CALGARY - Calgary police say the beheading of a chicken in the cafeteria of an art school was part of a project and was sanctioned by an instructor.
Duty Inspector Cliff O'Brien says police were called to Alberta College of Art and Design around 12:15 p.m. Thursday when a student called to report someone was killing a chicken with a knife.
O’Brien says many students were shocked, but others were classmates and knew what the student was going to do.
He says police are talking to the Crown to see if charges are warranted.
The college released a statement on its Facebook page that it is working with faculty, students and staff to "better understand" what happened.
We are currently working with faculty, students, staff to better understand today's incident. The mental and physical health of our students is always the most important to us. If any students who are experiencing grief and or shock would like to speak to someone, you are welcome to contact our Counsellor, Jason Bauche at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-284-7666. Appointments can be made but are not necessary.
The act was part of a class project for sculpture called Fact or Fiction, the CBC reports, adding witnesses say they saw the young male student first calm the chicken before slitting its throat and letting it bleed out.
The chicken was then plucked and thrown in a pot.
Reaction to the event from the college's student body was swift and, although there was some support for the student, it was overwhelmingly angry.
"As an art academic, I am appalled by this, and by the faculty for allowing this to happen," said Rhino Dunkley on Facebook.
"What sort of critical discourse occurred between the student and his peer and mentor group leading up to this?"
"There needs to be an arrest made! they can't get away with this," Twitter user SarahMcGuireJB said.
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With files from the Canadian Press