Idaho Teacher Reportedly Feeds Puppy To Snapping Turtle In Front Of Students, Robert Crosland Still Teaching

The incident took place in a junior high school after-school animal-care class.

an idaho teacher fed a puppy to a snapping turtle
Faiz Zak / Shutterstock

The incident took place in a junior high school after-school animal-care class.

A junior high school teacher allegedly fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of children, in what school officials are calling a “regrettable” incident, CBS News is reporting. As of this writing, the teacher, Robert Crosland, has not faced any disciplinary action.

Back on March 7, Crosland, a science teacher at Preston Junior High School, was feeding his classroom animals when the incident occurred. However, in reports from closer to Idaho, from both East Idaho News and KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City), it appears that the incident took place outside of classroom instruction or official after-school activities. Rather, Crosland’s actions took place on his own time and in front of students who wanted to be there. That’s what Preston School District 201 Superintendent Marc Gee told the News.

“The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school-directed program.”

Also unclear is whether or not the puppy was living or dead when it was fed to the snapping turtle. Local animal activist Jill Parrish, who filed a police report of animal cruelty after learning of the incident, suggests to KSTU that the puppy was alive when fed to the turtle.

“Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay.”

Seventh-grader Este Hull also made statements suggesting that the puppy was alive. Although to be fair, she says, the puppy was sick and was going to die anyway.

“I feel a little bit better that it was a puppy that was going to die, not just a healthy puppy.”

According to statements made by parents and students to East Idaho News, it appears that Crosland is a popular teacher who keeps a menagerie of reptiles in his science classroom. He’s fed guinea pigs to snakes before, says an unnamed student.

“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.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by parent Annette Salvesen.

“Cros[land] is very much circle of life. He’s the best science teacher Preston Junior High has.”

Nevertheless, in a statement, school officials distanced themselves from Crosland’s actions.

“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.”

Meanwhile, it appears that Crosland has not been placed on administrative leave, nor does it appear that he has undergone any disciplinary action.

Criminal charges are not yet off the table. Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar says his office is aware of the allegations.

“We’re investigating the facts and turning it over to the prosecutor. He’s the one who will determine if the law has been broken.”

Salvesen, however, doesn’t think criminal charges are the way to go.

“If you’re not fine with it, leave the room.”