An Idaho science teacher is under investigation after reportedly feeding a live puppy to a classroom snapping turtle while several students watched.
Robert Crosland, a well-loved science teacher at Preston, Idaho’s Preston Junior High School is under investigation by local police and the school board after allegedly feeding a live puppy to one of the classroom pets, a snapping turtle.
Although the incident occurred after school hours, several students were present and watched the feeding.
Local animal activist, Jill Parrish contacted police after another teacher at the school described the events to her. According to reports, the puppy was born with birth defects that would have ultimately taken his life.
“Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay,” Parrish told FOX13.
Still, students and parents have come to Crosland’s defense.
Este Hull is a 7th-grade student at Preston Junior High.
“I’ve only heard him feed like mice or birds to his animals…I feel a little bit better that it was a puppy that was going to die, not just a healthy puppy,” 7th-grader Este Hull told the news station.
“If it was a deformed puppy that was going to die anyway, this is very much circle of life,” said Annette Salveson, a parent to another student.
Preston School District issued the following statement:
On March 7, 2018 Preston School District was made aware of a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens at Preston Jr. High. The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school directed program. We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised.
District administration was made aware of the issue soon after it occurred and immediately began the process of investigation and taking steps to ensure that this type of action could not be repeated. A part of any investigation includes determining the best course of action once the facts of the matter have been ascertained. This is not a situation that is easy, nor do we feel it is a measure that can be taken lightly. As such we ask for patience while appropriate measures are determined and carried out.
Additional details cannot be shared at this time as the local law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering information.
While the district certainly does not condone individual actions that may violate district policy or reasonable expectations of behavior, we hope that any errors in judgement made by a teacher in this instance will not cause us to forget the years of care, effort, and passion the teacher has given to students in Preston School District.
Franklin County Sheriff, David Fryar, says the department is investigating and will turn their findings over to the county prosecutor who will determine if any law has been broken.
Parrish maintains that “there’s a lot of humane things you can do. Feeding a live animal to a reptile is not humane and it’s not okay.”
At this time, Crosland has not been dismissed or placed on administrative leave and continues to teach science at Preston Junior High.
Please sign the petition urging Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee to terminate science teacher Robert Crosland as a result of his cruel actions by clicking here.