A teacher in Marion County, Florida, has reportedly avoided criminal charges after allegedly drowning an opossum and two raccoons, but if this story is indeed true, PETA recognizes the lasting damage that this instructor—and others like him—can do to students.
The former Forest High School agricultural science teacher apparently decided to kill these animals after one supposedly killed a chicken from the school’s FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) program. The incident went public after an anonymous parent of a student who attends the school reportedly contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to complain.
According to Fox 35, the parent said that she was “disgusted” and “in shock” when she saw the video that her son had secretly made after the teacher supposedly told students not to record the incident.
“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,” the mother said.
She also told WKMG that apparently when the animals struggled for air, they were held down with metal rods and hoses were used to spray water in their faces.
— WGAL (@WGAL) May 29, 2018
The FWC states on its website, “Live-captured nuisance wildlife must be released legally or euthanized humanely within 24 hours of capture or trap inspection.” According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Drowning is not a means of euthanasia” for any species “and is inhumane.”
In the midst of the controversy, the teacher reportedly resigned from his 31-year teaching position.
Impressionable Young People Learn by Example
When a teacher torments and kills animals, it sends a dangerous message that violence toward others is acceptable. According to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals lack empathy and can pose a serious threat to the community at large. It’s no secret that kids who harm animals often move on to hurting humans.
TeachKind, PETA’s humane education division, is urging the school to remove animals from its harmful FFA program—which treats sensitive animals as merely objects to be bought, used, and slaughtered—and to take steps to ensure that no more lives are lost on school grounds by teaching kids and educators to respect all living, feeling beings.
Take Action Today to Help Animals Killed for the Classroom
Learn more about the total disregard for animal welfare that has crept into some school lesson plans by checking out PETA’s eyewitness investigation of Bio Corporation—a Minnesota company that sells animals to school districts across the country for classroom dissection.