PRESTON, Idaho – Police and school officials are investigating after a middle-school science teacher was accused of feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students after school.
The East Idaho News reports it’s unclear if the puppy was alive or dead when it was fed to the turtle by the Preston Junior High science teacher, who was identified by the News as Robert Crosland.
The incident occurred after school on March 7.
“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program,” Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee said in a news release, according to the News. “We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised.”
An animal cruelty complaint was filed with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Idaho Statesman.
“What I have learned in the last four days is disgusting. It is sick. It is sick,” Jill Parish, an animal activist who filed the report, tells Fox 13.
Crosland is still working as the investigation continues, reports say.
The News reports Crosland is popular with students and has fed guinea pigs to snakes and turtles kept in his classroom.
“He is a cool teacher who really brought science to life,” a former student tells the News. “I loved his class because he had turtles and snakes and other cool things.”
The district’s news release also is asking for patience during the investigation, the Statesman reports.
“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 the students of the Preston School District.”
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