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The mother of a student at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida could barely believe her eyes when her son recently arrived home from school in tears and showed her photos and a video of what his teacher made his agriculture class do that school day. Disturbing images and video footage recorded by the student showed two raccoons trapped in wire cages being dunked by members of the agriculture class and their teacher, Dewie Brewton, into a black garbage bin filled with water.

Brewton reportedly told the class not to record the drowning of the raccoons, but the aforementioned student was so disturbed that he felt obligated to film the incident for evidence. The student’s stunned mother described the shocking video to WKMG: “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.” You can view the footage of this disgusting act here, but please be warned: Even though it has been censored, it is still very graphic.

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According to the student, Brewton tried to lead students to believe that the horrific drowning of these raccoons was justified because the animals had killed some of the chickens the class was raising in a shed on the high school’s property. Kevin Christian, the spokesman for Marion County School District, reportedly told the Ocala Star Banner that the district “received statements that the teacher drowned multiple animals in front of students, and with student participation, because the animals were nuisance animals to the ag program at the school.” But no animal, not even a “nuisance animal,” deserves to die in this cruel and uncalled-for manner, especially at the hands of young, impressionable students.

Currently, Brewton is on paid leave as Florida law enforcement officials investigate the manner in which the raccoons were killed and determine whether criminal charges are warranted. In a statement on the incident, the school district said, “While law enforcement tells us the teacher may not have done anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable.” We totally agree with this, and we can only hope that the school district will not allow Brewton to continue teaching after involving students in such a disturbing act.

Furthermore, we’re so glad that a brave student recognized that drowning innocent raccoons is wrong and told someone about the incident. If you suspect wildlife violations of any sort, we encourage you to report them to your state’s wildlife commission.

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Image Source: WKMG ClickOrlando