The mutilation and slaughter of 19 cats in the South Miami-Dade area of Florida has made national news recently. Now that 18-year-old Tyler Weinman has been arrested and charged in connection with the killings, an article published today points out that the accused cat killer participated in classroom dissections last year.
Fearing Weinman might be a danger to himself and/or others, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer has ordered a psychiatric evaluation—and house arrest if Weinman makes bail—noting, "I'm concerned about his safety and the safety of the community.''
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Smart woman. After all, most—if not all—notorious serial killers got their start abusing animals (think Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, and the Boston Strangler, just to name a few). Heck, even the main character in Showtime's popular series Dexter is a serial killer whose first victims were animals.
Parents and educators need to be aware that classroom dissections teach students that it's OK to be cruel. Schools should instead be teaching students to respect life by teaching anatomy via any of the many humane alternatives that are available. That's why we've written to the principal of Weinman's school urging him to stop all animal dissections and replace them with non-animal learning methods, which we are offering to provide free of charge. After all, I'm sure he doesn't want to risk adding any of his students' faces to the "Most Wanted" lists of criminals who "graduated" from dissecting frogs, rats, and cats to killing and cutting up men, women, and children.