Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Van Nuys) introduced House Resolution 28 last year. It puts the state of California on record that compliance with Education Code provisions should include a humane treatment of animals component. HR 28 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Education Committee next week. The assemblyman needs letters in support no later than close of business on March 31, 2016.
The resolution resolves that compliance with the Education Code should include “educating students on the principles of kindness and respect for animals and observance of laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to the humane treatment of animals,” according to Dababneh’s website. Current codes require that such education is taught but does not address funding or outright require the curriculum.
In recent years, social scientists, law enforcement officials, and mental health providers have come to realize the nexus between childhood animal abuse and adult criminal activity. Often, serial killers start with animals before moving on to human victims.
Social Compassion in Legislation supports this bill and provided these talking and reference points for animal welfare advocates who may not see the significance in such education:
- Compliance with Education Code provisions should include educating students on the principles of kindness and respect for animals and observance of laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to the humane treatment of animals, including wildlife and its environment.
- Humane education, such as that involving wildlife, the animals’ place in the overall environment, and the negative impacts humans can have on them, including death and extinction, can disrupt the cycle of animal and human abuse by decreasing a child’s potential to be abusive or neglectful toward animals and, consequently, to promote pro-social behavior toward humans.
- Numerous academic studies have established a correlation between animal cruelty during childhood and interpersonal violence in adulthood.
- Humane education programs seek to prevent violence by teaching empathy, compassion, and respect for all living beings and help children develop into caring, responsible citizens.
- Reputable nonprofit organizations are working to implement humane education programs through in-classroom presentations, teacher training, and the provision of relevant resources, and these organizations could assist California schools in complying with the Education Code’s humane education provisions without burdening school budgets.
- Children’s lack of exposure to understanding the role animals have in the economy of nature and in people’s lives contribute to a proliferation in the number of wild and domestic animals that are suffering from cruelty, abandonment, high animal shelter euthanasia rates, and, in extreme circumstances, extinction.
Please email your support letter to: Michelle.Reyes@asm.ca.gov Letters must be received by close of business March 31, 2016.