Florida Teacher Resigns After Making Students Drown Raccoons

After two raccoons killed the chickens Dewie Brewton’s agricultural science class had been raising at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, the teacher trapped them in wire cages.

Instead of releasing the creatures into the wild or even turning them over to animal control to be humanely euthanized, Brewton filled a trash can with water and forced his students to drown each raccoon during class.

When the raccoons frantically tried to come up for air, the students held them down with metal rods and sprayed their faces with water hoses, the mother of a student who took a disturbing video of the killings told WKMG.

The students also killed an opossum Brewton had caught “just for sport” according to the mother, who didn’t want to be identified. She said her son came home in tears.

As news spread about this horrifying incident, Brewton was suspended with pay. Marion County Public Schools Superintendent Heidi Maier said the school district was appalled and she intended to fire him. “Marion County’s education standards – in fact, Florida’s education standards — do not include activities for the destruction of live animals, nuisance or not,” the school district said in a statement.

But before he could be fired, Brewton turned in his resignation. And because he resigned, the Marion County School District is no longer investigating the drownings. Fortunately, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is continuing to do so.

According to FWC regulations, nuisance wildlife can be caught using live traps, but the animals “must be released legally or euthanized humanely within 24 hours of capture.”

There is absolutely nothing humane about having students drown trapped wildlife. The FWC will turn over the findings of its investigation to the state attorney’s office, which will determine whether animal cruelty charges are appropriate. This decision should be a no-brainer.

This is the second case of terrible animal cruelty involving a teacher this year. In March, a junior high school teacher in Idaho fed a puppy to a snapping turtle after school as several students watched. That teacher, Robert Crosland, was placed on administrative leave. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office has taken over the case and will decide whether Crosland should be charged with criminal animal cruelty.

It’s pretty shocking that many students and parents continue to support Crosland, arguing that the heinous thing he did taught students the “circle of life.” Yet there is nothing natural about a snapping turtle eating a puppy. Not only did the puppy die, but the snapping turtle had to be euthanized. What kind of lesson is that?

Similarly, former students of Brewton are supporting him. “We would like to say that we are 100% behind our advisor and everything he does for our children/students,” the Forest High School FFA Alumni group stated on Facebook. “The media is going to make this situation escalate to lengths that are unnecessary and we must stand together and focus on the facts.”

The facts are that three animals were cruelly killed – and it’s also a disturbing fact that the students didn’t refuse to drown them. If not for one caring student who recorded the drownings, the incident might never have even been reported.

Hopefully the agricultural science teacher who replaces Brewton will teach these students the importance of treating animals humanely.

Take Action!

Please sign and share this Care2 petition seeking justice for those poor raccoons.

If you want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling, you too can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.


Photo credit: zoosnow


Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

thanks for sharing

Kay B
Kay B3 months ago

Very little good ever comes out of government schools anymore. Hope authorities have the sense to strip this person's teaching credentials and severely punish him for the loss of life and for traumatizing the students. However I'm wondering why no one is telling them to mind their own business, that the raccoon doesn't matter, and let everyone do as they please. That's what they tell abortion protesters.

Mike R
Mike R3 months ago

This is one of the most awful stories. From the teacher to the students and their parents. Disgusting people.

Caitlin L
Caitlin L3 months ago

Go away.

michelle m
jennifer t3 months ago

It is imperative that this vile cretin have his teaching credentials permanently withdrawn. I dare this vile,animal hating,uneducated,deranged psychopathic so called teacher to meet me eye to eye.I have a procedure to enact on this vile faggot POS. OH yes arsehole,I dare you gutless wonder to meet me eye to eye!!!!!! OH YESSSSSS !!!!!I am very serious!!!! OH YESSSSSS!!!!!

JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Paris3 months ago

Petition signed.

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara3 months ago

see it, report it

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara3 months ago

why did no student phone the police or head teacher or parent?

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara3 months ago


Marija M
Marija M3 months ago

What a teacher! Unbelievable...