Teacher’s Killing of Animals at School Prompts Call to End School’s FFA Animal Program

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.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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