For Immediate Release:
November 21, 2022
Robin Goist 202-483-7382
Celina, Ohio – Following reports that a juvenile has been arrested in connection with a video posted to social media showing a teenager slamming a calf to the ground and hitting the animal in the face while the person filming laughs and encourages him to “beat the f*** out of” the animal, TeachKind (PETA’s humane education division) sent an urgent letter this morning to Celina City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ken Schmiesing along with kindness-to-animals curricula and “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing all kinds of violence by young people—for all educators in the district.
“The cruelty caught in this video illustrates exactly why young people must be taught empathy for animals from an early age,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Urgent intervention is needed in Mercer County, and TeachKind has provided the school district with the materials educators need to help students understand that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a calf or a classmate.”
Research shows that 43% of school shooters, including the perpetrator at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so juvenile animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large. Sandy Hook Promise has included cruelty to animals on its list of the “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence.”
TeachKind has also sent its free high school empathy-building curriculum, Challenging Assumptions, as well as its Share the World program kit for elementary school students, to help area schools achieve the Ohio Department of Education’s goals for social and emotional learning, which, according to the state, helps students “do better academically, socially, and behaviorally.”
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.