Florida teacher allegedly drowned raccoons in front of students during class
When you take kids out of the classroom, it makes learning more engaging. They trade their stifling old school for a stimulating new environment. But when you expose children to new experiences, that should not include torturing animals.
On Monday, an agricultural science teacher in Florida decided to teach his students a "hands-on" lesson in land management. The class was raising a chicken for a project, but the chicken was eaten by wild raccoons. So, the teacher allegedly caught two raccoons and an opossum in metal wire traps, and drowned them in a large garbage bin in front of the class. (Saddest 'lesson' ever).
Reportedly the teacher told the students not to film the incident. However, one student defied the order and surreptitiously snapped some photos and recorded some video. The footage shows a raccoon in a wire trap, which is lifted into a garbage bin by the teacher and students. Then they fill the bin with water from several hoses.
One of the students from class came home crying, and told his mother what happened. "It made me sick to my stomach," the mother told WKMG-TV. "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."
On social media, some people defended the teacher, arguing that the raccoon is a "pest." In their view, exterminating pests is acceptable behavior, and an essential part of an agricultural class. However, others pointed that if you're killing a pest, locking it in a cage and drowning it in a garbage bin is an incredibly cruel method. What the teacher calls a "hands-on lesson," others call "torture" and "animal cruelty."
Please be advised that some people might find the following video upsetting.
"I don't think that's the way to treat any animal," said the mother of one of the students, who wishes to remain anonymous. "Whether it is a raccoon or (another animal) you just don't torture an animal and kill it like that. They should have trapped the animal and had somebody take them and relocate the animals."
The incident took place at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida. The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave because of the mother's complaint. The county's Superintendent has called for the teacher to be fired. Meanwhile, FFA Alumni expressed their support for him in a Facebook post, writing "We would like to say that we are 100% behind our advisor...This is a man who would give everything he had to make sure that his children/students are taken care of."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and The Florida Department of Health are conducting an investigation to see if the teacher broke any laws. But maybe The Marion County School Board put it best in their statement: "While law enforcement tells us the teacher may not have done anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable." Uh, yeah. To say the least.
In a related story, an Idaho teacher allegedly fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of his class...