PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) --A horrifying video of animal abuse at Petaluma High School stirred so much outrage, there's a push to shut down the school's wildlife museum.
The video shows Petaluma High School students abusing rats at the wildlife museum. The video, disturbing to watch, quickly went viral
"We were all horrified by what the kids were doing; we were astounded that it was even going on," student Esaia Gonzalez said.
The video shows rats used to teach students about wildlife and to feed some of the program's reptiles, being slammed against a rock, the sound of flesh and bone hitting granite over and over.
"It's really wrong," Gonzalez said. "It's clearly something they learned outside the classroom because that's not the environment they promote."
It was recorded by a student and turned over to officials. Since then, news of the video has taken on a life of its own.
Some people are blaming not just the students, but also the museum for the abuse.
A petition on change.org has close to 1,300 signatures, calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to shut down the Petaluma Wildlife Museum and the classes connected to it.
Although he is upset with what he's seen, Paul Guerrero believes ending the program is unnecessary and a step too far.
"It's a great benefit to the local neighborhood here and the city of Petaluma and I don't think anything should happen to the museum," he said.
School officials released a statement to ABC7 News saying, "As soon as teachers and administrators were made aware of the incident, the students were identified and disciplined accordingly."
They point out that dozens of students have earned scholarships to college because of their ties to the wildlife museum and say the behavior captured on video is the exception, not the rule.