MAYPEARL (CBSDFW.COM) – A school district in Ellis County is making changes to an outdoor education class after an online video surfaced showing a student killing a rabbit by slamming it against a metal pole. The child who recorded the act in class was later given in-school suspension for violating the district’s cell phone policy.
Maypearl Independent School District superintendent Ritchie Bowling on Tuesday declined to comment on the disciplinary matter, but told CBS 11 News via email that there appeared to be “little or no concern” within the community about how the district is handling the situation.
The statement went on to say that both students and parents sign a letter at the beginning of the semester acknowledging the course content. However, activities surrounding “animal harvesting or dispatching” will no longer be a part of future classes.
The decision satisfied most of those who were troubled by the video.
But every single person approached in the small town of roughly 900 people supported school officials — explaining that, in rural Texas, meat does not always come wrapped in plastic from a grocery store. “There’s a lot of kids that like to hunt and fish around here, that don’t care,” said one parent who agreed that the school district was handling the controversy well.
Although townspeople dismissed the controversy publicly, interest in the incident remains high privately.
After the Waxahachie Daily Light first reported the incident, the video has been viewed on YouTube more than 15,000 times. Comments have ranged from accusations that the district is teaching cruelty, with one writer posting “a rabbit today, a puppy tomorrow, maybe a sister in the oven next year,” to “unless that kid and her parents are vegetarians, they are deluded hypocrites. Worse happens to the animals they eat every day.”
Efforts to reach the suspended child’s mother were not successful.