Robert Crosland, a junior high school teacher at Preston Junior High is under investigation after he reportedly fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of his students.
According to reports, it is unclear if the dog was still alive when it was fed to the snapping turtle. While the incident happened after school hours, some students apparently witnessed the feeding.
Administrators began investigating the incident immediately, according to Gee, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was contacted. Crosland has not been cited or charged and has not been placed on leave, Gee said.
It’s unclear if the dog was alive or dead when Crosland fed it to the turtle and although it happened after school hours, some students did witness the feeding. Administrators began investigating the incident immediately, according to Gee, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was contacted. Crosland has not been cited or charged and has not been placed on leave, Gee said.
“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 said.
Crosland is a popular teacher who has exotic snakes and other animals in tanks around his classroom, according to multiple parents and students who contacted EastIdahoNews.com. Three former students, who asked not to be named, said they recall Crosland feeding guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles during classroom demonstrations.
“He is a cool teacher who really brought science to life,” a former student says. “I loved his class because he had turtles and snakes and other cool things.”
Gee says the district is taking steps to ensure “this type of action could not be repeated” and asked for patience while the investigation commences.
Idaho’s Preston School District released a statement:
On March 7, 2018 Preston School District was made aware of a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens at Preston Jr. High. The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school directed program. We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised.
District administration was made aware of the issue soon after it occurred and immediately began the process of investigation and taking steps to ensure that this type of action could not be repeated. 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. As such we ask for patience while appropriate measures are determined and carried out.
Additional details cannot be shared at this time as the local law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering information.
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.
Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar says the department is looking into the incident.
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