For Immediate Release:
April 15, 2022
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Sharon, Pa. – Following reports that a video has circulated depicting possible Sharon Middle School students tormenting and killing a mother cat and her kittens, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—has just rushed a letter to Superintendent Justi Glaros offering to provide the district with a K–12 kindness-to-animals curriculum and “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing youth violence against animals. The group is also offering to host free empathy-building virtual presentations to help prevent future violence.
The rumored incident—in which four juveniles were apparently captured on video shooting the cats with BB guns, hitting them with rocks and bricks, and dismembering them—would mark the second occurrence in just over two weeks to prompt outreach from TeachKind to Pennsylvania schools. In 2019, the group sent similar appeals to schools in the state three times.
“When children are taught that animals deserve respect, they learn to be kind to everyone,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is on standby to help schools teach students that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a cat or a classmate.”
TeachKind notes that research shows that 43% of perpetrators of school massacres first committed acts of cruelty against animals, usually dogs or cats—so juvenile animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large. TeachKind’s other resources include its free high school social justice curriculum, “Challenging Assumptions,” and its “Share the World” program kit for elementary school students.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.