Reports That Teens Killed Birds Prompt Offer of Humane Education

PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Compassion in the Classroom After Teens Allegedly Kill Peer's Birds, Smear Their Blood Around the House

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2018

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Lenoir County, N.C. – Two teenagers have been arrested and charged on numerous counts after reportedly breaking into a classmate’s house earlier this month, killing her birds, and smearing the dead animals’ blood all over the furniture, prompting TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—to send letters today to schools in the area urging them to implement humane education.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has asked the district superintendent to ensure that students know to report cruelty to animals when they see it. The group has also offered the area’s high schools and middle schools free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and sent elementary schools its Share the World curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners. These kits also help schools comply with North Carolina’s character-education mandate, which states that students must be taught kindness and compassion.

“We’re facing a bullying epidemic, and when two teenagers violently kill a family’s birds and smear the animals’ blood everywhere, there’s cause for serious concern,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to help prevent future acts of cruelty by teaching students to have respect for all living beings.”

TeachKind notes that, according to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals—such as the suspected gunman in Wednesday’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, who reportedly talked about shooting small animals—are often repeat offenders who pose a very serious threat to the community at large. Its staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

The group’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind