PETA Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Compassion in the Classroom After Cruel Video Is Shared on Social Media
For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2018
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Stanislaus County, Calif. – A Patterson teenager was arrested for felony cruelty to animals on Friday, after a video showing him allegedly hurling a kitten into a large body of water surfaced on Facebook, prompting TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—to send letters today to schools in the area urging them to implement humane education. Authorities have reportedly also arrested the person who filmed the incident, which is believed to have occurred about a year ago. It’s not known whether the kitten survived.
TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has asked the district superintendent to ensure that students know to report cruelty to animals when they see it. The group has also offered the area’s high schools and middle schools free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and sent elementary schools its Share the World curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners. These kits also help schools comply with California’s character-education mandate, which states that students must be taught kindness to animals.
“We’re facing a bullying epidemic, and when a teenager throws a kitten into the water while his friend films the abuse instead of stopping it, there’s cause for serious concern,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to help prevent future acts of cruelty by teaching students to have respect for all living beings.”
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 is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.
TeachKind contacted schools in Ontario, California, after a similar incident that occurred in December, in which a teenager was filmed throwing a cat approximately 20 yards onto the street in a video that subsequently went viral.
The group’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit TeachKind.org.