High School Teacher Pushes Breedism and Hate, Assigns “People Should Not Own Pit Bulls” Paper – CALL TO ACTION

By Sloane Quealy-Miner

Apparently breedism, the canine equivalent to racism is alive and well at Osbourne Park High in Virgina. A teacher there has assigned their students to write a paper entitled “People Should NOT own Pit Bulls”. The students have asked repeatedly to write on a different subject and have been denied.

The teacher’s response: “Yes, this is the paper asking students to use the topic “People Should Not Own Pit Bulls.” When we began this project, several students mentioned that they owned pit bulls. I said that they didn’t have to BELIEVE people should not own pit bulls, but for the sake of this four paragraph research experience, I wanted them to use the four articles/sources I had provided to discuss two reasons why owning pit bulls could be dangerous.”

This is Assistant Principal David Cassady Jr.’s response to the teacher’s assignment being called into question: “It is an approved topic and there is nothing wrong with it”.

Call to Action – Please contact the school and voice your opinion
Osbourne Park High
8909 Euclid Ave,Manassas,VA20111
phone 703.365.6500

Asst. Principal David Cassady Jr.[email protected]
The Principal’s Advisory Council, Neil Beech [email protected]
The Principal’s Advisory Council, Tamara Zimmerman [email protected]

School Board
[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected];[email protected]

Every day in shelters across our country, countless dogs suffer and die as a result of being unjustly judged by their looks alone. These innocent animals are publicly demonized and condemned for the bad acts of a few; they are stereotyped as “vicious”, “killers”, and “dangerous” based on a very loose appearance-based definition of breed, not their individual behavior.

Stories about pit bull attacks are tragic, but isolated incidents. Those stories are blasted all over the news, but it’s stories like these that people never hear about. These are the stories of pit bull heroes – the dogs who selflessly defend their families from heinous crimes, save other animals from certain death, and pull their human guardians to safety in times of danger.

If you love Pit Bulls SHARE this information with your friends!

Pit Bull Heroes Hall of Fame Facebook Comments

22 Responses to High School Teacher Pushes Breedism and Hate, Assigns “People Should Not Own Pit Bulls” Paper – CALL TO ACTION

  1. snarkarina says:

    People should not own pit bulls, unless they’re willing to care for them. It would be dangerous to own a pit bull, if you’re afraid of being covered in the slobber of non-stop kisses that come from the dog’s excitement at your arrival home. Sometimes people don’t like pit bulls and they give you nasty looks when you’re walking you’re dog, so owning a pit bull is not for those who’s egos are easily bruised. When your pit bull gets sick, you should be prepared to move heaven and earth and even sell some of your limited edition science fiction collectibles to pay for her surgery, so people who care about *things* more then pets shouldn’t own a pit bull. And if you don’t have a sense of humor, you shouldn’t own a pit bull, because otherwise, you’d never be able to laugh when she rummages through your dirty laundry and comes down stairs tossing your underwear about like the world’s greatest toy when you have house guests.

    I don’t suppose that’s what the teacher had in mind though.

    • I bet this would get an A actually from any teacher that values creativity…. I wish they had to write both sides as that seems like a better assignment, but the point of learning to write argumentative pieces like this isn’t believing in your argument, it’s learning how to make one. I wouldn’t ask that the kids not write this paper, just that they also write the opposite position as well.

    • hoochdog says:

      If the kids write something like you have written they would probably get an A+. Because there are far more good things to say about owning a pittbull than bad things. What you wrote was so true. I’ve raised pitty’s for 20 years and love love love them dearly. Would sell anything to get them the care they need.

  2. konopelli says:

    I just sent the following message to the Asst. Principal, and all the rest of the people whose eddresses I have.

    As an educator, I understand your dilemma, and I have to hand it to you folks for creativity.

    You couldn’t get away with assigning a paper about why students wouldn’t want a dad-gum “NEE-grow” to move into your neighborhood, I guess, so you assign a paper demanding students supply reasons why it’s okay to exclude the dogs that are associated with the undesirable people.

    Brilliant! You could give lessons…Oh, wait, you do!
    Signed:
    Dr. Woody

  3. Here is what I said to all of them:
    Hello all,
    Would you also think it was ok if this teacher were to have his students write a paper on “how it is ok to own and have slaves” both this topic and the Pit Bull topic are wrong and neither one should be ok or acceptable for his students to have to take part in! Shame on all of you, for helping “teach” hate of this breed!!!! If you all want to do some good for this world then why don’t you have them write an essay on ” why do you think it is so important to have your animals spayed and neutered”! This would be much better for students to learn, that if you have an animal (what ever type/breed) that you need to be responsible for it!!!
    From a responsible pet owner,
    Holly Churchill

  4. It’s hard for me to fathom assigning a paper like this as a previous pit bull owner who had eleven wonderful loving years with my dog. I guess I would get a fail. If the students could write a pro & con page would make more sense.

  5. marylu271 says:

    I sent this email to the school….

    Good day!

    I am a student from Greece and going to work in the future as a teacher. I study pedagogy and psychology and i am very concerned how theoritically and
    practically a human being can be balanced and happy. Self-determination is the key so that people can have a harmonious coexistence with other humans, but also with all living creatures
    in the planet. This can only be achieved when man grows up in an environment which gives him the chance to be self-determined and is not forced from others to adopt their thoughts and opinions or their attitudes for life generally.
    There are some values which are highly important for man to develop a mature, responsible and balanced personality..
    ”AS LONG AS HUMANS TREAT THE ANIMALS WITH CRUELTY, HE’LL NEVER BE HAPPY”, Pythagoras(greek ancient philosopher)

    The reason i am sending you this email is because I was informed about a teacher in your school who actually tries to do propaganda to his students against pit-bulls. If some students believe this wrong attitude
    against these dogs, propably they will have a generally negative attitude against dogs or animals in general. This totally irresponsible action is a forwarding of the teachers’ opinion, who doesn’t care for his students to form their
    own critical thinking but only wants to fill them with hate.

    The dogs are suffering in the hands of people who push them to fight and earn thousands of money. The dogs’ owner is responsible for the dog’s behaviour. Animals who live with humans, learn to do whatever pleases their owner
    just to satisfy them, they do it out of pure love for humans. Every day in shelters across many countries, countless dogs suffer and die as a result of being unjustly judged by their looks alone. These innocent animals are publicly demonized and condemned for the bad acts of a few; they are stereotyped as “vicious”, “killers”, and “dangerous” based on a very loose appearance-based definition of breed, not their individual behavior. Stories about pit bull attacks are tragic, but isolated incidents. Those stories are blasted all over the news, but it’s stories like these ( http://bslnews.org/pit-bull-heroes-hall-of-fame/ )
    that people never hear about. These are the stories of pit bull heroes – the dogs who selflessly defend their families from heinous crimes, save other animals from certain death, and pull their human guardians to safety in times of danger. I personally only have met pit-bulls who live harmonically with humans, pit-bulls that love and play all the time with children, just because their owners behaved them responsibly and with trust.
    Even a small dog could be dangerous in the wrong hands.

    It is your duty as educational people to prevent every teacher that tries to manipulate your students’ opinions about everything, and in this specific case it’s more important because racism is being advanced.
    You’d better try to explain to your students how important is to respect animals, which are not ‘tools’ to satisfy someone’s misery and cruelty,but creatures to live happily with.
    It’s unacceptable for you to say that “it is an approved topic and there is nothing wrong with it”.

    Thank you for reading this.

    • traceypettingill says:

      Marylu271!! I just am thrilled to pieces that you will be a teacher!!!!!! We certainly could use more like you!! Thank you for your wonderfully eloquent letter…and for caring about animals and humans all over the world.

      I couldn’t agree with you more!! You are spot on in your logic and conclusions.

      Thank you!! Tracey

  6. traceypettingill says:

    Well said Dr. Woody!! Racism and specieism is still rearing it’s ugly head…..EVEN IN SCHOOLS!!! Shame on them.

    I quite understand cynicallycherry’s solution; have the students write on both sides of the argument. However, there should be no argument, unless it is for or against the domestic dog in general. To zero in on the pit bull is prejudice.

    Considering the bad media and hype against pit bulls….this is a poorly chosen subject. Children are very persuaded, especially by those in authority..ahem..like teachers. For this irresponsible teacher to have her class…many whose family members include pit bulls..write an essay on why not to have them is a kick in the face, a direct criticism of those who have them and is based on opinion, hers.

    Humans domesticated the dog. It is our responsibility to care for their welfare, which we do a lousy job of. They are everywhere in our society. In fact, so many that three million are killed in shelters every year.

    Teacher needs to get over it, teachers needs to expand on compassion and empathy…teacher needs to learn how to accept those living beings that she doesn’t personally care for. Or teacher is always going to be a frustrated, apathetic and hateful human.

    Why doesn’t teacher have the children write an essay on why humans should keep their evil hands off animals…and why they should not train pit bulls and other muscular breeds to fight. Or why humans should not rape dogs, or beat them over the head with bats, or kick them, or starve them, or murder them.

    Teacher did not think this through and if my son had this teacher I would be fighting tooth and nail to have her banned from teaching.

  7. traceypettingill says:

    Incidentally, I would love to see the four sources the teacher chose!!

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  9. brutusthepit says:

    Here’s what I sent…

    To whom it may concern,

    As I’m sure you’re aware, pit bull owners are a very passionate group. There’s a good reason for this. We love our dogs and are deeply disturbed by the mis-information in the media. Your teacher who proposed this paper probably better understands this now. A great website to further educate her and her students is http://www.badrap.org/rescue/owning.html.

    What bothers me the most about this incident is that her students actually own pit bulls and pit bull mixes. What kind of message is she sending to them? That their dog might maul them? That they’re bad for owning a ‘bad’ dog? Considering that most of your local shelters, along with ours here in Philadelphia, are filled with pit bull mixed breeds, I find her message intolerable. She should visit the shelter and visit responsible owners of pit bull owners to better understand why the breed is so mis-understood.

    Once you own a pit bull, you always own pit bulls. You become the champion of a breed that was once known as the ‘Nanny’ breed because of how great they were with kids, you look in puzzlement as your 1 year old niece puts her face in the face of your dog and kisses him – wondering when he’s supposed to bite her, you shake your head when all the little toy dogs bark and are aggressive to your dog as he sits and waits for his treat, you don’t understand why people cross the street to avoid your dog but are thankful that he’s too happy about life to notice, but most of all, you just count yourself lucky that your foster dog – who came to you sick and sad – has made you a failed foster parent and the lucky owner of a wonderful dog, who just happens to be a pit bull mix.

    Thank you for your time,

  10. jlcarrol says:

    My first thought was that if I was in this class, I would have turned in a paper entitled “Why Some Teachers Deserve Their Small Salaries”. Then I would have proudly put my “F” on the refrigerator along with my detention.

    I rescued my pit bull off of the highway two years ago and he is still afraid to walk during the daytime when cars drive past. Put a child in the room though and he won’t leave their side all day to eat or go to the bathroom. He will even walk with that child outside if that’s where they go. On the other hand, when I was the victim of a physical altercation in my house, my pit bull ran into the bedroom and tried his hardest to fit under the bed.

    If it is not the pit bull that that is a “dangerous and vicious” dog, then it would be the doberman or the rottweiler. People always ask me if they can pet my dog without him biting. Are you kidding? Yeah, he’s going to bite you. That’s why he’s sitting down shaking his paw at you and will sit on your lap if you let him. It is more likely to be the smaller dogs with the worse temperament that snap at people for no reason when they come close.

    Moving along, I’m an attorney in Phoenix, Arizona and would love to get our animal rights groups out here to write letters and send them the correct documentation concerning this breed. I understand the need to teach children at a young age how to think analytically, but this is not analytical thought. It is forcing them to write why media propaganda is correct without giving these young minds the opportunity to explore the other side and come to a logical conclusion based on all the facts presented. That is what analytical thinking is. If you only give them one side of the information (which I’m sure is exaggerated or not factual correct – “lock jaw”), than that is the only thing that is left in their mind for them to soak in. As adults, we know that Fox News is one-sided but we can comprehend that when we watch it and also have the opportunity to change the channel and watch a different station with another view. It is immaterial whether the teacher is actually asking them to believe it or not. At the end of the day, it is all that is in their thoughts and it is what they will remember for years to come.

    I saw that the school is in Virginia and someone even wrote to them from Greece. I’m sure they were not expecting all of this publicity from around the country and the world. I hope it only gets bigger and becomes more public. Shame on this school.

  11. This is very disappointing to hear. Breedism is not a far cry from racism, and it is sad that teachers are promoting such thinking and not giving the students and opportunity to write an opposing view. Thanks for posting and keeping us informed!

  12. Great letters everyone!

  13. traceypettingill says:

    I think I have been really kind and fair on my previous comments….but I have mauled this over and am even more outraged as I continue to think about it.

    1. The children have pleaded for another subject
    2. Some of the children have pit bulls as family members
    3. There is no challenge for the children as all the negative pit bull hype is thrown in their faces everyday via the media…and I am thinking possibly the teacher too. Where is the challenge?
    4. Why not an essay on How to be a Responsible Pet Owner? or Discuss several facts disproving the negative pit bull myths? Or if you really want to get their minds a spinning…have them write an essay on How to Educate People on why they should Spay/Neuter their Pets.
    5. Why in the world would anyone WANT to write an essay on Why they should not own pit bulls..when they have pit bulls in their homes? LOL….I am beginning to think this has to be some sort of a joke.
    5. Why the negative angle anyway?????
    6. Who is this teacher and why do the children have to use the FOUR RESOURCES that SHE has chosen? Control issues much???
    7. I am sickened!!!! Positively sickened.
    8. Many of us work so very hard dispelling the bad rap of the pit bull. Every step forward, there is some idiot, like this teacher, who has us taking two very unwanted steps back.
    9. The teacher should visit a shelter in Virginia!!!
    10. The children who rebelled should get automatic AAAAAAA++++++++ for staying true to themselves. Rock on awesome children!!!
    11. Sometimes I really think the world is made up of the good and the evil. It is a constant battle!! We are always picking up the pieces after people like this teacher.
    12. It is so obviously racial profiling. Lets stick a bigger wedge there because we were just beginning to minimize that wedge.

  14. Wrote everyone listed the following:
    To all concerned,

    I initially wanted to respond with my reaction to this dubious assignment, as an employee of a local county animal shelter. Soon noticed, however, that you had already been apprised of how difficult it is to get Pitbulls adopted, not due to the of the demeanor of the dog – all of ours are temperament tested before being offered for adoption, but because of the media-induced, mass hysteria regarding the breed.

    Then, thought I would address the choice of this assignment from the point of view of a Pitbull owner and lover and try to educate those of you who are apparently remarkably ignorant about the breed; but read that others had already pointed out the many attributes of Pitbulls… as well as the cognitive dissonance surely encountered by those students who own and love the breed.

    Next, I considered my background as a retired teacher on the community college level, and wondered why the teacher 1.chose this hot-button topic in a public school, 2.did not make the students do their own research (instead giving them only references she/he had chosen and essentially forcing regurgitation of dogma – not a highly regarded teaching method ), and 3.did not ask them to write a point/counter-point paper which would have been far more challenging and educational. Others, I saw, made these points quite eloquently and thus made my comments superfluous.

    Finally, I decided to use a simple didactic technique to drive my point home… That’s about what you would expect from a school in Manassas!

    It’s a drag to be stereotyped, isn’t it?

    Certainly hope your educational methods improve, your students and the taxpayers deserve far better.

  15. This really puts “teachers” in a bad light. No teacher, a true teacher, would EVER assign this kind of paper to any student. I hope the kids refuse to write the paper…have they told their parents? What do the parents have to say about it? To Snarkarina…you crack me up…that was great. I so look forward to my pittie hugs and kisses when i get home every day. Jada might not be full pit…but from the looks I get when we walk around the lake, everyone else thinks she is…except the little 4 year old, Lucas, who, when he sees her coming along the trail, yells and waves and then runs to give Jada a big hug. He hasn’t been affected by the negativity of the media…yet.

  16. I am appalled at this assignment. This teacher needs to spend time at some UKC shows and find out how sweet an American Pitt Bull Terrier (APBT) can be. And no, I’m not an APBT owner.

  17. Michael Glass
    America’s Pet Registry, Inc National Representative
    National Animal Control Association Certification

    Reports: CDC and NACA dispute BSL

    Sources:

     National Animal Control Association Level One http://www.nacanet.org/
     Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/biteprevention.htm
     Dr Daniel Estep, PhD Instructor – Day Three – Animal Behavior
    Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
    Animal Behavior Associates, Inc
    Littleton, Colorado

    NACA is the only nationally accredited training approved for Animal Control Officer and Humane officers in states that mandate training.
    NACA is the only accredited training academy in Pennsylvania for Animal Control Officers and the Humane Officer as appointed by court.

    Point: ON Animal Behavior… Dr Daniel Estep, PhD instructs in the accredited NACA course:

     “One breed is not more likely to bite that another breed.”

     “BSL laws are being discredited with studies from the CDC—i.e. 25 years ago, cocker spaniels were the most popular breed and had a very high incident rate of bites. Therefore, statistically, cocker spaniels would be put on a BSL list.”

    As well, the final exam in the course, questions “…what is the most likely breed to bite…”

    Answer: “NONE”

    As well, regarding the report by the CDC… The report itself illustrates for a number of reasons you cannot generalize by the breed vs. bite statistics alone. The report clearly explains additional factors do NOT allow for breed specific conclusions.
    ‘A CDC study on … dog bites lists the breeds involved in fatal attacks over 20 years . There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill.’
    ‘Reported dog bites do not represent a trait inherent to a breed…the public may sensationalize a particular breed…this is not evidence of that particular breed having a predisposed nature to bite.’
    ‘Many practical alternatives to breed-specific policies exist and hold promise for preventing dog bites.’

    Respectfully submitted,

    MICHAEL GLASS 484-880-7962 [email protected]

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