PETA Stresses Need to Stop Using Animals After Teacher at Forest High School Drowns Opossum, Raccoons
For Immediate Release:
May 24, 2018
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Ocala, Fla. – After learning that a teacher in Forest High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program reportedly drowned an opossum and two raccoons in front of students because he believed that the animals were “nuisances” to the agricultural program, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter today urging the school to remove all animals from the FFA program immediately. In the letter, TeachKind notes that FFA programs that use animals foster callousness toward living beings and teach students that sensitive animals are merely objects to be bought, used, and slaughtered.
“Impressionable young people learn by example, so when a teacher torments and kills animals, it sends a dangerous message that violence toward others is acceptable,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging the school to remove animals from its harmful FFA program and to take steps to ensure that no more lives are lost on school grounds by teaching kids and educators to respect all living, feeling beings.”
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 lack empathy and can pose a serious threat to the community at large. Its staff is available to send schools materials (including anti-violence posters), suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations via Skype—all for free.
The group’s letter to Forest High School Principal Brent Carson is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.