Teachers would save themselves a lot of trouble if they'd just stick to the lesson plan. It's when they get a little too inventive that things can go awry: World War II lectures can turn into class-wide Nazi salutes and biology lessons can end with turtles eating puppies alive. In the latest extracurricular lesson gone wrong, one teacher in Ocala, Florida, may have gone way too far with a hands-on exercise in pest control—allegedly tapping his students to help him drown a few live raccoons.
According to CBS affiliate WKMG, agricultural sciences teacher Dewie Brewton had trapped the raccoons because he suspected they'd been killing chickens his class was raising. On Monday, he allegedly filled a trashcan with water and dunked the caged critters inside—all with help from a class full of freshmen. A video recorded by one of the students shows the kids crowded around the trashcan while one poor raccoon suffers a terrible, watery fate.
"That one's, like, super, super small," one girl says in the video. "That one probably didn't do anything."
While someone holds the raccoon underwater, one student fills the trashcan with a hose, and another points at the poor creature drowning inside.
"Dump that water in there," a boy says.
The Forest High School student who took the video showed it to his mother, who told WKMG he'd come home in tears after what he'd witnessed. According to her, Brewton also drowned a possum that day "just for sport."
"They held them down with metal rods," the mother told WKMG. "And when the raccoon would try to pop its head up they held water hoses in its face to drown it."
Brewton has been placed on leave while the school district investigates what went down on Monday. Meanwhile, the district's superintendent is calling for his termination—and police with Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Department of Health are investigating to see if brutally drowning a raccoon constitutes a crime.
"Marion County Public Schools is appalled at the actions of an agri-science teacher accused of killing nuisance animals in front of students earlier this week," the school district wrote in a statement. "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.”
To be fair, getting up to no good is kind of what raccoons do. But seeing as the cops aren't a ton of help when it comes to corralling the little critters, it's hard to blame Brewton for taking matters into his own hands. The little trash pandas can be pretty scary sometimes.
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