For Immediate Release:
April 6, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Plattsburgh, N.Y. – Following reports that a local student faces cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly hurling a cat into a wall, as shown in a video posted on social media, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—just sent a letter to Plattsburgh City School District Superintendent Jay Lebrun urging him to honor New York state’s mandate to provide instruction “in the humane treatment and protection of animals” by using the group’s free resources. These include a K–12 kindness-to-animals curriculum and “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing youth violence against animals.
The letter follows PETA’s offer to local authorities to help cover veterinary care for the cat.
“If reports are true that this student threw a cat into a wall, he needs psychiatric counseling and should be barred from ever being around animals again,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “In the meantime, TeachKind is on standby to help local schools follow the state’s humane education mandate, because violence is wrong whether the victim is a cat or a classmate.”
TeachKind notes that New York’s humane education law is the strongest in the country and asserts that schools should not receive public funding if they fail to teach students to be kind to animals. Research also shows that 43% of perpetrators of schoolyard massacres first committed acts of cruelty against animals, usually dogs or cats—so young animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large. TeachKind’s other resources include its free high school social justice curriculum, “Challenging Assumptions,” and its “Share the World” program kit for young children.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.