After Fatal Opossum Beating, PETA Offers Humane Education

After Boys Reportedly Beat Opossum With Bat, Animal Rights Group Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Compassion in the Classroom

For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Summerville, S.C. – After reports emerged on Monday that several teenagers allegedly used a baseball bat to beat an opossum repeatedly inside a garage—and posted the attack on Snapchat—TeachKind (PETA’s humane education division) sent letters this morning to schools in the area urging them to implement humane education.

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 and always take action when an animal is injured or in distress. The group has also offered the schools 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 and help schools comply with South Carolina’s character-education mandate. The kit supports teaching children to be considerate and compassionate and to do the right thing, even when others don’t.

“We’re facing a bullying epidemic, and these boys allegedly beat an opossum to death with a baseball bat 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 a shocking crime like this one from occurring again.”

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