Target: Redford Union School District
Goal: Stop high school students from abusing donkeys for entertainment.
Donkey basketball is a disturbing trend that has become popular among schools looking for fundraising activities. During the event, donkeys are forced to support riders who are often too heavy, all while being dragged, kicked and shouted at during a game of basketball. Like most animals, donkeys will kick and bite to protect themselves when forced into a stressful, loud and confusing environment. This natural response, coupled with the fact that the animals are constantly being transported from place to place in tiny trailers, leads to an unpredictable temperament and therefore a risk to anyone involved in the game. To reduce this risk, the donkeys are typically starved in the hours leading up to the game in an effort to diminish their energy and ability to respond to their fear.
Since donkeys are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act, the spectacle is completely legal and unfortunately, being promoted among impressionable young people. The use of donkey basketball as a fundraiser sends a message to students that it is ok to use and abuse animals for their own entertainment. Not only do the games put students in physical danger, but it promotes a sense of self importance and cruelty. Young people who are taught compassion through a nurturing relationship with animals tend to develop into more empathetic, caring adults while those who are exposed to animal cruelty and brutality are more likely to grow into an adult with violent tendencies.
Although many schools have eliminated donkey basketball from their fundraising efforts, there are some that continue to promote the disturbing sport. Redford Union High School in Michigan has planned one such game for an upcoming fundraiser. To completely eliminate the unnecessary abuse to donkeys for sport, the demand for such activities needs to be eliminated.
Keep donkeys from being used and abused by sending a letter to Redford Union School District Superintendent Ron Stoneman urging him to cancel the event and teach his students that animal abuse for entertainment is not ok.
Dear Superintendent Stoneman,
Donkey basketball is a cruel use of animals for entertainment. Forcing a donkey into a frightening and confusing situation where it is kicked and shouted at puts your students in both physical and psychological danger. Everyone involved in this fundraiser is at risk of being kicked or bitten by a frightened donkey. Moreover, young people who participate in acts of animal cruelty such as donkey basketball are more likely to grow into aggressive adults. Please follow the example of several other school districts in the United States and do not support a game that exploits a species with no protection under the current animal rights laws.
As superintendent, you are responsible for the image your district wishes to present. With so many options for fundraisers, you have the opportunity to replace the event with a more humane alternative and send a message to the rest of the country that your school district does not support animal cruelty and works to nurture compassionate young adults instead of bullies. I urge you to cancel the upcoming Donkey Basketball game at Redford Union High School and lead by example in teaching the young people in your district that animals should be treated with respect and compassion.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: xcitefun via ar