Idaho teacher under investigation after feeding a puppy to a turtle in front of students
PRESTON, Idaho - Robert Crosland, a science teacher at Preston Junior High School, is currently under investigation after allegedly feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.
Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee addressed the incident as “a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens” which was reported to his administration on March 7.
It is not known if the dog was dead or alive before Crosland fed it to the turtle, according to Gee. However, immediately after the event was reported, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and an investigation of the incident was set into motion. Crosland has not been cited or charged and has not been placed on leave.
“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program,” Gee said in a news release. “We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised. 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,”
Crosland has been a teacher at Preston for several years and is popular amongst his students. “He is a cool teacher who really brought science to life,” a former student said. “I loved his class because he had turtles and snakes and other cool things.”
Three former students, who asked not to be named, said they recall Crosland feeding guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles during classroom demonstrations. Other sources who contacted EastIdahoNews.com confirmed these statements.
Gee said the school district is taking the appropriate measures to ensure “this type of action could not be repeated” and asked for patience while they continue the investigation.
“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 judgment 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,” Gee said.