The Idaho science teacher who thought it was a swell idea to feed a sick puppy to a snapping turtle as part of a demonstration for his middle school students back in March was arraigned on Friday.
Robert Crosland, a Preston Junior High School faculty member, is facing one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. If convicted, he could face six months of jail time and a $5,000 fine.
Idaho teacher who fed puppy to snapping turtle charged https://t.co/mRPwenjZST https://t.co/uUxvIq6y39— KTVB.COM (@KTVB.COM)1527884030.0
A special prosecutor assigned to the case by Attorney General Lawrence Wasden filed the charge in Franklin County Court on Friday. The first court date has yet to be scheduled.
Immediately after the incident, people circulated a petition demanding that the school district fire Crosland. "Do we really want teachers killing living animals in front of impressionable junior high students?" it read.
Animal activist Jill Parrish was disgusted with Crosland and filed a police report. She told Fox 13, "It is sick. It is sick,"
Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay.
The Idaho Attorney General's Office has filed misdemeanor charges against Preston biology teacher Robert Crosland. https://t.co/QffyACy3UJ— Local News 8 (@Local News 8)1527886284.0
Even though the poor puppy wasn't long for this world, Parrish didn't agree that forcing it to become the turtle's lunch while still alive in front of students was appropriate.
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.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also condemned Crosland, calling him a "bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people."
Freshwater turtles are known to be aggressive when restrained or confronted on land and their bites are "powerful enough to mutilate human fingers," according to Wikipedia.
@uhm_Hello @SBusinessDreams @RichardRedParke @localnews8 Clearly you don’t know much about snapping turtles. This w… https://t.co/EeaIAYzCUa— David Clarke (@David Clarke)1528044101.0
It's doubtful that some of the students wouldn't be emotionally scarred from witnessing the primal feeding.
@localnews8 For anyone to say this is “science” how would The ill puppy get in the cage without teacher? That’s not… https://t.co/gxR6shm8p3— Cindy⚱GardenGirl9 (@Cindy⚱GardenGirl9)1528043154.0
@localnews8 Sick person! Misdemeanor is abhorrent! He should lose his job AND PENSION! what are these teachers teac… https://t.co/CjsHEK8omo— Women4Trump (@Women4Trump)1528035723.0
Despite the ire from animal sympathizers, thousands came to the teacher's defense by distributing petitions. One of the student's parents, Annette Salvesen, said:
If it was a deformed puppy that was going to die anyway. Cros(land) is very much circle of life. If you're not fine with it, leave the room.
One petition called "We Support Crosland" circulated and already received over 3,700 signatures as of Friday.
@collinsbry @USATODAY Seriously. Some students and parents came to his defense? And the article quotes a parent say… https://t.co/gVaZTeK9jp— Valk (. _.) (@Valk (. _.))1528035385.0
After the The Idaho Department of Agriculture declared the turtle as part of an "invasive species," state officials seized and "humanely euthanized" the turtle, which spurred another public outcry.
@KTVB Anybody else mad about them euthanizing the turtle? Or is it just me?— Kati Blair (@Kati Blair)1527905419.0
@blairkati @KTVB Yes! And this teacher knew it was an envasive species. That poor turtle deserved a longer life!… https://t.co/zSVBKTkx5m— The PACC (@The PACC)1527913086.0
@Lead_The_PACC @blairkati @KTVB People always talking about RIP Harambe, but when it comes to saving a new animal f… https://t.co/vBYKx2fpq6— M'BlockYou ☻ (@M'BlockYou ☻)1528040336.0
@USATODAY The turtle is doing what it is on it’s nature, the teacher is grotesque and torturous I would not want hi… https://t.co/ug3p5MUyxy— Evkb (@Evkb)1528035074.0
@USATODAY Good. This teacher lacks common sense, compassion, and human decency. I am troubled that he influences young minds.— Molly (@Molly)1528030988.0