When the following incident occurred, I was so ticked off I joined PETA. I sent them a note about what happened and why I was joining. The reason being the news media just didn't seem to make the connection that animal abuse, and the enjoyment of it, inevitably leads to people abuse. PETA was the only group I came across that made this connection.
Considering that Trinity Christian Academy was already being scrutinized for not doing anything about suspected child sex predators lurking on campus, I was surprised this obvious link was ignored by the local media.
Actually, I've heard harsher stories, from a credible source, about kids raising rabbits only to be forced into killing them for the purposes of dissection. I doubt that's happening anymore, what with all the other negative publicity the school has received.
I totally missed this article that appeared on PETA's website on May 31, 2007. Apparently, PETA sent Trinity Christian Academy a letter asking them to make 'humane education a priority at Trinity Christian Academy.'
They also enclosed a "Kindness Kit".
The 'Kindness Kit', according to the article, contained: "handy tips, educational videos, and information on how to teach kids to interact with animals—like not killing bunnies in the frickin' classroom, for a start.'
Teacher Abuses a Rabbit for His Students.
Here is the letter sent to Mr. Clayton Lindstam:
May 31, 2007
Clay Lindstam, Administrator
Trinity Christian Academy
800 Hammond Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221
Dear Mr. Lindstam:
PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization, with more than 1.6 million members and supporters dedicated to animal protection. We have recently been inundated with calls from Jacksonville-area residents who are deeply upset by the incident involving a biology teacher who intentionally fed a live rabbit to a python in front of students at Trinity Christian Academy. Video footage of the rabbit’s demise is currently circulating on the Internet.
The fact that snakes hunt and eat other animals for survival in the wild is no excuse for this sorry spectacle. The domesticated rabbit used by the teacher was deprived of what any prey animal has in a natural setting: the chance to escape. The little black rabbit had no way of defending herself; she was grasped tightly and deliberately held in front of the python in order to "bait" the snake. Far from being an "educational experience," this demonstration only taught the students that it is acceptable to be cruel to others and take pleasure in watching them suffer and die. In this era of school shootings, lessons of compassion and empathy have never been more crucial. Violent spectacles—such as this one—have no place in the classroom.
We urge you to make humane education a priority at Trinity Christian Academy. We will be sending you a free copy of Just Choices, a humane education program for middle- and high-school students. Just Choices encourages students to explore new ideas and reevaluate old ones while developing a strong understanding and appreciation of historical and contemporary social justice movements. Through this program, students learn how their actions affect others, and they become inspired to take on social issues with passionate civic engagement. The program reinforces reading comprehension skills, civic responsibility, and analytical thinking and reasoning. It also meets U.S. national standards for education in several areas.
Please let us know what measures Trinity Christian Academy is taking to ensure that similar incidents of cruelty do not occur on school grounds in the future so that we can inform our members. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this case further with you. I can be reached at (number deleted by CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL).
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Stephanie Bell, Cruelty Caseworker
Domestic Animal Issues & Abuse Department
NOTE: For full effect, check out the actual letterhead, with the appropriate image of a white rabbit on the top.
PDF of letter to Lindstam.