Idaho junior high school science teacher Robert Crosland is “a cool teacher,” according to former students.
Plus he “has shown care, effort and passion for the job for years,” Preston School District officials told news outlets.
But on March 7, Crosland did something that has upset animal lovers, activists and some parents of Preston Junior High School students, and forced school officials to launch an investigation. He fed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle as his young students looked on. It happened after school in what district Superintendent Marc Gee called “a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens,” the East Idaho News reported.
“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not part of any school-directed program,” Gee said in a statement. He also said students and staff were safe during the feeding incident.
It’s unknown whether the puppy was alive or dead when it was fed to the turtle.
“He is a cool teacher who really brought science to life,” a former student told the East Idaho News. “I loved his class because he had turtles and snakes and other cool things.”
Other students told the local newspaper that Crosland, who has snakes and other animals in tanks in his classroom, fed Guinea pigs to snakes in class during live demonstrations.
Gee is asking for patience during the investigation and said he hopes Crosland’s years of dedication and care won’t be forgotten by “any errors in judgement.”
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating the incident after it received a complaint of animal cruelty.
Crosland is still in the classroom and is still teaching while investigators look into the incident.