For Immediate Release:
November 18, 2022
Moira Colley 202-483-7382
Philadelphia – Following reports that a group of children around the ages of 10 to 13 threw bleach on a dog named aXurii and robbed her guardian, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—has just rushed a letter to School District of Philadelphia Deputy Superintendent of Academic Services ShaVon Savage, offering to provide the district with “Empathy Now” (a step-by-step, trauma-informed guide to preventing youth violence against animals) and to host free empathy-building virtual presentations for students. TeachKind previously urged the same district to take action after two students allowed their dogs to viciously attack a cat named Buddy last March.
TeachKind is also sharing with Savage other free resources, including its “Challenging Assumptions” program kit for high school students and its “Share the World” program kit for young children, in order to help district educators meet Pennsylvania’s requirements for humane education.
“This latest attack is yet another sign that the School District of Philadelphia must foster empathy in classrooms and address the epidemic of youth violence against animals,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind stands ready to help the district set a standard of compassion through educational materials developed by former teachers.”
According to mental-health and law-enforcement experts, cruelty to animals and violence against humans are linked. TeachKind notes that research shows that 43% of school shooters first committed acts of cruelty against animals, usually dogs or cats. Sandy Hook Promise has included cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list.
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.