A high school in Texas is taking some serious heat for a very nontraditional teaching method. Footage obtained by PETA Tuesday shows 11th and 12th grade students at Winston Churchill High School using a cat's intestines as a jump rope during an anatomy class, reportedly as part of a dissection lesson.
Despite the controversy generated by the clip's looming viral status, school officials told Complex no one depicted in the footage meant to offend and would thus not face punishment. "This was not meant to be disrespectful or degrading," Aubrey Chancellor, spokesperson for the North East Independent School District, told Complex Wednesday. "In fact, the students and the teacher are very upset it's being portrayed that way."
According to Chancellor, the intestine-assisted lesson was simply meant to demonstrate the strength of cat's organs. "The teacher participated in the same lesson during her college courses," she said. "However, we understand that best practices change over time and we believe there is a more appropriate way to demonstrate the concept." Chancellor also confirmed the validity of the footage, adding that it was first recorded "in early May" before making its way across social media.
"The disturbing video of Winston Churchill High School students heartlessly jumping rope with a dead cat's intestines and the hate-filled social media comments in support of the school illustrate why PETA and others feel that dissection fuels a lack of respect for both animals and humans," Samantha Suiter, PETA's Science Education Specialist, told Complex. "While we support the school's decision to end the use of intestines as jump rope, we're dumbfounded that an animal's entrails were used this way in the first place and that the practice was then defended." As an alternative, the group suggests using virtual dissections in the classroom environment.