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

202 comments

Danuta W
Danuta W14 days ago

thank you for posting

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AL L
AL Lim21 days ago

Monster "teacher". what do students learn from cruelty?

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie22 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie22 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danie22 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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christine s
christine s22 days ago

How could anyone harm such beautiful animals ? , if you read Jeremy Griffith 's book FREEDOM ---then I think it might shed light on just why and how people can do these terrible things .

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Dalton Grady
Dalton Grady23 days ago

He's demented and I hope he serves a long jail sentence.

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Ruth R
Ruth R23 days ago

Thank you very much. From the article: " 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. "

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Susan Vogel-Hudgins

Glad this subhuman has resigned. He is not a teacher but a psychological predator of children. UGH!!!

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Amanda M
Amanda M23 days ago

Thanks for sharing

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