In March this year, junior science teacher Robert Crosland was reported to have fed a puppy to a snapping turtle at a school in Preston Idaho with students present. East Idaho News was unable to confirm if the puppy was alive or dead at the time of the incident.
Following investigations, the offending Preston Jr. High School teacher has been charged on one count of misdemeanor and animal cruelty. The Idaho Statesman reports that the school’s superintendent Marc Gee will be presenting a public statement on the matter soon.
In spite of the public outrage, one parent supported Crosland. According to Los Angeles Times, Farahlyn Hansen, whose two boys were present when the teacher offered the puppy to the turtle, said the puppy being sick and close to death was reason enough for Crosland’s actions.
[The students] saw the physical state of the very young puppy. It was sick, wouldn’t accept food, and was dying. All of the three kids that were there felt Robert did the humane and right thing.
The incident happened well after school hours, and there were three boys present. No statement has been made by the parents of the third boy. Meanwhile, social media has been in a flurry as several people have weighed in on the issue.
Name and Shame this POS: Robert Crosland. Is this who we want educating our children??— Adam Perez (@GraffiteAdam) June 2, 2018
The fact that he did this in front of kids should have a child cruelty charge added right?— The Delightful Diva (@Delightful_Diva) June 3, 2018
Cruel and Sick Teacher ...😤— Ingrid Amelia (@IngridAmelia7) June 3, 2018
....if I was a student in that class it would have turned out different....
Dogs are considered family, give unconditional love, serve our country in the military, and serve with our local law enforcement...Dogs/puppies deserve better treatment than what this teacher cruelly did!— The PACC (@Lead_The_PACC) June 2, 2018
In a follow up to the incident, Idaho State Department of Agriculture seized the turtle and had it put down. The snapping turtle is an invasive species, and Crosland apparently did not have a permit for it.
If Crosland is found guilty, he may face a fine of up to $5,000. News outlets in Idaho continue to follow the case and provide updates as they develop.