Los Angeles-based non-profit PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is reaching out to all Rutherford County schools after a 16-year-old boy brutally killed his family’s dog last week.
The organization wants to implement its animal education program in the district.
PETA member Nina Kahn told News 2 they took interest in Rutherford County after learning the boy, from Christiana, stabbed and killed his pet Boxer last Tuesday.
“Countless studies show that people who abuse animals rarely stop at that. But by promoting kindness to animals, through humane education, which is what TeachKind is set to do, schools have a chance to reach students before they commit an act of violence,” said Kahn, a TeachKind Coordinator with PETA.
She continued, “The link between animal abuse and abuse toward other people is undeniable. This has been documented by police officials, medical experts and the FBI. This latest case of animal cruelty magnifies the need to let students the importance of reporting abuse of any kind.”
PETA wants to distribute flyers, posters and other educational material to Rutherford County students. They also want to help students form an animal rights group.
James Evans, spokesperson for Rutherford County Schools, told News 2 a PETA representative sent an email to Christiana Middle School’s principal asking to distribute the posters. He was unaware if others schools had been contacted.
Evans wrote in an email, “It’s possible that other schools may have received a similar request, but the central office has not been informed of any other requests as of [Wednesday] afternoon. The principal of Christiana Middle School has replied to the request and advised the PETA representative to contact our staff attorney to have the request considered. Our staff attorney must approve any request from any organization for flyers or posters to be distributed at our schools to ensure the material is permitted under our school board policies.”
Evans said the teen charged with aggravated animal cruelty following last week’s killing is not a student at Christiana Middle School.
He said the boy is a registered student in Rutherford County but declined to say which school, citing privacy policies.
The dog suffered stab wounds, head trauma and bleeding and, according to the sheriff’s office, suffered “greatly.”
PETA said they want to work with students to prevent something similar from happening again.
- April 17, 2014: Rutherford County boy charged after killing pet Boxer