A video that has surfaced online of several North East Independent School District high schoolers using a cat's intestines as a jump rope has caused quite the stir.
The footage posted to SnapChat shows several Churchill High School students playing jump rope with what appears to be the intestines of a dissected cat.
The cat was reportedly being used in the students' anatomy class.
KENS 5 reached out to officials with NEISD who confirmed that the incident happened in early May at Winston Churchill High School.
NEISD said that the teacher, in this case, was taught this same lesson in college and felt it was "effective" for demonstrating how long and tough intestines are.
"This lesson really was not meant to be disrespectful or degrading in any way. And when the teacher found out that that's how it was being portrayed, they were actually very upset about it," NEISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said.
Some students also came to their teacher’s defense. One emailed KENS 5 and said, in part:
“She is passionate in regards to her profession and continues to inspire us all through education.”
According to Chancellor, neither the students nor teacher will face punishment in this case, because there was "no ill will." However, the district said that it is time to update the lesson plan.
“At this point, we don’t think that we will be using this same lesson,” Chancellor said. “Moving forward, we will need to find a more appropriate but equally effective lesson in the future.”
The video caught the attention of the animal rights group PETA, who said that the students should be held accountable for the unethical treatment of the animal's parts.
"Studies show that classroom animal dissection can foster callousness toward living beings, and these gruesome 'jump rope' videos are a particularly sad example," PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg said. "PETA is calling on Winston Churchill High School to teach its students to respect life and science by replacing crude and cruel animal dissection with humane and effective non-animal teaching methods."
PETA has also offered to donate digital dissection resources to help Churchill transition to animal-free lessons. The district has yet to say if it will take PETA up on the offer.