Middle school science teacher Robert Crosland is under investigation by the school district where he works in Preston, Idaho after a shocking demonstration in his classroom.
According to EastIdahoNews.com, Crosland fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in the classroom. Local news affliate Fox13 reported that the puppy, who was allegedly sick, was alive at the time, and students and faculty alike could hear its cries throughout the school.
While the event occurred "well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program," according to a press release from Preston school district superintendent Marc Gee, administrators still decided to investigate the incident immediately. Local animal activist Jill Parrish filed the police report against Crosland.
“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,” Gee says. As of now, Crosland has not been cited or charged, nor has he been placed on leave by the school.
Parrish, who called the act "sickening," told Fox13, "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." While some share her sentiments, others, including some students and parents, are okay with Crosland's actions and teaching methods (the beloved science teacher allegedly often intergrates snakes and turtles into his lessons and classroom).
In a statement released to petMD from PETA's senior director Stephanie Bell said, "This teacher—who is allegedly known for feeding guinea pigs to reptiles during lessons—is a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people. Any youngster who witnessed cruelty in the classroom is now in desperate need of lessons about having empathy for other living beings."
Bell added that PETA's TeachKind, their humane education division is "is urging the school district to take this incident seriously"
Gee said that the school district "does not condone individual actions that may violate district policy or reasonable expectations of behavior," adding, "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."
Image via Shutterstock
Read more: How Big Do Turtles Get?