California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

House ResolutionNo. 28

Introduced by Assembly Members Dababneh and Calderon

July 15, 2015

House Resolution No. 28—Relative to humane education.

P1    1WHEREAS, Sections 233.5 (part of the Hate Violence
2Prevention Act) and 60042 of the Education Code require
3instruction in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to promote
4and encourage kindness to pets and humane treatment of animals;

6WHEREAS, The States of Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey,
7Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin have adopted
8humane education laws similar to California’s; and

9WHEREAS, Numerous academic studies have established a
10correlation between animal cruelty during childhood and
11interpersonal violence in adulthood; and

12WHEREAS, Law enforcement agencies in major cities such as
13Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles have acknowledged this
14correlation and formed special enforcement units to combat animal
15cruelty; and

16WHEREAS, Humane education, such as that involving wildlife,
17the animals’ place in the overall environment, and the negative
18impacts humans can have on them, including death and extinction,
19can disrupt the cycle of animal and human abuse by decreasing a
20child’s potential to be abusive or neglectful toward animals and,
21consequently, to promote prosocial behavior toward humans; and

22WHEREAS, Humane education programs seek to prevent
23violence by teaching empathy, compassion, and respect for all
P2    1living beings and help children develop into caring, responsible
2citizens; and

3WHEREAS, Reputable nonprofit organizations are working to
4implement humane education programs through in-classroom
5presentations, teacher training, and the provision of relevant
6resources, and these organizations could assist California schools
7in complying with the Education Code’s humane education
8provisions without burdening school budgets; and

9WHEREAS, The experiences of these nonprofit organizations,
10as well as other teachers or organizations that have conducted pilot
11humane education efforts, provide evidence that student knowledge
12and positive perceptions of animals is not as commonplace as it
13should be; and

14WHEREAS, Deficiencies in children’s understanding of the
15role animals have in the economy of nature and in people’s lives
16contribute to a proliferation in the number of wild and domestic
17animals that are suffering from cruelty, abandonment, high animal
18shelter euthanasia rates, and, in extreme circumstances, extinction;

20WHEREAS, Schools and school districts are undertaking steps
21to rectify these deficiencies by promoting humane education and
22implementing it in classrooms; now, therefore, be it

23Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That
24compliance with Education Code provisions should include
25educating students on the principles of kindness and respect for
26animals and observance of laws, regulations, and policies pertaining
27to the humane treatment of animals, including wildlife and its
28environment; and be it further

29Resolved, That actions such as implementing statewide or
30districtwide “humane education days” and involving nonprofit
31organizations in humane education activities with local faculty
32and school administrators be considered for inclusion in compliance
33efforts; and be it further

34Resolved, That the Superintendent of Public Instruction be
35encouraged to ensure the incorporation of humane education in
36the core curriculum; and be it further

37Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
38of this resolution to the State Senate, the Superintendent of Public
P3    1Instruction, the State Board of Education, the State Department of
2Education, and the author for appropriate distribution.