KUTZTOWN, Pa. (The Blaze/AP) -- A national animal rights group has offered a cash-strapped school district an undisclosed amount of money if it allows ads in school promoting alternatives to animal dissection.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has approached dozens of schools across with country with the offer, said it found out about the Kutztown School District's financial woes over the Internet.
The group recently sent a letter to Superintendent Nicholas Lazo Jr., offering to pay money if the school allows the posting of ads that say, "STOP SCHOOL VIOLENCE. DO YOUR HOMEWORK - CHOOSE NOT TO DISSECT." Different versions of the ad feature rats, frogs and fetal pigs.
Lazo told the Reading Eagle newspaper that he is gathering more information on the offer. A message left with the district Friday by The Associated Press was not immediately returned. This week, amid community protests, the school board approved a $28 million budget that calls for the elimination of nearly 13 teaching positions.
PETA spokeswoman Ashley Gonzalez said the group has made similar offers to dozens of schools across the country in the past few years, but none has accepted. Some schools, however, have taken the group up on its offer of free software that allows students to perform digital "dissections," Gonzalez said.
"We are always on the lookout for schools that can benefit from our support," she said.
The group has not specified how much money it would provide to a school that allows ads to be posted, but said it would depend partly on how many ads were placed and in how many schools.
"We'd have to sit down with them and work out how much exposure we would get," Gonzalez said.
PETA already has a site targeting young people called PETA2.com. There, students -- and even educators -- can learn how to start a "campaign" against dissection: