Demand That South Carolina School District Never Again Use Live Animals for Pep Rally Games

  • by: Susan Bird
  • recipient: Dr. Mark Petersen, Superintendent of Greenville (S.C.) School District

Recently, the Superintendent of the Greenwood, S.C. School District, Dr. Mark Petersen, decided to hold a “Pig Rodeo” as a fundraising event at a high school pep rally. A pig was placed in an enclosed area in the school gym, and teams of school faculty and students took turns trying to catch and lift it. The poor pig was frightened and ran about squealing. Attendees say the pig was hoisted up to shoulder level and dropped to the floor several times during this “game.”

Several students were deeply distressed by how the pig was being treated and left the gym in tears. Some alleged they weren’t allowed to leave or were taunted by others for wanting to get away from the scene. Treating an innocent pig in this way is unacceptable. Treating the pig so badly it made children cry is inexcusable.

Please sign this petition asking Dr. Petersen to never again use live animals in any game or competition in his school district.

Dear Dr. Petersen:

Those who have signed this petition, like many other members of the public, were distressed and saddened to learn that your school district chose to hold a “Pig Rodeo” at a recent Ninety Six High School pep rally.

Many reports from parents and students who were in attendance indicate that the poor pig was chased around an enclosure by faculty and students who attempted to grab her and pick her up. Attendees say the pig was obviously frightened and was squealing. She was also reportedly dropped to the floor on several occasions. Treating a pig in this was is unacceptable.

What’s even more astonishing is that no one ended this “game” when it became clear that so many students were being traumatized by watching. How many students need to be in tears before the faculty will call a halt to this type of activity?

We urge you never again to incorporate a live animal into an entertainment or fundraising event in your school district, particularly where it’s possible for the animal to be frightened or injured. Animals are helpless and need our protection. We should not use them in games or competitions.

We thank you for giving this matter the attention it deserves.

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