Kids’ Arrest in Kitten-Drowning Case Prompts Offer of Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Compassion in the Classroom—for Whole Community's Sake

For Immediate Release:
May 31, 2016

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Princess Anne, Md. – Following reports that two juveniles have been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly throwing two kittens against a dumpster and trying to drown them in Somerset County, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—sent letters this morning to Somerset County Public Schools urging officials to implement humane education in the classroom and offering free copies of its “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” poster.

Kids Humane Education Picture

TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—have also asked the district superintendent to add a prohibition on cruelty to animals to the district’s policies and to ensure that students know there are serious consequences for hurting animals.

“If these kids tried to bash and drown two helpless kittens to death, there’s a dangerous lack of empathy at work,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “This country is facing a bullying epidemic, so TeachKind is calling on schools to teach students to practice kindness to animals and speak up when they see cruelty, no matter who the victim is.”

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. TeachKind’s staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

TeachKind’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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