School Fire Prompts Call for End to ‘Living Classroom’ Animal Program

PETA's Humane-Education Division Asks Elementary School to Adopt Out Hundreds of Animals to Loving Homes for Safety's Sake

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2015

Contact:
Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Taylorsville, Utah – Following news that a fire in a portable trailer at Taylorsville’s John C. Fremont Elementary School nearly killed more than a dozen small mammals and hundreds of fish, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—sent an urgent letter to the school this morning calling for an end to its “living classroom” program. Pointing out that animals in classrooms often have their natural instincts ignored and are left alone and vulnerable overnight and on the weekends, TeachKind suggests adopting out all the animals in Fremont Elementary’s classrooms to loving homes.

“Nights and weekends mean loneliness and danger for animals in classrooms, as the near-fatal fire on Friday night shows,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “PETA and TeachKind hope Fremont Elementary will make the compassionate choice to find loving, safe homes for all the animals in its classrooms—and we’ll gladly provide lesson plans that teach kids how to appreciate animals without the use of classroom ‘pets,’ too.”

TeachKind and PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—also point out that animals used as class “pets” are often obtained from cruel breeding facilities, where they’re kept in filthy conditions, deprived of proper veterinary care, and left vulnerable to abuse. More information is available on TeachKind’s website here.

TeachKind’s staff is always available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations with students via Skype—all for free.

TeachKind’s letter is 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