OCALA, Fla. — A Florida high school teacher is on paid administrative leave after cellphone video appears to show him drowning wild raccoons during class, WKMG reports.
The video was shot by a student upset by what was happening.
“It made me sick. It made me sick to my stomach. It’s terrible. It still does make me sick to my stomach,” said the student’s mother, who wanted to remain anonymous.
Her son, a freshman at Forest High, said on Monday he was made to stand with his fellow classmates and drown two raccoons and a possum.
“One of the raccoons ate a chicken that they were raising so the teacher pinned the raccoons. Caught them in cages. Took the cages, filled up large trash cans full of water and had the children drown the raccoons in the cages inside the water. Inside the trash cans,” the mother said.
Her son told her the agriculture teacher threatened anyone who recorded or took pictures of the incident would be given a referral.
“He knew while it was happening that it was wrong, so he did it anyway and stood behind people hiding, taking pictures and videos,” she said.
The teacher has worked at the school since 2006. He was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
The Marion County School Board said in a statement to WKMG:
“While law enforcement tells us the teacher may not have done anything illegal, his actions before students are certainly questionable.”
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.