For Immediate Release:
April 28, 2021
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Lincoln, Neb. – This morning, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter to Superintendent Steve Joel of Lincoln Public Schools urging him to implement lessons in compassion. The appeal follows reports that two local teenagers have been accused of killing a goose, who left behind seven eggs—which were not viable after the attack—and her grieving mate, who has stayed at the nest they built together. Geese choose life partners and are models of fidelity and loyalty to their mates as well as protective of their young, even at the expense of their own lives.
“If these reports are true, these teens tore apart a family of gentle birds who only wanted and had the right to be left in peace,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA’s TeachKind division is on standby to help schools prevent violence by teaching students to understand and respect others, regardless of how they look, where they are from, or any other factor that leads to bullying or other types of harm.”
Nebraska’s character education statute requires that educators provide instruction that emphasizes “common honesty, morality, courtesy, [and] obedience to law.” TeachKind is sending the school district its “Empathy Now” guide for educators to help address and prevent youth violence against animals along with 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 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. Its staff—comprised 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 Joel is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.