An animal rights organization has sent letters to schools in Lee County urging them to implement 'humane education' after teenagers were filmed abusing cats in two recent incidents.
According to TeachKind - PETA’s humane education division - one video, which was reportedly shared for three weeks around Mariner High School before a student turned in the alleged abuser, shows a teen - who has since been arrested on a third-degree felony charge - throwing a cat more than 30 feet into the air and then watching her fall to her apparent death.
The other video, which was reportedly shared on Snapchat, allegedly shows a student at Lehigh Senior High School luring a cat over to him before violently kicking the animal.
TeachKind has asked the district superintendent to ensure that students know to report cruelty to animals when they see it, offering free posters to the area’s high schools and middle schools and curriculum kits to elementary schools.
PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns, Marta Holmberg, said: "We’re facing a bullying epidemic, so when two teens brazenly abuse - and in one case reportedly kill - cats and brag about it at school and on social media, it’s cause for serious concern.
"TeachKind is urging schools to help prevent incidents of cruelty to animals by teaching kids respect for others."
TeachKind says that according to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large.