For immediate release:
April 13, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Blair, Wisconsin. “This afternoon, TeachKind, PETA’s Humane Education Division, sent letters to Superintendent Jeffrey S. Eide of the Blair Taylor School District and all district counselors urging them to teach compassion lessons. The appeal follows reports that two local teenagers have been charged with a felony related to a video in which young men torture a possum, including pouring beer into its throat, throwing weights at it and stabbing it with a knife. One teenager reportedly confessed to beheading an animal with an ax.
“If these reports are correct, this possum suffered a horrible, excruciating death at the hands of young people desperate for lessons in empathy,” says Martha Holmberg, senior director of PETA’s youth programs. “TeachKind PETA is committed to helping schools prevent violence by teaching students to understand and respect others.”
The state promotes ethical education through the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership. TeachKind – whose motto, in particular, is that “animals are not ours to abuse” – offers the school district its Empathy Now guide for educators to help tackle and prevent youth violence against animals. as well as his World Learning Kits, suitable for young children.
TeachKind notes that, according to leading mental health and law enforcement officials, perpetrators of animal violence are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to society as a whole. Its staff, made up of former classroom teachers, can submit materials to schools for free, offer lesson plans, and even give classroom presentations to students via Zoom.
A letter from the Eide group is available upon request. For more information visit TeachKind.org.