A Maypearl, Texas, student was suspended after she recorded another student killing a rabbit at the instruction of the teacher (video below).
In the clip, the 7th-grade student who killed the rabbit can be seen swinging the rabbit against a metal pole in an attempt to kill it. The teacher can be heard telling the student to "hit the head."
The mother of the student filming spoke to the Waxahachie Daily Light after her daughter was suspended for three days:
The video is disturbing to myself, as well as many others who have seen it. [My daughter] was given three days in-school suspension from the principal. She was given a zero for the day in the class, which, at the time, brought her grade into failing. On top of that, Mr. Merritt said she would have to enter ‘writer’s block’ when she returned to his classroom, which means she would receive eight different writing assignments over eight days. At this point, he was making it almost impossible for my daughter to even pass his class. We had her removed from his class, so she did not have to complete the [writing] punishment. I do feel that the three days of in-school suspension was an unfair punishment for her taking a video clip of an assignment that the kids were assigned to do.
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During a meeting with the teacher, Robert Merritt, and the principal of the school, Merritt said that the student knew she was breaking rules by filming. The girl's mother used another incident of filming during class as an example of students being allowed to do so in the past:
But if she were hiding it, she wouldn’t have posted it. We have taught our daughter that anything she posts [online] can be seen by anybody even if you delete it. [...] We also brought up to the principal that all the kids have been told is to not have their cell phones out in the locker rooms or bathrooms. The phone policy has not been enforced with these kids, which is another reason my daughter is confused as to why she is being punished. The father of the girl in the video showed the video to the principal and superintendent, not to get my daughter in trouble, but to bring attention to what occurred in the video to them. He thought the assignment was very inhumane, as it is in my eyes, my daughter’s eyes, and, honestly, anyone we have talked to about this incident.
The killing took place during an outdoor lesson on survival and fire building.
"Parents and students signed a letter prior to the start of the school year describing various elements of the class," superintendent Ritchie Bowling said. "The campus receives many requests each year from students wishing to take the course. We have determined that activities surrounding animal harvesting or dispatching will not be a part of future classes."
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