PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Empathy in the Classroom—and Urges District to Enact a Policy Against Cruelty to Animals
For Immediate Release:
March 9, 2017
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Lancaster, Ohio – After news broke that a group of local high school students allegedly purchased six chicks from Tractor Supply Company and then snapped their necks and disposed of them, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—sent letters this morning calling on schools in the area to implement lessons in compassion.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—is mailing Lancaster elementary schools free copies of its Share the World curriculum kit, which includes lesson plans designed to help teachers educate students about empathy and kindness to animals. The group has also offered the schools free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and has asked the superintendent of Lancaster City Schools to add a prohibition against cruelty to animals to the district’s policies, noting that it’s vital that a standard of compassion be set and that students be taught to understand that violence toward any living being is wrong.
“In light of this alleged act of violence and the bullying epidemic that’s so prevalent in schools today, it’s crucial that educators teach students that it’s not acceptable to hurt animals, let alone snap their necks,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “PETA is urging Lancaster schools to implement humane education, enact a districtwide policy against cruelty to animals, and encourage students to report any abuse to animals that they witness.”
TeachKind notes that individuals who demonstrate a blatant disregard for life by hurting animals rarely stop there. 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 free of charge.
The group’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.