Two months after a biology teacher garnered international headlines for feeding a puppy to a turtle, prosecutors have laid animal cruelty charges against the teacher.
Robert Crosland, a a biology teacher at Preston Junior High School in Preston, Idaho, has been accused of misdemeanor animal cruelty.cros
Tens of thousands of people signed a petition demanding the school fire Crosland, a popular teacher.
A mother of two boys at the school told the Preston Citizen the puppy was terminally ill and was given to Crosland by its grief-stricken owner; she said.
Crosland fed the dying puppy to the turtle in a graphic demonstration of the circle of life for his students. Another teacher tried to stop the incident.
Hansen said she was the first person the boys talked to after the incident, and it wasn’t because the puppy perished. It was because of the way the junior high staff member reacted when she heard the puppy.
The staff member never entered the room, said Farahlyn Hansen. The boys told her Crosland exited the room to talk to her as she began unlocking his room’s door.
While the incident sparked worldwide outrage, some parents expressed frustration over the ordeal and have defended Crosland.
Hansen told the Citizen her sons were more upset about the outrage among school staff leveled at the teacher.
“I am not upset. I felt like it was the more humane thing for Robert to do than to just leave it to die,” Hansen told the paper in March.
Despite what some defenders called a humane killing of a puppy, it also led to the turtle’s death. The incident triggered an investigation, and state wildlife authorities seized and euthanized the turtle after determining it was a nonnative species, the AP reported.
If convicted, Crosland faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Two petitions have started. One demanding Crosland be fired, another showing support for the biology teacher.