The students at Ninety Six High School and Edgewood Middle School, located in the small town of Ninety Six, decided to hold a pig rodeo yesterday afternoon.
What happened at that rodeo has divided the community, with many residents shouting alleged animal cruelty, while others say the even has been blown out of proportion.
News broke on social media Thursday, with remarks that the pig was "lifted shoulder height and spiked like a football" and "the pig could no longer walk."
The pig rodeo began when a young pig was brought to the school and placed in a small enclosed area in the gym, where students and faculty proceeded to chase the pig. Mark Peterson, superintendent for Greenwood District 52, was among the middle and high school students who chased the distressed pig.
The pig was repeatedly caught, then dropped to the floor. Some reported the pig was spiked like a football, it's head hitting the gym floor numerous times.
The event was so disturbing to some students that they left the gym crying, and were supposedly ridiculed for leaving the event.
The pig, now known as Charlotte, was picked up Friday by animal activist Joe Mann and taken to the Chinquapin Animal Hospital. Charlotte was x-rayed and examined, and was found to have no broken bones of serious injuries. Charlotte did have some minor injuries, but Dr. Paula Watkins, DMV, couldn't determine whether these were recent injuries.
A representative of The Community Pet Project, an upstate group concerned with animal welfare, spoke with Greenwood County Animal Control Deputy Joseph Brooks. The deputy was very nice as he answered questions, and reported the Ninety Six municipality has their own police department, as well as their own animals control.
In hindsight, Superintendent Peterson issued a statement
"I can assure you that this activity will not be scheduled in the future. If I have offended anyone, I certainly apologize."
There have been conflicting reports made by parents, as well as students who attended the pig rodeo. A few of the students say the pig was never spiked and wasn't injured.
There's also been some concern that the pig taken to the animal hospital wasn't the same pig injured in the pig rodeo. At the time of this article, it's believed the pig injured was the same pig taken to the vet.
Peterson also spoke out about allegations saying students were forced to remain in the gym and watch the event.
"Also, let me assure you that any student who did not wish to participate in the assembly was allowed to leave the gym. They were either seated in the cafeteria or walked outside with Mrs. Fisher."
Anyone wishing to voice a complaint against Superintendent Peterson, or to contact authorities who can decide whether this incident violates South Carolina Animal Cruelty law, information is as follows
Ninety Six Police Department at (864) 543-3122,
Superintendent Mark Peterson(864) 543-3100
Many parents are outraged to the point they're asking for Peterson to be fired and charged with animal cruelty. Others are saying the pig wasn't being abused. That loud squeals are normal noises made by an excited pig.
If any students or their parents would like to personally describe what took place at this pep rally, please leave a comment below.