Marion County, Florida, teacher Dewie Brewton was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday while officials investigate allegations that he drowned trapped raccoons with student participation during school hours, the Ocala Star Banner reported. The student said the teacher told them not to record the incident, according to the station.
'It's awful. It still does make me sick to my stomach'. The cell phone video shows the raccoons in a cage being immersed in water in a trash can and drowning in front of the class.
One of the raccoons was said to have eaten one of the chickens being raised by the class.
In one video, students can be seen pouring water into the raccoon's cage as it sits in the garbage bin.
"He knew while it was happening that it was wrong, so he did it anyway and stood behind people hiding, taking pictures and videos", said the mother.
'While law enforcement tells us the teacher did not do anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable, ' a spokesperson told WKMG.
The FFWCC released the following statement on the matter: "The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation is looking into an incident that occurred at Forest High School in Marion County involving a raccoon".
On Facebook, the alumni group of the Forest High School Future Farmers of America posted a statement defending Brewton, saying he was a man "who would give everything" to make sure students were taken care of.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says it is investigating the way the raccoons were killed. The commission's findings will be sent to prosecutors, who will determine if the teacher will face charges.
But the mother of the student who filmed the incident remains unconvinced that the raccoons were handled in the appropriate manner.
"He has always gone above and beyond his call of duty to ensure that his students had everything they needed". She said her child came home in tears and was yelling and angry over what happened to the animals. 'Whether it is a raccoon or (another animal) you just don't torture an animal and kill it like that'.