For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Parkersburg, W.Va. – After controversial horse racing trainer Bob Baffert spoke with Parkersburg High School students about his industry, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter this morning to school principal Kenneth DeMoss requesting equal time for a classroom discussion about the cruelty of horse racing.
TeachKind’s age-appropriate presentation would inform students that horse racing is notorious for deadly injuries and drug abuse—Baffert, for example, was caught giving horses a dangerous thyroid medication as a performance enhancer and has racked up at least 30 drug violations.
Fifty-eight horses died at tracks in West Virginia last year, and so far this year, 10 horses have died at Charles Town Races. Many horses’ careers end in a trip to the slaughterhouse, and an 8-year-old Thoroughbred who was injured at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in 2019 even ended up in a West Virginia landfill.
“An industry that’s built on gambling and rife with drug abuse is not one to promote to students,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind wants to help Parkersburg High School students exercise their critical thinking skills by giving them a balanced look at horse racing.”
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and its staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host virtual classroom presentations for students, all for free.