Humane Education Is Mandated in New York Elementary Schools
Humane education is mandated in New York schools for all elementary students, but it is not promoted or enforced. Yet, we live in an age where bullying is a major concern, and humane education can be part of the solution. Teaching kindness to animals also teaches larger concepts such as responsibility, compassion, environmental awareness, generosity, empathy — a small list of character traits that make students better adults.
We must talk to our teachers, administrators, and school boards to ensure this mandate is adhered to. Find someone inside your local system who will be an ally, and persevere. Perseverance recently saved some puppy mill dogs chained outside in sub-zero temperatures in upstate NY from a continuing life — or death — in horrific conditions, but who failed to teach their owner that this was not acceptable? If we push for small steps to be taken in our education system, larger ones will follow.
We can’t give up. We are the voice for the animals, and we need to be ever watchful about legal changes that benefit a few people but hurt animals. There is now a bill pending which would require the teaching of hunting and fishing in our physical education classes. Why? To get kids outdoors? Why not hiking, biking, golf? With the history of violence in our schools, why put more firearms in the hands of children who do not yet have the emotional or academic resources to make good choices? Why desensitize them further by encouraging the killing of innocent creatures for sport?
As difficult as it is to be aware of the endless stories of cruelty we are confronted with every day, it is crucial to educate ourselves and others, stay on track, and reach out to everyone we can, whenever we can, to stop the bad news. We cannot control such things as the weather this winter, but we can make a difference for animals if we persevere.
As always, for the animals,
New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XXVII, No.2, Fall/Winter 2013-2014.