Posted on 9th September 2012
Compassionate Teacher Award
Many thanks to Ben Williamson for this wonderful article about the inspiring Sandra McLeod.
PETA’S FIRST-EVER COMPASSIONATE TEACHER AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCED
Primary School Teacher Recognised for 25 Years of Teaching Humane Education to Kids From East London
Waltham Forest – For more than a quarter of a century, Sandra McLeod has been teaching children in East London the importance of showing kindness to others, including animals. Most recently, that has included leading a huge PETA march through central London with her pupils and celebrity Bill Oddie to urge the Ministry of Defence to stop using the fur of Canadian black bears to make The Queen’s Guards’ caps. For her outstanding efforts and in recognition of the need to teach children kindness from an early age, McLeod has become the first-ever recipient of PETA’s Compassionate Teacher Award.
“By making humane education a major theme in her lessons, Sandra is a real hero to children and animals”, says PETA Senior Programmes Manager Yvonne Taylor. “Ms McLeod is a great example of a teacher who has gone above and beyond to help shape her students into compassionate and productive members of society.”
Having taken in numerous rescued cats and dogs over the course of her life – several of whom had been previously abused – McLeod, a grandmother of eight who now works part time, serves as a personal role model as well. When asked how long she expects to continue teaching, she replied, “‘Til I drop!” McLeod recognises that compassion and empathy are virtues that have to be nurtured, so teaching children to be kind to animals is essential to any character-education programme and a proven way to prevent violence.
An 11-year-old student originally brought PETA’s bearskins campaign to McLeod’s attention through the Make a Difference Challenge (part of Go-Givers). The children raised a whopping £600 to put towards animal-related activities.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.