United Poultry Concerns 7 October 2002
Protest Wisconsin Teacher's Hatcheting of a Chicken in the Schoolyard

On September 20, a Washington Island, WI teacher decapitated a chicken with a hatchet in front of his 7th and 8th graders on school property. The teacher, Steve Waldron, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette his killing was "a vivid and dramatic way of making the connection between the way we get our food and the fact that things [sic] die for us to get food." He said it got kids "to think about how the animal is treated before it [sic] ends up on their plate." He said his killing was "part of coursework intended to spell out the differences between the way chickens and other animals are raised and butchered on family farms versus large industrial farms."

Larry Kahlscheuer, the Washington Island School Board President, told the newspaper the hatchet did not qualify as a weapon, except "in the sense that a screwdriver or a hammer might." He said he knows of "no [school] district rule against killing for instructional purposes." He said Steve Waldron was "someone who knows how to deal with life and death in a most respectful manner."

The killing of the chicken led parent Kelly Jorgenson to tell the school "if "killing is allowed on school grounds, we're pulling our kids out."

What Can I Do?

Please write today to the Washington Island School Superintendent, the School Board President, and the head of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Urge that a written policy be formulated and implemented at both state and school district levels prohibiting the instructional killing of animals. Urge administrators to develop courses in compassion and respect for animals. Explain you do not want teachers dealing self-serving death to healthy animals and calling it "respectful." State your views politely but firmly, and include the teacher, Steve Waldron, in your correspondence. Below is contact information. Request written replies. Send copies of your letters to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, PO Box 19430, Green Bay, WI 54307, or post your letter online by going to Reporter Peter Rebhahn can be emailed at

Mr. Steve Waldron, Teacher
Washington Island School
Rt. 1, Box 2
Washington Island, WI 54246

Dr. Susan Churchill-Chastan,
Washington Island School Superintendent
Same mailing address as above.
Phone: 920-847-2507
Mr. Larry Kahlscheurer
Washington Island School Board President
Same mailing address & phone number as above.

Ms. Elizabeth Burmaster
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
125 South Webster
Madison, WI 53702
Ph: 608-266-3390
Toll-free: 1-800-441-4563

To read "Parent protests killing chicken for lesson on where to get food" by Peter Rebhahn, October 2, 2002, go to:

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Action Alert - Protest Wisconsin Teacher's Hatcheting of a Chicken in the Schoolyard)

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