World News

Florida teacher on leave after raccoons drowned

Florida teacher on leave after raccoons drowned

Marion County Public Schools officials said they are investigating.

The mother of one of the students, who allegedly witnessed the absurd and horrifying act in the class, said her son came home in tears over what happened to the poor animals.

The raccoons were apparently caught by the agriculture teacher.

Multiple students can be seen helping with the drowning, while others stand around and watch.

"It made me sick. It made me sick to my stomach", said the mother, who asked to remain anonymous. "It's awful. It still does make me sick to my stomach", the mother said of the drownings.

"My son stood in the background, hid his phone and watched as they filled these trash cans full of water, and held these raccoons down in trash cans in the cages", the parent told the station. "He could have had somebody come and relocate the animals".

The video, which shows cages submerged in trash cans filled with water and student participation, resulted in Dewie Brewton's leave on Tuesday.

A student told WFTV raccoons had killed some chickens the class has been raising in a shed behind the school.

Image source WKMG-TV video screenshot
Image source WKMG-TV video screenshot

Local ABC affiliate WFTV reports that an unidentified student provided the network with graphic video footage of the incident, which he said left some students with nightmares.

In the disturbing video, embedded below, the students help kill the animals.

The teacher is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

"While law enforcement tells us the teacher did not do anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable", a spokesperson said.

The Florida Department of Health is also investigating the incident.

It released a statement on Tuesday saying it was "looking into" the incident and that officers are determining "the legality of what occurred", according to OCALA.

Interestingly, as the Miami Herald noted, alumni members of the Facebook group Forest High School Future Farmers of America (Forest High School FFA Alumni) spoke out in support of Brewton as a dedicated teacher and warned that the media would escalate this story unnecessarily. "This is a man who would give everything he had to make sure that his children/students are taken care of". He has always gone above and beyond his call of duty to ensure that his students had everything they needed'. "We want people to know he had them in cages, he had them trapped". Another student says "Why is he not fighting?" I think that everyone makes mistakes on a daily basis and he should not be fired because of one mistake out of the 12 Year's he has worked at forest.

Although killing raccoons and opossums are not technically against the law, authorities have launched a full-scale investigation into the way in which the animals were killed in this instance.

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