For Immediate Release:
January 21, 2022
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Bucyrus, Ohio – Following reports that the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department is investigating allegations that a 17-year-old hit a dog with his car and shared video of himself decapitating the animal on social media, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter to Superintendent Greg Nickoli today offering to provide Pioneer Career & Technology Center and surrounding schools with a K–12 kindness-to-animals curriculum and “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing youth violence against animals. The group is also offering to host free, virtual empathy-building virtual presentations to help prevent future violence.
“If reports are true that this teenager killed and decapitated this dog and then bragged about it on social media, 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, PETA’s TeachKind is on standby to help schools teach students that violence is wrong, whether the victim is an animal or a classmate.”
TeachKind notes that research shows that 43% of perpetrators of schoolyard massacres first committed acts of cruelty against animals, usually against dogs and cats—so juvenile animal abusers 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, which is appropriate for young children. Its staff members—who are former classroom teachers—are also offering to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and host virtual discussions, 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 letters to the superintendents are available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.