For Immediate Release:
May 15, 2023
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Kansas City, Mo. – Amid reports that police are investigating a case involving two St. Teresa’s Academy students who allegedly killed a duckling and dumped the body in the school bathroom, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent an urgent letter today to St. Teresa’s President Dr. Siabhan May-Washington along with kindness-to-animals curricula and Empathy Now, a guide to preventing violence by young people.
According to news sources, two sophomores are believed to have killed the duckling, whose body was discovered by other students at the all-girls, college-preparatory high school—with a string around the animal’s neck—inside a trashcan in the bathroom.
“This vulnerable duckling’s death, apparently at the hands of two students, sent shockwaves through St. Teresa’s Academy and illustrates exactly why young people must be taught empathy for animals from an early age,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Compassion can be cultivated, and TeachKind is on standby to help teach young people that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a duck or a classmate.”
Sandy Hook Promise lists cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list, and research shows that approximately 43% of perpetrators of school shootings first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large. TeachKind resources would be easily integrated into the school’s existing curriculum to help prevent future violence.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. Its other free resources include a high school social justice curriculum (Challenging Assumptions) and the Share the World program kit for young children.