PRESTON, ID (RNN) – A junior high school science teacher is under investigation after he allegedly fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.
A local animal activist filed an animal cruelty complaint, KSTU reports, triggering an investigation into the incident by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said Preston Junior High science teacher Robert Crosland fed a live puppy to a reptile last week. The puppy was reportedly sick, according to KSTU.
In a news release, Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee said the district was made aware of the “regrettable circumstance” on March 7. Gee said the event occurred after school and was not part of a school-directed program.
Crosland has not been cited or charged in the matter, nor has he been placed on leave, according to KSTU.
“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,” Gee wrote.
Parents and students said Crosland is a popular teacher who keeps exotic snakes and other animals in tanks around his classroom, according to East Idaho News. Three students said they recall the teacher feeding guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles during classroom demonstrations.
“He is a cool teacher who really brought science to life. I loved his class because he had turtles and snakes and other cool things,” a former student told East Idaho News.
Sheriff Dave Fryar told the Idaho Statesman late Monday afternoon that he had forwarded a report on the investigation to the county prosecutor.
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