Kids Hurting Animals

As mental-health and law-enforcement experts well know, cruelty to animals and violence against humans are inextricably linked. Many educators are aware that serial killers and school shooters—including alleged killers Salvador Ramos, Payton Gendron, Nikolas Cruz, and Ethan Crumbley—tend to have a history of cruelty to animals, and Sandy Hook Promise has cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list.

Forty-three percent of perpetrators of schoolyard massacres commit acts of cruelty to animals first. Educators can help prevent future tragedies by including kindness to animals in the curriculum. Amid the current epidemic of youth violence, PETA urges everyone to report every act of cruelty against animals and calls on authorities to take each animal abuse claim seriously—for the sake of the animal victims and to help prevent future harm. Lives may depend on it.

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State Laws


“(a) (1) In this section, “restorative approaches” means a relationshipfocused student discipline model that: (i) Is preventive and proactive;     (ii) Emphasizes building strong relationships and setting clear behavioral expectations that contribute to the well–being of the school community;     (iii) In response to behavior that violates the clear behavioral expectations that contribute to the well–being of the school community, focuses on accountability for any harm done by the problem behavior; and     (iv) Addresses ways to repair the relationships affected by the problem behavior with the voluntary participation of an individual who was harmed.    (2) “Restorative approaches” may include:     (i) Conflict resolution;     (ii) Mediation;     (iii) Peer mediation;     (iv) Circle processes;     (v) Restorative conferences;     (vi) Social emotional learning;     (vii) Trauma–informed care;     (viii) Positive behavioral intervention supports; and     (ix) Rehabilitation.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

July 2022/Rockville, Maryland

WTOP.com reported that three juveniles were suspected of killing a goose at Lake New Mark. According to police reports, the goose’s family members were in distress as the suspects were seen running away.

May 2021/Frostburg, Maryland

Times-News.com reported that two 16-year-old boys had been arrested on felony cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly killing a cat and leaving the animal’s body on a playground at Mount Pleasant Park.

May 2019/Allegany County, Maryland

BaltimoreSun.com reported that two teenagers had posted a video on Snapchat after hitting a deer with their car. They taunted and threw bottles at the animal, who had sustained two broken legs. The teenagers faced charges of cruelty to animals, littering, and underage possession of an alcoholic beverage.

January 2018/Baltimore, Maryland

WBALTV.com reported that five youths had been accused of viciously beating, stabbing, and setting a cat on fire, eventually killing her.

September 2016/Cecil County, Maryland

CecilDaily.com reported that two teenage girls had been suspected of abusing cats in a video that circulated on Facebook. According to reports, the video appears to show the two juveniles throwing cats into an above-ground pool full of green water and beating on the side of the pool where a cat was trying to escape. The case was reportedly under investigation.

May 2016/Princess Anne, Maryland

WBOC.com reported that two children had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly throwing two kittens against a dumpster and attempting to drown them. The kittens were reportedly receiving veterinary care and recovering.

November 2014/Fort Meade, Maryland

EyeOnAnnapolis.net reported that a 17-year-old had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals (among other offenses) after allegedly pointing a handgun at a dog and his guardian and forcing the guardian to drive him to a specified location. Reportedly, no one was harmed, and the suspect turned himself in.