Reedley-Area Schools to Receive Empathy Curricula From PETA After Child Kicks Guinea Pig to Death

For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Reedley, Calif.

Following reports that a 12-year-old was caught on video kicking a guinea pig to death, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent Kings Canyon Unified School District Superintendent John Campbell an urgent letter today, during National Youth Violence Prevention Week (April 22–26), urging him to help prevent future acts of violence by incorporating humane education into the district’s curricula. To support this, the group sent the district kindness-to-animals educational materials, including Empathy Now, a guide to preventing violence by young people, and its Share the World curriculum kit, which includes lesson plans that aim to foster empathy for animals and are appropriate for even the youngest learners. TeachKind is also sending Challenging Assumptions, which helps examine discrimination and other social justice issues, for the district’s secondary students, along with a set of anti-bullying posters.

teachkind empathy now cover image child and dog

Disturbing video footage of the attack shows a child as he chases a terrified chicken in the front yard of a home before turning his attention to the guinea pigs in an enclosure on the lawn. The child is seen lifting the enclosure and punting one of the guinea pigs twice—once with enough force to launch the animal several feet across the yard—before fleeing the scene.

“A child who kicks a vulnerable animal to death desperately needs a lesson in empathy and shouldn’t be allowed around other vulnerable animals,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Compassion can be cultivated, and TeachKind stands ready to help Kings Canyon schools teach all its students that every sentient being, whether a guinea pig or a classmate, deserves empathy and respect.”

Sandy Hook Promise includes cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list, and research shows that approximately 43% of school shooters first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to communities at large. TeachKind resources are easy to integrate into schools’ existing curricula to help prevent future violence.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. TeachKind offers free presentations, lessons, and other resources to help teachers add compassion to their curricula. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

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