PETA's Humane Education Division Offers to Help Teach Compassion in the Classroom After Disturbing Video Surfaces on Social Media
For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2018
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Tuscumbia, Ala. – A video recently posted to Instagram shows a person—believed to be a high school student—stomping a young opossum to death while muttering, “Oh, boy.” Colbert County officials are investigating but have yet to identify the individual in the video, prompting PETA to offer a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty-to-animals charges of the person who killed the opossum.
Because the culprit is believed to be a local teenager, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—also sent letters today to schools in the area urging them to implement humane education. TeachKind 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.
“Violence is sweeping through our schools, and the relish that the person in this video took in stomping on a live opossum’s head is cause for serious concern,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to teach students to report cruelty to animals immediately, starting with any information that they might have about this disturbing video.”
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that according to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large.
Anyone with information about the video should call the Colbert County Animal Shelter at 256-381-4073.
The group’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.