October 29, 2004
To: Milwaukee, Ore.
From: Jacqueline Domac 310-713-7070; JackieD@peta.org
David Perle 757-622-7382, ext. 8410
Re: PETA Demands End to Gruesome Animal-Slaughter Program at Local High School
2 pages via fax and e-mail:
This morning, PETA fired off a letter to North Clackamas School District Superintendent Ron Naso, imploring him to immediately cease the slaughter of sheep and other animals as part of an animal-science class at North Clackamas High School. According to the district's own report, several sheep had their throats slit and necks broken while students looked on at the Sabin-Schellenberg Center, which is part of the school district.
At least one student withdrew from the class after observing that the animals were suffering and did not die immediately. Although the district has indicated that it might move the killing off-campus, PETA is calling for an end to the program altogether.
PETA points out that such training has no rightful place in the public school system because demonstrating violence toward animals is not only illegal, it also provides a dangerous lesson that desensitizes students to the well-being of others. Studies show that most perpetuators of violence against humans—including the killers at Columbine and other high schools—first "practiced" their crimes on animals.
"In today's world, violence in schools is becoming increasingly common," says PETA Humane Educator Jay Kelly. "Educators owe it to their students to provide them with a nonviolent education, and they owe it to the community not to teach students lessons of violence and disrespect for life."
For more information, please visit PETA's Web site TeachKind.org.
PETA's letter to North Clackamas School District Superintendent Ron Naso follows.
October 29, 2004
Ron Naso, Superintendent
North Clackamas School District
4444 S.E. Lake Rd.
Milwaukie, OR 97222
Dear Mr. Naso:
As a member of the National Education Association and an award-winning educator, I am incensed to learn of students' being exposed to the gruesome slaughter of sheep in their animal science class at Clackamas High School. According to the school district's report, a mobile slaughtering service slit the throats and broke the necks of several sheep as a high school "lesson" in animal science, traumatizing students to the point of withdrawing from the course.
Teaching students to care for animals fosters respect and sensitivity. But demonstrating violence toward animals is not only illegal, it also provides a dangerous lesson that desensitizes students to the well-being of others. Such training has no rightful place in our public school system. Although some claim that it's necessary for students to understand how to raise animals for food in farm communities, with a moment's thought, most would agree that such a curriculum has no meaningful application to today's factory-farm practices.
Demonstrating killing techniques to students after encouraging their natural sense of empathy and compassion for animals is beyond the realm of acceptable curriculum content. For this reason, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for public schools to immediately cease raising and slaughtering animals on school grounds and to remove the practice from any existing courses.
For more than 15 years, North Clackamas public schools have had a proud history of character education based on compassion and respect for others. But slaughtering animals in class flies in the face of such virtues. Studies repeatedly reveal that most perpetrators of human abuse first "practiced" their crimes on animals. With violence in our schools at an all-time high and given the undeniable connection between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, it is imperative that slaughtering animals be eliminated from the public school system.
I look forward to working with you to create a safer, more productive learning environment for young students. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Education Policy Specialist
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
cc: Vicki Chambers, Assistant Superintendent, North Clackamas Public Schools
Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction