OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) - The Forest High School teacher accused of enlisting students to help him drown raccoons will not be returning to the classroom. He has decided to retire immediately.
While the case is now closed for Marion County Public Schools, it is still a very active investigation for Florida Fish and Wildlife as they continue to examine the videos and photos showing the alleged animal abuse.
The video of raccoons being drowned in trashcans behind Forest High School was too disturbing to show on television. Days later it has led ag-science teacher Dewie Brewton to end his 31-year teaching career.
He sent in his retirement papers to the school district on Thursday.
"Anybody that treats animals this way should not be an ag-science teacher for sure,” said the parent of the teen who filmed the alleged animal abuse.
This woman's son took video and these photos during class.
“[Brewton] told the children that he was going to dispose of these animals and that if they pulled out their phones, took pictures or videos, that they would get a referral,” she said.
Her son says the raccoon killed some chickens their class was raising, so Brewton and other students filled trashcans with water and submerged the trapped raccoons while spraying their faces with a hose.
Nationwide outrage erupted over this story as the school board inundated with calls. On Wednesday the Marion County Superintendent Heidi Maier recommended that Brewton be fired. But before the school could finish their investigation Brewton handed in this letter announcing his immediate retirement.
"I don't think he should be teaching there,”
a parent said.
Once the report from Florida Fish and Wildlife is complete, it will be up to the State Attorney's Office to decide if any criminal charges should be filed.
For now the State Department of Education cannot comment about any open complaints, but if an investigation finds fault with his conduct, he could lose his teaching certificate.