Empathy Now: TeachKind Urges Humane Education in Response to Violent Student Attacks at El Paso Schools

El Paso, Texas – TeachKind, the humane education division of PETA, has reached out to the El Paso Independent School District following disturbing reports of animal abuse and violence in local schools. The organization sent an urgent letter to Superintendent Diana Sayavedra, emphasizing the importance of humane education to foster empathy for all living beings.

The incidents in question involve a student from Charles Q. Murphree PK–8 School caught on video beating a family’s dog, while another incident at Hurshel Antwine Middle School shows a student throwing a teacher to the ground during a classroom fight. TeachKind provided the district with educational materials such as “Empathy Now” and “Share the World” curriculum kits aimed at promoting empathy for animals and preventing violence among students.

Video footage of the dog abuse incident shared in a group chat captured the young person repeatedly kicking, stomping, and hitting the animal as it tried to escape. The disturbing audio included comments like, “Are you gonna make him throw up?” amidst laughter from onlookers. PETA’s Senior Director of Youth Programs, Marta Holmberg, emphasized the urgent need for compassion and empathy education in schools.

Cruelty to animals is recognized as one of the critical warning signs of violence by organizations like Sandy Hook Promise, with research indicating that a significant percentage of school shooters had previously engaged in animal cruelty. TeachKind resources are designed to help integrate empathy-building lessons into existing curricula to prevent future violent behavior among students.

PETA’s mission statement underscores that animals should not be subjected to any form of abuse, highlighting the importance of recognizing the sentience and value of every living being. The organization offers free Empathy Kits and resources to promote kindness and compassion, including free presentations and lessons for educators interested in incorporating empathy into their teaching practices.

For additional information and resources on humane education, interested parties can visit the TeachKind website or follow the organization on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In a time where empathy and respect for all living beings are crucial, TeachKind remains committed to supporting schools in promoting a culture of compassion and understanding among students.