United Poultry Concerns
Promoting the compassionate and respectful
treatment of domestic fowl

PO Box 150 • Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
(757) 678-7875 • FAX (757) 678-5070

October 4, 2002
Contact: Karen Davis 757-678-7875

Teacher Brutally Hatchets Helpless Bird to Death Before Young Students
Teacher Compares Hatchet Killing to Use of "Screwdriver and Hammer"

Machipongo, VA - Washington Island School District administrators should adopt an immediate written policy banning the instructional killing of birds and other animals. The Wisconsin teacher who killed a chicken on school property on September 20 crassly compared this bird to a "thing," and the hatchet he used to kill her with he referred to as a tool "in the sense of a screwdriver or a hammer."

An October 2 article in the Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wisconsin) shows the extent to which Washington Island school administrators and the teacher, Steve Waldron, are manipulating language to insulate students (and themselves) from the reality of this cruel and unnecessary schoolyard killing. It's absurd to assert, as the School Board president does, that this teacher "deals with life and death in a most respectful manner." Mr. Waldron didn't "deal with" death-HE DEALT OUT DEATH and seeks to hide his deed in a blather of platitudes and euphemisms.

Parents and others who objected to the schoolyard killing of an animal might want to use the episode to reflect on why a killing they consider unsuitable to be seen is okay to commit behind the closed doors of a slaughterhouse. In some Asian cultures, dogs are killed for food. Should students be given "diversity" lessons in how other cultures kill animals whom most Americans regard as family companions?

Chickens experience pain, terror, and suffering the same as mammals. Avian physiologist Dr. Lesley J. Rogers points out that "the assumption that birds, including chickens, are not as highly evolved as mammals is incorrect."

"If we wonder where so much of our violence and callous disregard for life comes from, we need to look at the classroom as well as the hypocrisy we are passing on to our children," Dr. Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, insists. "The idea that slaughter is 'necessary' and 'respectful' is ridiculous, and slaughtering a chicken in front of students is not the same kind of demonstration as showing them how a baby is born."

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information visit www.UPC-online.org

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