updated 11/14/2007 3:12:26 PM ET 2007-11-14T20:12:26

A high school teacher killed a raccoon with a nail gun after discovering the planned subject of a skinning demonstration was alive.

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Superintendent Alvin Lievsay said a student's parent promised to bring in a raccoon for the exercise, but surprised teacher Jerick Hutchinson by bringing the animal in a live trap. Lievsay said Hutchinson, "who used to work in a slaughter house," took the animal outside to the back of his truck Friday and shot it with the nail gun. Lievsay said no students witnessed the raccoon's death.

"He used the nail gun to, as they say, to dispatch the animal," Lievsay said. "It wasn't like he held a nail gun against the head of a cute little animal in front of the class."

Hutchinson used the dead raccoon to demonstrate how to skin the animal and to examine the contents of its stomach. Lievsay said only one student asked not to attend the skinning.

Lievsay said officials at Huntsville High School later talked with Hutchinson and told him not to kill animals on school grounds. The superintendent said Hutchinson, one of two agriculture teachers at the school about 30 miles east of Fayetteville, also would provide more detailed lesson plans in the future.

"He does a great job. The kids love him," Lievsay said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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