Following reports that the child who was allegedly caught on a doorbell camera kicking the small animal has been identified by the Reedley Police Department, TeachKind sent Kings Canyon Unified School District Superintendent John Campbell an urgent letter.

TeachKind also sent kindness-to-animals educational materials, including “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing violence by young people, and its “Share the World” curriculum kit, which includes lesson plans that aim to foster empathy for animals and are appropriate for even the youngest learners. It’s also sending “Challenging Assumptions” for the district’s secondary students, which helps examine discrimination and other social justice issues, along with a set of anti-bullying posters.

Empathy Now
Share The World
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Challenging Assumptions

Violence to Animals Is Only the Beginning

Many abusers first commit acts of violence toward animals, who aren’t able to speak out. Without intervention, these behavior patterns are reinforced and abusers often unleash violence on other targets.

Sandy Hook Promise includes cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list, and research shows that approximately 43% of school shooters first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to communities at large. TeachKind resources are easy to integrate into schools’ existing curricula to help prevent future violence.

Disturbing video footage of the Reedley attack, captured by the Ring doorbell camera of the victim’s guardian, shows a child as he chases a terrified chicken around the front yard of the home before turning his attention to the guinea pigs in an enclosure on the lawn. The video footage shows the child lifting the enclosure and punting one of the guinea pigs twice—once with enough force to launch the animal several feet across the yard—before fleeing the scene.

Youth Violence Can Be Prevented

A rash of youth violence is sweeping through communities, and without educational intervention, there’s no end in sight. As this horrific attack in Reedley shows, it’s vital to teach young people empathy from an early age and to reinforce those teachings throughout education.

“Compassion can be cultivated,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind stands ready to help Kings Canyon schools teach all its students that every sentient being, whether a guinea pig or a classmate, deserves empathy and respect.”

If you are an educator or know someone who is, visit to download free humane education materials.

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