Animal rights activists are upset after video surfaced showing Texas high school students using a cat's dissected intestines as a jump rope during a lesson.
Officials with the North East Independent School District said the incident happened earlier this month during an anatomy class of juniors and seniors at Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio. One of the students posted the video on social media.
District spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said the lesson "was not meant to be degrading or disrespectful" but was designed "to explore the tensile strength of the organs."
Chancellor said neither the students nor teacher will be punished and that the class is "very upset" by the way the lesson is being interpreted.
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The supervising teacher participated in the same demonstration during college classes at Texas A&M University, school officials said.
Chancellor said the school is deciding whether or not to alter its lesson plan but that animal dissections will remain part of the curriculum for now.
Animals rights group PETA posted the video on its website, urging supporters to push back against the school district. PETA said the school should replace "cruel and crude" dissection methods with animal-free lessons.
"Churchill officials have an obligation to ensure that this never happens again — they need to end all animal dissection immediately. Allowing dissection to continue endorses callousness, disrespect, and cruelty to animals," PETA said in a statement.