PETA Recognizes Animal-Friendly Education at Two Compton Schools

Elementary School Teacher Is Second Runner-Up in Teacher of the Year Contest—Group Donates Dissection Software to High School Classroom

For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2013

Tasgola Bruner  202-483-7382

Los Angeles — As the 2012 to 2013 school year draws to a close, PETA is recognizing the work of progressive teachers and students by sending gifts to two Compton schools: a framed certificate to Clarence A. Dickison Elementary School teacher Alicia Weyeneth, who is being awarded the second runner-up spot in the 2013 Teacher of the Year contest presented by TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division, dissection software to King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, whose Animal Rights Club lobbied for dissection-free biology classes and a Compassionate Teacher Award for King Drew teacher Tracy Cross.

“Teaching kids to have empathy for animals—by using modern, humane methods for biology instruction and by always encouraging kindness to animals—is an important way to combat violence and mold kids into caring adults,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “PETA and TeachKind are proud to recognize educators and to supply materials for teaching students the most important lesson of all—having compassion for others.”

Weyeneth, who went vegetarian 21 years ago, teaches her fourth-grade students to be kind to animals. No topic is off the table, whether it’s taking a stand against dog fighting, stressing the importance of spaying and neutering, steering clear of circuses that use animals, or never buying products that were tested on animals. Weyeneth often shares her delicious vegan snacks with her students, and she regularly orders PETA’s informative and fun literature, including the popular book 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals.

King Drew teacher Tracy Cross’ physiology classroom will soon feature the popular Digital Frog 2.5 software, which PETA has made available through TeachKind’s international educational grants program. It allows students to “cut” with a digital scalpel and, unlike animals killed for dissection, can be used over and over. It has also been shown to teach anatomy better than animal dissection. PETA worked with the student Animal Rights Club to educate the school about the benefits of the virtual dissection software.

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