Is Your Child’s Teacher The Next Award-Winning, Animal-Rights Educator?

Eye On The Antis: June 2005

Daryl Kirby | June 1, 2005

School’s out for summer. The kids are thrilled, but some stay-at-home-moms and dads are already looking for good summer camps. Another group that can’t wait until August is the animal-rights organizations.

It seems that schools, public and private, have become a fertile recruiting ground for future animal-rights supporters. Both PETA and HSUS, the two big anti-hunting and anti-everything animal-rights organizations, have significant programs for kids and significant programs for teachers. Both give — as in just ask and it’s free —educational materials to teachers and students.

According to HSUS, its publications KIND News and KIND Teacher “are used by 35,000 teachers nationwide to supplement science, reading, writing, and character education curriculums.”

Many of the teachers who receive these animal-rights related educational materials are themselves believers in the animal-rights ideals. Others, I believe, are just teachers happy to receive free materials that include classroom discussion guides and assignments for the kids. That’s a little less work for them in preparing their own discussions and assignments.

HSUS just named the winner of its “2005 National KIND Teacher” award. The award is given by the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE), which is the youth-education affiliate of HSUS. The winner “stood out because his lessons and projects cover such a range of humane issues, from those affecting pets, to farm animals, to wildlife and the environment,” according to HSUS’s website. The teacher who won said that he “views education as crucial to improving the welfare of animals by changing peoples’ attitudes.”

Just last week I received a call from Billy Ralston, of Oglethorpe County. Billy’s 6th grade daughter, Kelley, was none too happy about her final English class assignment at Oglethorpe County Middle School in Lexington. The teacher passed out a bunch of PETA material and told the class that their final grade would be on a paper they write about PETA.

“I heard she’s a hippy, tree-hugger type,” Billy said of the teacher.

Frankly, I don’t care if someone is a hippy, tree-hugger. I don’t even care if that someone is a hippy tree-hugger who is also a teacher who is overflowing with delusional, utopian visions, who thinks we’ll have a world where all animals suddenly stop being animals, where snakes stop eating baby birds, and where people stop eating meat and cheese, drinking milk, wearing leather, and start letting your relatives die rather than support medical research that might save them.

In America we will go to war to protect our freedoms. One of those is the freedom and right to hold opinions, no matter how stupid or irrational. If a hippy, tree-hugger teacher wants to believe in and support animal rights, she has that right. Where I have monumental problems is when that teacher brings her animal-rights beliefs to the classroom and tries to indoctrinate impressionable 6th graders.

Kelley Ralston doesn’t need to learn about PETA in her 6th grade English class. She knows about PETA. She lost her grandfather to ALS, Lou Gherig’s disease. She knows PETA is against medical research that could save folks. Her daddy hunts and fishes, and folks in her community farm cows and chickens. Kelley knows what PETA thinks of us.

But if that teacher reached just one student, if just one young lady or young man went home that night and spent some time on the PETA website and was sucked in by what they read and saw, that’s one too many.

Ask your kids something tonight, for the sake of our ability in the future to go hunting or fishing or to drink a glass of milk or have a burger, please ask them if any of their teachers ever discussed animal-rights issues. If the answer is yes, visit the school. Find out what’s going on, and if it’s animal-rights related, do something about it.

Billy Ralston went to see the principal of his daughter’s school. He was pleased with the meeting, but while in the office a kid walked in… wearing a PETA sticker.

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