After Fatal Opossum Beating, PETA Offers Humane Education

Following High Schoolers' Arrests for Killing Family of Opossums, TeachKind Stresses Need to Teach Compassion in the Classroom

For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2018

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Cobb County, Ga. – TeachKind (PETA’s humane education division) sent letters this afternoon urging Cobb County schools to implement humane education now and in the coming school year. The letters follow the arrests of two North Cobb High School students who allegedly beat a mother opossum and one of her babies to death with a baseball bat, used a mixture of bleach and ammonia to kill three other babies, and posted the attack on Snapchat.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has asked the district superintendent to ensure that students know to report cruelty to animals when they see it, as the student who tipped off police to the opossum video did. The group has also offered schools in the district free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and sent elementary schools its Share the World curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners.

“Violence is sweeping through our schools, and these teens apparently killed a family of opossums in horrific ways and bragged about it on social media,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to implement humane education and adopt an official policy against cruelty to animals that will help prevent others from being hurt.”

TeachKind notes that according to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large. Its staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

The group’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind