PETA's Humane Education Division Stresses the Importance of Recognizing Cruelty, Teaching Kids Empathy for All Living Beings
For Immediate Release:
October 28, 2014
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382
Clay County, Fla. – Following reports that an 11-year-old in Clay County has been charged with felony cruelty to animals for allegedly killing his family’s rescued dog, who was found beheaded and dismembered in a shallow grave in the family’s backyard, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—rushed letters to area schools this morning calling on them to begin teaching students about the dangers of abusing animals. As PETA notes in its letter, uncorrected acts of violence can lead to continued anti-social behavior, from further acts of violence against animals to bullying, aggression, and violence against humans.
“Teaching kids to be kind does as much for the children as for the animals, because kids who abuse animals and never have that behavior called out often continue behaving violently,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “PETA and TeachKind’s lessons help start violence prevention in the classroom by teaching students to have empathy for all living beings.”
TeachKind and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—are offering to coordinate humane classroom presentations, aid in planning lessons on empathy toward animals, and send copies of their poster titled “Abuse: Report It if You See It” to each school in the area in hopes of preventing similar incidents. TeachKind also notes in its letter that many serial killers and mass murderers first attacked and killed animals—something that FBI experts call “the link” between violence to animals and violence to human beings.
The boy’s mother, who rescues dogs, reportedly called the incident “devastating” and is seeking counseling for her family.
TeachKind’s staff is always available to send free materials, suggest free lesson plans, and even host free classroom presentations with students via Skype.
For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.