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

Section 732. Control and Discipline of Child.

“A. Each district board of education shall adopt a policy for the discipline of all children attending public school in that district, and for the investigation of reported incidents of bullying. The policy shall provide options for the methods of discipline of the students and shall define standards of conduct to which students are expected to conform. The policy shall: . . .

“10. Provide for an educational program as designed and developed by the State Department of Education and in consultation with the Office of Juvenile Affairs for students and parents in preventing, identifying, responding to and reporting incidents of bullying.” (Source)


Oklahoma Statutes 70-1210.229-6. Program of character education.

  1. “The board of education of every school district in this state may develop and implement a comprehensive program for character education in any single grade or combination of grades, prekindergarten through twelfth. The character education program shall focus on development of character traits in students. The program of character education may include, but shall not be limited to, the voluntary reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
  2. The State Department of Education shall develop and make available to all school districts through an Internet website, the following:
    1. Technical assistance upon request of a school district;
    1. A list of approved research-based character education programs, curricula, and materials which may be used by school districts;
    1. A character education honor roll that will recognize school districts that have successfully implemented a comprehensive school-district-wide program of character education and will highlight the positive impacts the program has had on each school or school district; and
    1. A character education reading list of books that may include, but is not limited to, books that illustrate models of good character and books that relate to the development of good character traits that may be used by schools in a character education program.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

April 2023/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

KFOR.com reported that two juveniles were allegedly seen violently beating a pair of dogs in an online video. The footage—which community members expressed difficulty watching due to its distressing content—reportedly circulated among area students and was followed by a second video that featured a threat against a local middle school.

April 2022/Tulsa, Oklahoma

KJRH.com reported that a minor was caught on film viciously beating, slamming onto concrete, and hauling away a dog by the flesh of the neck—apparently in punishment for wandering a short distance away from her during a walk.

June 2018/Rogers County, Oklahoma

NewsOn6.com reported that a 14-year-old boy had been arrested and was facing felony cruelty-to-animals charges for allegedly shooting his neighbor’s four horses. According to authorities, he shot each one in the heart and left them for dead.

February 2013/Tahlequah, Oklahoma

KRMG.com reported that local authorities were investigating the death of a pit bull after a teenager allegedly posted a photo online showing the dog after he had been shot to death by an arrow. The teen also allegedly posted a boastful statement about killing any pit bulls who show up near his home.