PETA's Humane-Education Division Stresses Need for Policy Against Cruelty to Animals in District Code of Conduct
For Immediate Release:
May 22, 2015
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382
Middletown, Ohio – Following reports that several children allegedly beat and severely injured a stray dog, leaving her with signs of traumatic brain injury, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—rushed a letter this morning to the superintendent of Middletown City Schools calling on him to include a ban on cruelty to animals in the district’s code of conduct. In its letter, the group explains that abusing animals can lead to continued antisocial behavior, from further acts of cruelty against animals to bullying, aggression, and violence against humans. TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—have also sent letters offering free copies of their “Abuse: Report It if You See It” poster to each school in the area in the hope of preventing future abuse.
“This dog’s horrifying assault is a reminder that the time to teach young people of every age to have empathy for all living beings is now,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “As school bullying continues at epidemic rates across the country, TeachKind is asking the Middletown City Schools superintendent to let students know that any kind of cruelty or insensitivity is wrong by adding cruelty to animals to the district’s code of conduct.”
In its letters, TeachKind points out 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. Many serial killers and other murderers, including the shooters at Columbine High School and “Canadian cannibal” killer Luka Rocco Magnotta, first attacked and killed animals.
TeachKind’s staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations with students via Skype—all for free.
TeachKind’s letter to the superintendent of Middletown schools is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.