Students in Gypsum flush squirrel, PETA steps in

GYPSUM, Colo. (KDVR) – Concerning reports connected to the harming of a rodent by several high school students in Gypsum have led to PETA stepping in to offer a helping hand to officials in a Colorado school district.

Several students enrolled at Eagle Valley High School allegedly filmed themselves flushing a squirrel down a toilet, according to PETA and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. After committing this tragic act, they published the video on social media.

“The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is aware of this incident and our School Resource Officer is working with the school officials, the students involved & their parents. Charges have been submitted, several student[s] suspended and the full story of the incident is being investigated,” the Sheriff’s Office posted in a Facebook comment on the video.

“Drowning would be every bit as painful and terrifying for a squirrel as it would be for another mammal, like a dog or a human,” PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg said. “Compassion and empathy can be learned, and TeachKind is on standby to help schools teach young people that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a squirrel or a student.”

TeachKind is the humane education-focused division of PETA. An alarming statistic highlighted in TeachKind’s letter to the school district said that 43% of school massacre perpetrators first committed acts of violence against animals. So, logically, limiting the number of students on campus who harm animals would presumably lower the chance of a school shooting occurring.

Those responsible have since been suspended, but officials at TeachKind have responded with their concerns in a letter to the superintendent of the district. They did this by offering up their free program designed to teach K-12 students, which carries a mantra of “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.”

“We urge you to equip your staff with the tools that they need to prevent further tragedies like this,” TeachKind Assistant Andrew Burton said in the letter sent to the superintendent of the Eagle County School District, Philip Qualman.

In addition to the offering of the program, they sent the district their Empathy Now guide to distribute to the student body, as well as both their Share the World and the Challenging Assumptions curriculums, which focus on teaching the golden rule and developing empathy for others in regardless of species, race, gender, sexual identity, age ir ability.

The programs include virtual presentations which are easy to attend and partake in, so if you run a program that could benefit from these programs, please reach out to TeachKind by visiting their website.

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