2014-05-16 / Letters

PETA notices case

(The following letter was sent to principals at Portland and South Portland schools on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It was in response to two girls from South Portland who are accused of recording themselves putting a kitten in a microwave.)

To the editor:

My name is Nina, and I’m writing from TeachKind, PETA’s humane-education division. We work with hundreds of teachers nationwide to bring compassion to the classroom. We have heard from members of the South Portland community who are deeply disturbed that two South Portland teenagers are alleged to have microwaved an 8-week-old kitten, reportedly later posting video footage of the incident on social media sites. Authorities are wisely taking this case seriously. As you may know, medical experts and top law-enforcement officials agree: The link between cruelty to animals and interpersonal violence is undeniable. In fact, the FBI uses reports of animal abuse while gauging the threat potential of suspected and known criminals, and the American Psychiatric Association identifies cruelty to animals as one of the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorders. Many serial murderers, including school shooters, “began” with animals, and animal abuse often coincides with domestic violence.

The prevention of violence can start in the classroom if students are taught to have empathy for all beings. Might you consider incorporating humane education into your curriculum? That way, you’d have a chance to reach kids before they ever do something that puts a life in danger. TeachKind is here to help! I would love to send your school a free anti-violence poster from our youth division. The poster encourages students to report cruelty to animals whenever they discover it—and displaying it in a prominent location could help save a life. Our staff is always available to send free materials, suggest free lesson plans from TeachKind.org, and even host free classroom presentations with your students via Skype. We’re here to assist you in any way that we can in order to ensure that your efforts to teach kindness are successful.

On behalf of our more than 3 million members and supporters globally, thousands of whom proudly reside in Maine, we thank you for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

Nina Kahn
TeachKind Coordinator, PETA

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