A Florida high school teacher is under investigation after being caught on video drowning raccoons with students on Monday.
Video taken by one of the students show an agricultural science teacher and a group of students at Forest High School in Ocala lift a raccoon inside a metal trap into a garbage bin, then fill the the garbage bin with water. The student shared the video with his mother, who told local news station WKMG that her son came home crying about the experience.
The following local newscast, which contains some footage from the incident, may be disturbing to some viewers:
She said the teacher, identified by multiple media outlets as as Dewie Brewton, had students assist in drowning two raccoons, along with a possum.
“When the raccoons tried to come up for air, they had metal rods and they held them down with metal rods and when the raccoon would try to pop its head up they held water hoses in its face to drown it,” the mother told the news station.
The student told WFTV that raccoons had been killing chickens that students and staff members were raising behind the school.
The school placed Brewton on paid administrative leave Tuesday.
“Marion County’s education standards — in fact, Florida’s education standards ― do not include activities for the destruction of live animals, nuisance or not,” read a statement from Marion County Public Schools. “While law enforcement determines whether this teacher’s actions were legal or not, his actions before students are entirely unacceptable and cause us great concern.”
Superintendent Heidi Maier is recommending that Brewton be fired, according to a second statement.
Additionally, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident to determine if charges will be filed. It’s legal in Florida to kill “nuisance” wildlife, but the law stipulates it must be done “humanely.”