TeachKind offers aid to Reedley schools after guinea pig abuse

Dear Editor:

Following alarming reports that a 12-year-old child in Reedley was caught on video kicking a guinea pig to death, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—has provided Kings Canyon Unified School District with educational materials that will help students process this incident and prevent similar tragedies from occurring.

Disturbing video footage shows the child chasing a terrified chicken in the front yard of a home before lifting an enclosure housing two guinea pigs. The child then kicks one of the guinea pigs twice—once with enough force to launch the animal several feet across the yard—before fleeing. Sandy Hook Promise includes cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list, and research shows that approximately 43% of school shooters first committed acts of violence against animals. Every instance of animal abuse must be handled with the seriousness it warrants.

A recent study of the connection between violence against animals and violence against humans concluded, “Teaching children to be more humane, compassionate, and respectful towards living beings can help reduce all types of violence.” Among the materials that TeachKind’s group of former educators has sent the district are guides to preventing violence by young people, lessons for all ages that help foster empathy for animals, and anti-bullying posters.

Compassion can be cultivated, and TeachKind stands ready to help Kings Canyon schools and parents teach children that every sentient being, whether a guinea pig or a classmate, deserves compassion and respect. Parents can request free materials by visiting TeachKind.org.

Sincerely,

Marta Homberg
Senior Director
TeachKind