MONTREAL - A Grade 10 classroom full of teenagers sat uncharacteristically quiet as their eyes locked on the gruesome video that played before them.

The students had urged their teacher to play the infamous video believed to show the killing and dismemberment of Chinese university student Jun Lin, says 17-year-old Maude Aubin-Boivin, who was in the classroom.

According to the account offered by several students, it all happened quickly. They say the class held a vote. The students elected, by a margin of about 22 to 3, to view the video. After all, many students had already seen it on their own.

CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.

So, they say, their popular 29-year-old teacher allegedly gave in. The students were shown parts of a video so disturbing that, according to Montreal police, even seasoned detectives who have seen it were troubled by its contents.

The teacher was immediately suspended with pay, while the school board investigates his case. Soon, he could face even harsher punishment.

Montreal police said Wednesday that investigators were trying to determine if charges could be laid against the unidentified teacher.

But many students interviewed outside the school Wednesday staunchly defended their teacher. They said the teacher gives his time coaching hockey, just had a baby, and is always willing to help students with problems inside or outside the classroom.

They have launched a petition on his behalf.

The students didn't think watching the video was a big deal — particularly since so many of them said they had already viewed the footage, which is widely available online.

The incident began during a chat about current events — which is how the history-and-ctizienship class often begins. Students were invited to discuss what was on their mind.

They mentioned the video, which purportedly shows adult-film actor Luka Rocco Magnotta killing the Chinese foreign student. Aubin-Boivin said the overwhelming vote from students was what convinced their initially hesitant teacher to agree.

As the gory contents rolled across the screen, Aubin-Boivin said some of her peers appeared to regret their decision.

"There are some who turned away, that's for sure," she said of fellow students at the west-end Cavelier-De LaSalle High School.

"They didn't want to watch, they lowered their eyes."

The school board, which declined to confirm the teacher's name, condemned the alleged June 4 action "as inappropriate as it was offensive."

"The incident is being taken very seriously," the board said in a statement Wednesday.

That same day, the teacher was suspended. School staff informed students that a team of psychologists was available to deal with any problems that might have resulted from watching the video.

The board said the teacher gave his side of the story Wednesday to school officials, who promised to make a swift decision on his future. He had been under contract as a replacement through the end of the year, and has also taught phys ed in the past.

Montreal police, meanwhile, said they were also examining the case. But spokesman Yannick Ouimet indicated that no plaintiffs had come forward yet.

"Investigators are looking at this," he said.

Back at the school, students lauded their teacher. They said he was always willing to help them with school, family and other personal problems.

"He's a very good teacher," Aubin-Boivin said. "Honestly, his courses are super fun... He's a teacher who knows his job and who knows how to teach."

She said maybe it wasn't a great decision to show that video but, still, she didn't believe the teacher should lose his job over it.

She suggested the students deserve as much blame.

"(They) asked to watch it," she said Wednesday, before heading into the school to write an exam.

Aubin-Boivin said the students who voted against watching the video stayed in the class anyway, and viewed it. They skipped over some of the most disturbing parts and discussed its contents as a group afterwards, she added.

Before he allegedly showed the video, she says the teacher warned the class: "He said, 'Watch out, for sure there are images that could be shocking.' "

Aubin-Boivin said the contents were troubling — but she's fine.

"For sure, at the beginning I found it tough," she said. "But I wasn't traumatized or anything. We see so much these days on TV."

A Queen's University education expert, who trains teachers, said the alleged decision to show the film to the class could be a case of professional misconduct. Benjamin Kutsyruba, an assistant professor, said society entrusts teachers to provide care for children.

He said new and popular teachers often face additional pressure from students.

"If you want to remain a popular teacher," he said, "very often teachers do something that would be in favour of the students' requests."

A video circulating on the Internet — called 1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick — is believed by authorities to show the 33-year-old Lin's murder in Montreal several weeks ago.

It shows someone stabbing a man and dismembering him. It then shows the killer committing acts of sex and what appears to be cannibalism on parts of the corpse.

Magnotta, a male escort and porn actor originally named Eric Newman, is awaiting extradition from Germany and faces murder charges in Lin's slaying.

A memorial is planned in Montreal for the Concordia University student on Thursday night.

One student at Cavelier-De LaSalle, who was not in the class, said he had trouble sleeping after watching the "disgusting" video a couple of weeks ago outside of school.

"But it really doesn't bother me too much. I was still able to come to school and take care of my business," said the 16-year-old.

The decision to view it in class, he added, didn't change much for most students: "There's not a lot of people who haven't watched the video."

Another student, a 14-year-old girl, said she only watched part of it after following a link posted on Facebook.

"I wasn't scared and I wasn't traumatized — it's just that it's very intense," she said.

A Montreal high-school teacher, speaking to The Canadian Press, says he has heard from several of his students who have watched the video at home and immediately regretted it.

Quebec Education Minister Michelle Courchesne expressed anger over the incident.

"It's horrifying," Courchesne told reporters in Quebec City. "It's a very, very serious and total lack of judgment. I don't see any educational value in that (video)."

-With files by Melanie Marquis

Loading Slideshow...
  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Photos from the family of Jun Lin, the victim of Luka Magnotta were given to media Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Montreal. Preliminary hearing is underway for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is shown in an artist's sketch in a Montreal court on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Magnotta has collapsed in court during his preliminary hearing.The notorious suspect in a killing and dismemberment case had been listening to evidence against him, whose contents are subject to a publication ban.

  • Daran Lin, father of murder victim Jun Lin, leaves the courthouse in Montreal on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Preliminary hearing is set to start for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is seen in an artist's sketch in a Montreal court on Monday, March 11, 2013. A preliminary hearing is set to start for Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.Magnotta's lawyers want the public and media barred from attending the hearing, which is to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.

  • Daran Lin, father of murder victim Jun Lin, leaves court with his translator Daran Lin in Montreal on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Preliminary hearing is set to start for Luka Rocco Magnotta, the man charged in connection with the infamous body-parts case that made international headlines.

  • Alleged killer Luka Rocco Magnotta is seen in court on a artist drawing Wednesday, January 9, 2013 in Montreal. Magnotta is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin.

  • Luka Rocco Magnotta is taken by police from a Canadian military plane to a waiting van on Monday, June 18, 2012 in Mirabel, Quebec. Magnotta, the lone suspect in a brutal Montreal killing that made headlines around the world, is back home to face justice on Canadian soil. (Montreal Police)

  • Magnotta lands in Canada (Montreal Police)

  • Magnotta lands in Canada (Montreal Police)

  • Mug shot of Luka Rocco Magnotta, released by Montreal Police on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Magnotta told a judge Tuesday he will not fight his extradition from Germany to Canada, Berlin police say. Magnotta is wanted in Canada on several charges, including first-degree murder, in connection with the killing and dismemberment of Chinese national Jun Lin. (AP Photo/Montreal Police Service via The Canadian Press)

  • Vancouver Police Deputy Chief Warren Lemcke speaks during a news conference after a human hand was delivered to a school and a human foot to another in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 5, 2012. Montreal police later confirmed the packages are connected to the dismembered body of a Chinese student found in Montreal last week and the international manhunt for his killer. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

  • A man walks his dog past St. George's School where a human foot was delivered to the school earlier in the day in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 5, 2012. A human hand was also delivered to another Vancouver school Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

  • A television cameraman films parents and students at False Creek Elementary School after a human hand was delivered to the school earlier in the day in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday June 5, 2012. A human foot was also delivered to another Vancouver school Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

  • A police car leaves the central police detention facility of Berlin supposedly carrying Luka Rocco Magnotta to a Berlin court Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Luka Magnotta, 29, a Canadian porn actor suspected of murdering and dismembering a Chinese was arrested on Monday at an Internet cafe. A cafe employee recognized Magnotta from a newspaper photo and flagged down a police car. (AP Photo/dapd/ Timur Emek)

  • The internet cafe where Luka Rocco Magnottahe was recognized in the district of Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows Luka Rocco Magnotta entering the Internet cafe in the district of Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June 4, 2012, where Kadir Anlayisli, who works in the cafe recognized him. "I looked at him and thought I knew him from somewhere, because I read newspapers every day," Anlayisli said. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows Kadir Anlayisli, a cafe worker waiting for police in the doorway of the Internet cafe in the district of Neukoelln in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June 4, 2012, where Luka Rocco Magnotta was arrested. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows police entering the Internet cafe shortly after. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • This image taken from CCTV obtained by Associated Press video shows Luka Rocco Magnotta, 2nd left, being removed by police from the Internet cafe. (AP Photo/AP Video)

  • Kadir Anlayisli stands next to the computer where he recognized Luka Rocco Magnotta. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

  • The Interpol alert, which shows various photos and a discription of Luka Rocco Magnotta. (AP Photo/Interpol/dapd)

  • This surveillance image provided by Interpol shows Luka Rocco Magnotta at a security checkpoint. (AP Photo/Interpol)

  • In a Wednesday, May 30, 2012 photo, janitor Eric Schoer looks at a blood-stained fridge at an apartment rented by suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta, where police believe a man was murdered and dismembered, in Montreal. (The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

  • A police officer removes a package containg a human foot from the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 29, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

  • The following is a series of photos and self-portraits posted by Magnota on various websites (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (Facebook)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)

  • (http://luka-magnotta.com)