Valley Center High to Receive Empathy Curricula From PETA After Baseball Team Reportedly Kills Chicken

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Valley Center, Kan.

Following reports that the varsity baseball team and its coaching staff at Valley Center High School are currently under investigation for animal cruelty after allegedly killing a chicken on April 20, apparently on the school’s baseball diamond, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent Principal Eric Flaton a letter today urging him to help prevent future acts of violence by incorporating humane education into the school’s curricula. To support this, the group sent the school kindness-to-animals materials, including “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing violence by young people, and “Challenging Assumptions,” which helps students examine discrimination and other social justice issues. TeachKind is also offering the school a class set of Animalkind: Remarkable Discoveries About Animals and Revolutionary New Ways to Show Them Compassionby PETA President Ingrid Newkirk.

collage of AnimalKind cover and Teachkinds Empathy now cover

According to reports, the baseball team allegedly killed the chicken before leaving for an away game. The team’s season has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

“An epidemic of youth violence is sweeping through our schools, and—as shown by the killing of this chicken—it’s vital that young people be taught empathy from an early age,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Compassion can be cultivated, and TeachKind stands ready to help Valley Center High School teach its students that every sentient being, whether a chicken or a classmate, deserves empathy and respect.”

Sandy Hook Promise includes cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list, and research shows that approximately 43% of school shooters first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to communities at large. TeachKind resources are easy to integrate into schools’ existing curricula to help prevent future violence.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. TeachKind offers free presentations, lessons, and other resources to help teachers add compassion to their curricula. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

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