A photo of a security guard appearing to be in the act of throwing a rabbit into a trash can at Hanks High School led to accusations of animal cruelty – charges district officials deny.

The controversy started after live rabbits were released in a school hallway as part of a senior prank. In the ensuing effort to round up the small mammals, the above photo was taken and shared on social media. A Twitter user who took great offense to how the animal was being handled retweeted the pic to the human society and PETA, and posted it on the Facebook wall of several media outlets.

After inquires were made by the animal rights organization, YISD officials had this to say about the claims:

District spokeswoman Patricia Ayala added that the rabbits were placed in the trashcan "in order to contain them."