Robert Crosland, who teaches science at Preston Junior High School, thought it would be a good idea to feed an ill puppy to a snapping turtle in front of several students. The unexplainable incident took place on March 8th. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game “seized the turtle and euthanized it as a non-native specifies,” as reported by the Associated Press.
But in an even more bizarre turn of events- now, a group of parents are rallying to get Crosland back in the classroom.
Charged with animal cruelty (a misdemeanor offense), Crosland could spend up to six months in jail and/or pay a $5,000 fine.
Strangely enough, the school is located in rural Preston, which is where the 2004 cult classic film, Napoleon Dynamite takes place.
“This teacher has influenced everyone in this room,” parent Dave Kerr said at the Preston School Board meeting in April, according to the Idaho State Journal. “We support this gentleman.”
“It is time to stand behind our teachers,” added Darren Kelly. “It is time to stand behind our kids.”
Superintendent Marc Gee called the incident “a regrettable circumstance,” but said it occurred after school hours, reports KTVB.
“Once we have seen the details, we will release a statement for the district,” he told The Idaho Statesman.
The Idaho State Attorney General’s office is currently handling the investigation after several parents reported the incident. Crosland has been placed on administrative leave.
Following the incident, an online petition calling for Crosland’s firing garnered more than 188,600 supporters. However, another petition calls Crosland “one of the best science teachers in the Preston Idaho School District,” receiving 3,700 signatures.