A SCOTS religious education teacher has been heavily criticised after he showed a class of 14-year-olds a horrific video showing dogs being skinned alive.
The horrendous images, which were shown to a class of fourth year pupils at James Young High School, Livingston, contained scenes so disturbing one girl fled the classroom in tears.
The decision to show the video has been described as “unfair and almost cruel” by education campaigners.
Now the decision to show the film by the school’s RE teacher Richard Gray is under investigation.
The mixed class of 20 pupils was shown the images as part of a class discussion of moral values.
Mr Gray told the class he had witnessed a video showing dogs being skinned but said at the time he would not showing it.
Encouraged by pupils
But, encouraged by some of the pupils, he relented and agreed to show a five minute excerpt from the footage, which is freely available on the website of People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA).
Pupils were told if they didn’t want to watch the clip they could leave the classroom, but none did.
The video was then downloaded from the internet and projected on to a wall.
The footage from Korea and China showed dogs being beaten to increase the amount of adrenalin in their bodies before being clubbed to death. The beatings are said to increase the virility of the men who eat the dog meat.
The disgusting scenes also show dogs still moving even after having all their fur ripped off.
One pupil, who wished to remain anonymous, said several classmates were unable to watch the full footage, and one girl was left in floods of tears after witnessing the disturbing footage.
They said: “Someone told Mr Gray that a girl was crying asnd he asked if she was OK. One or two had hands up at their mouths as if they were about to be sick.
“Quite a few admitted they wished they had never seen it.
“Mr Gray did ask if we wanted to watch it, but no-one wants to be seen as being weak in front of their classmates so none of us said no.”
The screening has been branded as “irresponsible” by education campaigners.
Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “It’s totally irresponsible to show this sort of material.
“Terrible things happen in the world. But it’s not the job of teachers or schools to show this in such a graphic way.
“These are horrible images even for adults.”
A spokesperson for West Lothian Council said: “We’ll be carrying out an investigation into the allegations that young people at a West Lothian school were shown an inappropriate video depicting animal cruelty.
“The class was designed to challenge pupils to think about ethical and moral issues and teachers are given discretion on what is appropriate.
“Pupils were warned the video contained disturbing content and given the option of leaving the room. None of them was visibly upset after watching the video and the class took part in a debate afterwards.”