Teens’ Arrests After Kitten’s Death Prompt PETA Action

PETA's Humane Education Division Stresses Need to Ban Dissection in the Classroom—for Whole Community's Sake

For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2018

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Wichita Falls, Texas – Two Wichita Falls students have been arrested after allegedly stabbing and dissecting a kitten and posting a video of the incident on Snapchat. In response, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent a letter today urging Wichita Falls Independent School District Superintendent Michael Kuhrt to ban classroom dissection, incorporate humane science education into the curriculum, and use superior non-animal teaching methods instead.

In the letter, TeachKind notes that Wichita Falls students currently dissect animals such as cats, sharks, and salamanders in classroom exercises that bear similarities to the teens’ abuse of the kitten in this recent cruelty case. Numerous studies have shown that classroom dissection can foster callousness toward animals in students—and that people who demonstrate a blatant lack of empathy and disregard for life by committing violent acts on animals often go on to harm humans as well.

“Dissection teaches teens the dangerous lesson that other living beings are disposable,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging Wichita Falls to prevent future incidents of cruelty to animals by banning dissection and teaching empathy for others in the classroom.”

Non-animal methods, such as interactive computer programs, have been shown to teach biology as well as—and, in many cases, better than—dissection. In order to help ensure a smooth transition to humane education, TeachKind (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”) has offered to donate materials, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

TeachKind’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.

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“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