A Florida high school agriculture teacher has been accused of drowning wild animals in a trash can as students watched and participated, CBS reports. The animals included a raccoon that had eaten one of the chickens the class was raising. “It made me sick. It made me sick to my stomach,” says the mother of a student who took surreptitious pictures of the event. The teacher reportedly trapped the raccoons in metal cages, then lowered the cages into water-filled trashcans. "My son stood in the background, hid his phone and watched as they filled these trash cans full of water, and held these raccoons down in trash cans in the cages,” she tells FOX.
The Forest High School teacher, Dewie Brewton, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, per the Ocala StarBanner. He has been the school's Future Farmers of America adviser since 2006. Officials received multiple complaints about the event; a district spokesperson says officials were told the animals were drowned "because [they] were nuisance animals to the ag program." In all, two raccoons and an opossum were reportedly killed. “While law enforcement tells us the teacher did not do anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable," a rep for the school district said. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials are also looking into the matter and will determine if laws were broken. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)