For immediate publication:
May 25, 2021
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Frostburg, Md. – Following reports that two local teenagers were charged with cruelty after they were accused of killing a cat and leaving the animal’s body in a playground, TeachKind – PETA’s Human Education Division – sent a letter to Superintendent Jeffrey this morning Blank from Allegany County Schools, where he urged him to translate lessons into compassion.
“If these reports are true, these teenagers tortured a cat to death and threw the animal’s body away like a broken toy,” said Marta Holmberg, PETA senior director, youth programs. “PETA’s TeachKind division is on standby to help schools teach students that violence is wrong, regardless of whether the victim is an animal or a classmate.”
The Maryland Code requires that county authorities develop a “Program to Prevent Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation of Students, Staff, Volunteers, and Parents.” TeachKind is sending the school district its Empathy Now guide for educators to tackle and prevent youth violence against animals, along with its free high school social justice curriculum, Challenging Assumptions and Share the World program kit suitable for youngsters Children.
TeachKind notes that according to leading mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, perpetrators of animal violence are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the entire community. The staff, who are former class teachers, can send materials to schools for free, suggest lesson plans, and even run virtual classroom presentations for students.
TeachKind – whose motto is in part: “We must not abuse animals in any way” – contradicts speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group’s letter to Blank is available upon request. More information is available at TeachKind.org.