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

Utah Code Part 6: Bullying and Hazing

“(2) To the extent that state or federal funding is available for this purpose, school boards are encouraged to implement programs or initiatives, in addition to the training described in Subsection (1), to provide for training and education regarding, and the prevention of, bullying, hazing, abusive conduct, and retaliation.” (Source)

R277-475-3. Patriotic, Civic and Character Education.

“(1) An LEA shall provide instruction for patriotic, civic and character education in the social studies curricula of kindergarten through grade twelve.(2) An LEA shall ensure an educator has responsibility for patriotic, civic and character education taught in an integrated school curriculum and in the regular course of school work. (Source)

R277-475-7. Civic Engagement.

“B. Civic and character education shall be achieved through an integrated school curriculum and in the regular course of school work.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

November 2022/Orem, Utah

ABC4.com reported that three teens allegedly dumped dish soap or a similar substance into a family’s koi pond, killing about a dozen adult fish and many juvenile fish.

June 2014/St. George, Utah

Fox13Now.com reported that a 16-year-old boy had been arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a kitten with a blow-dart gun. The cat was reportedly shot twice through the skull.

February 2014/Washington City, Utah

StGeorgeUtah.com reported that a teenage boy had been suspected of shooting a cat with a bow and arrow. The cat was reportedly found with an arrow shot through his face and coming out of his shoulder blade. He received veterinary care and survived the attack.