Idaho Teacher Investigated for Alleged Animal Mistreatment During Class

A junior high instructor was accused of feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students.

Published March 13, 2018

 (Sista Vongjintanaruks /
Image courtesy of Sista Vongjintanaruks /

Prosecutors in Idaho are investigating a junior high teacher who was accused of feeding a puppy to a snapping turtle during school hours.

The teacher, identified as Robert Crosland of Preston Junior High, was first accused of animal cruelty by local woman Jill Parrish, who said:

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

Crosland was accused of carrying out the feeding during a class. Marc Gee, superintendent of the Preston School District, told us via e-mail that while an incident did occur at the school on 7 March 2018, it occurred "at least one hour after the students in the school had been dismissed."

He added that the school had taken steps to ensure that such an incident would not happen again. Gee did not comment on whether Crosland would face disciplinary action, citing state privacy laws:

Many are upset because I do not express my feelings on the matter. However, as the administrator of the school, any show of bias on my part would jeopardize my ability to assist law enforcement in their process.

Three former students told reporters that Crosland had conducted in-class feedings in the past, using guinea pigs as offerings for both snakes and snapping turtles.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Vic Pearson said in a statement that the incident had spurred "a considerable amount of public reaction," adding that both his office and law enforcement had received so many calls that it was interfering with their ability to proceed with the investigation.


Edwards, Ashton and Schidell, Dora. "Junior High Teacher Accused of Feeding Puppy to Turtle."     KSTU-TV. 13 March 2018.

Eaton, Nate. "Science Teacher Feeds Puppy to Turtle After School in Front of Students; Investigation Underway."     East Idaho News. 12 March 2018.

Arturo Garcia is a former writer for Snopes.