The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Health are conducting their own investigations.
"We obtained statements that the trainer drowned a number of animals in entrance of scholars, and with scholar participation, as a result of the animals had been nuisance animals to the [agriculture] program on the college", Marion County Faculty District spokesman Kevin Christian informed the Star-Banner.
The animals had reportedly been killing chickens the students were raising for class.
As one of the students recorded cell phone video, Brewton and the students plunged them into the water and sprayed them with a hose to kill them. Caught them in cages. Rather than relocating the animals or contacting wildlife officials, he made a decision to condemn the animals to a painful, terrifying death.
Dewie Brewton, who has been a teacher at Forest High School since 2006, has majority support from his students who are rallying together in his defense.
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A Florida high school teacher was placed on paid leave Tuesday over allegations he drowned a pair of raccoons in a trash bin while students assisted and watched. The district further stated that regardless of the outcomes of the investigations, Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier is recommending that the teacher be fired.
In the interview with WKMG, the mother said the incident made her "sick to my stomach".
She claims the raccoons were held down with metal rods when they tried to come up for air. "This is a man who would give everything he had to make sure that his children/students are taken care of", the student alumni group said.
It's not illegal to kill so-called "nuisance animals" in Florida, but some of the students were horrified and there didn't appear to be any scientific lesson in the killings, aside from just watching animals die.
"He has always gone above and beyond his call of duty to ensure that his students had everything they needed", the chapter wrote on its Facebook page.
According to a Washington Post report, some community members have defended Brewton's actions and argued that drowning raccoons in garbage bins serves to preserve farms and their livestock. "They can be rabid and you can be overrun with them in a short time".