Teen Allegedly Stomps On, Kills Raccoon, Prompting PETA to Offer Humane Education

PETA's Humane-Education Division Stresses Need for School Policies That Prohibit Cruelty to Animals

For Immediate Release:
November 24, 2015

Catie Cryar 202-483-7382

Hamilton County, Tenn. – On the heels of reports that a 15-year-old East Hamilton High School student allegedly stomped on, skinned, and killed a raccoon in the school’s parking lot (which was caught on video and shared via Snapchat), TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—rushed letters today to schools in the Hamilton County Department of Education school district to call for humane education in the classroom. TeachKind has also asked the superintendent to include a prohibition on cruelty to animals in the district’s zero-tolerance policy.

In its letters, TeachKind explains that abusing animals can lead to continued antisocial behavior, from further acts of cruelty against animals to bullying, aggression, and violence against humans. TeachKind and PETA—whose mottos read, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—are also offering free copies of their “Abuse: Report It if You See It” poster to each school in the area in the hope of preventing future abuse.

“This raccoon’s agonizing death is a painful reminder that now is the time to start teaching young people kindness,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is asking local schools to let students know that any kind of cruelty or insensitivity is wrong by implementing humane education into school curriculum immediately.”

As TeachKind points out in its letters, many school shooters have a history of abusing animals—making early enforcement action even more crucial. 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. 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 letters to the district superintendent and to schools in the Hamilton County Department of Education school district are 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