Last year, an Idaho science teacher, known as being a favorite among students, drew outrage after he fed his classroom snapping turtle a live puppy.
As Dearly previously reported, Robert Crosland was with students in his classroom after school hours when the incident occurred at Preston Junior High.
Police started an investigation after parents grew outraged, and Crosland was charged with one count of animal cruelty.
Now, the teacher has learned his fate.
According to Fox 13, the four students who witnessed the incident testified in court.
A 14-year-old boy said that Crosland tried to feed the puppy, which was sickly, to a snake first. He gave the puppy to the snapping turtle when the snake wasn’t interested.
The teen told the courtroom:
“It was pretty cute. It looked like a Lab.”
Another teen said that Crosland offered him the puppy and then later proposed that he could watch it be fed to the turtle. The student said:
“He let us hold it first. It was small, one-handed size for a person with big hands.”
A seventh-grade student said the puppy “wasn’t doing the best.” He said Crosland put the puppy in the turtle’s water and that it was dragged under.
But on Friday, Crosland was found not guilty of animal cruelty. Shane Reichert, the teacher’s attorney, told The Herald Journal:
“The reality was that there was a ton of misinformation and gossip that were not actual facts or evidence. Once the facts and evidence were received, a jury of his peers determined he was not guilty.”
Crosland’s family and many members of the local community who support the teacher were elated, according to Fox 13.
But many on social media weren’t pleased with the outcome. The verdict ignited a firestorm on platforms like Facebook. One user wrote:
Not sure what is more disturbing here; A man taking a suffering animal and giving it a painful death and thinking that was fine. Students willing to watch this and then thinking it was ok. Parents supporting a teacher doing this. A judicial system that thinks this was ok and educationally sound. A school district employing someone this cruel.
So instead of taking the puppy to a vet, you feed it to a turtle? That was traumatic for me to read; can’t imagine having to watch it.
The snapping turtle was euthanized after the incident because it was a non-native species that Crosland didn’t have a permit for.
The teacher remains an employee of the Preston School District.