Fifth-grader Kirra Kotler and classmates at Point Dume Marine Science School who reportedly protested a SeaWorld field trip are set to be honored by the Malibu City Council on Monday for their activism.

The field trip was cancelled in December after Kotler brought the documentary “Blackfish” to the attention of her classmates. The documentary tells the story of a massive orca whale named Tilikum, a male with a history of aggression that killed a trainer at the Orlando SeaWorld theme park in 2010. Prior to the 2010 incident, Tilikum had already been associated with the deaths of two other people. 

After a survey of parents found that several students would not participate in the annual trip, which is typically scheduled for March, Principal Rebecca Johnson said she decided to cancel and instead search for a trip that would include every student. 

The City Council on Monday will present Kotler and classmates with a commendation for “taking a stand against mistreatment of killer whales in captivity,” according to the agenda report.

(5) comments

Woody McBreairty

Bravo Point Dume fifth graders! From the mouths of babes! There is hope for the future when it is held in thoughtful little hands like these. Thanks kids!


As George Carlin said in one of his skits. Save the trees save those bee's save the snails save those whales. Three generations of my family have gone to Sea World as millions of others have and enjoyed every minute. To see a killer whale trained to perform is an incredible sight. I for one really don't see the harm in having a Killer Whale show. Yes people have died. Its called risk for reward. Apparently those people killed felt there was more reward then risk. I salute their efforts and dedication to training these magnificent animals. In regards to the children refusing to go. Obviously their parents have played a big part in their decision not to attend. I know of no 5th graders I have met that would have given up the chance to go to Sea World. I have 8 children and everyone one of them love Sea World. This is just another example of a few people affecting the life of hundreds in the Sea World Family. They are very short sided because the Sea World Family is dedicated to saving and protecting these magnificent animals. The show is only a small part of their job.

Steve Woods

Whales and Orcas can be witnessed in nature , in the wilds , in our vast oceans . Recently Orcas have been putting on shows for those in the wild , at sea, off of our local shores . Let them dictate how they want to entertain , if they want to and when when they want . They have no obligation to entertain us humans for an reason .


These children are the hope of the future--seeing the truth, not the empty facade of entertainment venues keeping whales in cruel captivity. BRAVO to you to them and the City Council for recognizing them! I hope we see SeaWorld shut down in their lifetime.


This is awesome!! Way to go, kids!!

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