New York, NY Upholding the Humane Education Mandate

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New York, NY, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Introduced on 9/13/06 and sent to committee

Source File: http://webdocs.nyccouncil.info/textfiles/Res%200497-2006.htm?CFID=1743430&CFTOKEN=43428814

Text:

Res. No. 497
Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to help increase compliance with Section 809 of the New York State Education Law, which requires instruction on the humane treatment and protection of animals, by issuing a memorandum to all New York City public schools that notifies them of the humane education mandate in Section 809 and by requiring that all elementary school principals direct their teachers to act in accordance with this requirement.

Whereas, Section 809 of the New York State Education Law (“Section 809”) requires that every elementary school under State control, or supported wholly or partly by public money of the State, provide instruction on the humane treatment and protection of animals and lessons on the importance of spaying and neutering (“humane education”); and

Whereas, According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), humane education cultivates empathy, compassion and respect in our youth towards all living beings and helps children develop into caring, responsible citizens; and

Whereas, According to the Humane Society of the U.S., sociological and psychological research studies confirm that there is a strong correlation between animal cruelty and violence against humans, and that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated animal abuse; and

Whereas, Violence among youth is widespread in our communities today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and research studies support the proposition that humane education is a valuable deterrent to violence and a first defense in breaking cycles of violence; and

Whereas, Section 809 provides that the penalty for non-compliance with the humane education mandate is withdrawal of public school funding; and

Whereas, Despite Section 809’s strong mandate promoting humane education, animal rights advocates maintain that most administrators and teachers are unaware of the law, and the law’s penalty provision has not been enforced; and

Whereas, Instruction in humane education can easily and effectively be integrated into a standards-based curriculum; and

Whereas, Section 809 does not require teacher training in humane education; and

Whereas, Several organizations, such as the ASPCA, Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART), International Institute for Humane Education (IIHE), and Roots and Shoots (part of the Jane Goodall Institute), are working to implement humane education in school programs through in-classroom presentations, teacher training, and an array of relevant resources; and

Whereas, These same organizations can assist New York City schools in complying with this important law designed to teach children the character-building virtues of compassion, kindness and respect, and can help schools utilize staff development days to train teachers in how to implement humane education in their classes; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York City Department of Education to help increase compliance with Section 809 of the New York State Education Law, which requires instruction on the humane treatment and protection of animals, by issuing a memorandum to all New York City public schools that notifies them of the humane education mandate in Section 809, and by requiring that all elementary school principals direct their teachers to act in accordance with this requirement.

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