For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2021
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Fort Bend County, Texas – This morning, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter to Superintendent Charles Dupre of the Fort Bend Independent School District urging him to implement lessons in compassion. The appeal comes after a former teacher in the district was charged with cruelty to animals. According to news sources, court documents reveal that he has admitted to investigators that he tortured and killed multiple cats, including by bludgeoning a 4-month-old kitten to death.
“If these reports are true, a man who was supposed to be a role model for students beat four cats to death,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA’s TeachKind division is on standby to help students learn how to recognize all forms of bullying and violence—and stop them in their tracks.”
Texas law requires that educators “integrate positive character traits,” including “kindness, empathy, [and] compassion.” TeachKind is sending the school district its “Empathy Now” guide for educators to help address and prevent violence against animals; its free high school social justice curriculum, “Challenging Assumptions”; and its “Share the World” program kit, which is appropriate for young children.
TeachKind notes that it’s common for young people to have witnessed animal abuse, that doing so is a form of trauma, and that children who have observed acts of cruelty to animals are more likely to abuse animals themselves. Its staff—composed of former classroom teachers—is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host virtual classroom presentations for students, all for free.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s letter to Dupre is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.