By JOHN W. YELLAND, KUTV
The junior high school teacher is accused of feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students, according to a law enforcement source as reported by East Idaho News.
Robert Crosland, who has taught at Preston Junior High School for years, has not been cited or charged, nor has he been placed on leave, the East Idaho News reports.
“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program,” said Marc Gee, a Preston School District 201 superintendent, as reported by East Idaho News. “We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised.”
It is not known whether the puppy was alive or dead when it was fed to the turtle. The feeding happened after school hours.
According to Gee, administrators began to investigate the matter immediately afterward, and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office was contacted.
“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 stated, as reported by East Idaho News.
According to multiple parents who contacted East Idaho News, Crosland is a popular teacher whose classroom has multiple tanks containing exotic snakes and other animals. Three former students, who wished to remain anonymous, told East Idaho News that they recall Crosland feeding guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles for class demonstrations.
“He is a cool teacher who really brought science to life,” a former student says, as reported by East Idaho News. “I loved his class because he had turtles and snakes and other cool things.”
As reported by East Idaho News, Gee states that the district is in the process of ensuring "this type of action could not be repeated" and asked for patience while the investigation continues.
“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 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,” Gee stated, as reported by East Idaho News.