A Bad Week For Puppies, Students, Human Beings…And Turtles.

“Mmmmm…puppies…”

Robert Crosland, a popular veteran science teacher at Preston Junior High School in Idaho, apparently fed a puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students after school last week. Apparently the puppy was infirm and not expected to live, justifying his conversion into Turtle Chow in the teacher’s view.

Crosland has not been criminally charged or placed on leave—yet—but the school is still investigating and considering its options, as is the Franklin County prosecutor.

Interviewed  students said Crosland is a well-liked, “cool” teacher at the school who kept snakes and other reptiles in tanks in his classroom, and had fed guinea pigs to snakes and snapping turtles in past classes. School officials describe him as a passionate, dedicated, gifted teacher. On the other side, Jill Parrish, an animal activist who filed a police report in connection with the alleged feeding, called Crosland’s actions  “sick” and “disgusting.”

“Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal … that is violence,” Parrish said. “That is not okay.”

While trying to sort all this out, officials took action: they killed the snapping turtle.

I have nothing but questions about all of this:

Guinea pigs are cute, and they squeal. What is the line that makes feeding them to snakes acceptable science, and but feeding puppies to turtles “sick”?

My 9th grade biology teacher killed 20 frogs one time, so we could dissect them. Two girls started crying. Are reptiles and amphibians especially kill-able? Who makes these rules?

Is it worth losing a talented science teacher because of political correctness? Is that what this is?

What difference does it make that the puppy was sick? Isn’t feeding it to a snapping turtle just as cruel whether it is sick or not?

The officials who killed the snapping turtle said they did it because the reptile was “an invasive species.” Does anyone believe that? It sure seems like they are executing the turtle for killing a puppy, which means they could use a science lesson or two themselves.

If the teacher had fed a sick ugly baby turtle to a puppy, would they have killed the dog?

I think not.

35 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Animals, Childhood and children, Education, Science & Technology

35 responses to “A Bad Week For Puppies, Students, Human Beings…And Turtles.

  1. joed68

    We would make the most terrible pets.

  2. valkygrrl

    Guinea pigs are cute, and they squeal. What is the line that makes feeding them to snakes acceptable science, and but feeding puppies to turtles “sick”?

    Should have used a rabbit. Things are %&%&^%%ing pests.

    My 9th grade biology teacher killed 20 frogs one time, so we could dissect them. Two girls started crying. Are reptiles and amphibians especially kill-able? Who makes these rules?

    Our frogs came form a supplier already dead and accompanied by a disposable tray and a card with pictures of things to cut out.

    Anyone who objected could sit at one of the computers in back and do the software-based equivalent of the lesson.

  3. Rich in CT

    They killed the turtle??? It was an “invasive species” in the classroom???

    Goddamn morons.

    At camp, we fed like 20 guppies to a snapping turtle one day. The turtle didn’t know what it was doing; it just something snap-able, so it snapped.

    Turtles don’t know puppies from from guppies. I suspect it is smarter than the school administrators, though.

  4. That’s too many WTF‘s for my brain to deal with this morning so I’ll just…

  5. Chris Marschner

    Exactly what lesson was being taught? Puppies are not typically on the diet of snapping turtles so what was the teacher’s objective? If the puppy was acceptable as food why was it not euthanized beforehand as were the frogs before dissection.

    This would have been an especially cruel death to the puppy. More importantly it would have been especially bloody and gory. When food mice are fed to constrictors or other snakes the mouse is dead rather quickly due to hypertension or poison and consumed whole

    I am worried about teachers who conduct activities such as this.

    The snapping turtle and the puppy were victims of human cruelty.

    • “Exactly what lesson was being taught?”

      My thoughts EXACTLY. For some reason, I find this story to be especially disturbing. Regardless of the reason for it, it is commonly accepted that Americans have a special affinity for domesticated mammals that we do not reserve for other animals. This teacher HAD to know that, and HAD to know he would be disturbing a portion of his student population as a result….and he did it anyways. There’s something very disturbing about that.

      I’d hazard that he’s one of the “cool” teachers specifically BECAUSE he does things like this, and either was living up to his reputation, or blurred the line between acceptable/unacceptable conduct long ago. (Fortunately, none of my students think Im cool, so there’s no fear of me being blinded by their admiration).

      There was no reason to feed a:
      a) live (as opposed to a euthanized animal)
      b) puppy (as opposed to something from the snake’s normal diet)
      c) in front of students (this could have just as easily been done in private, unless the intent was to have students observe the act, which as Chris M. correct states, cannot possibly be connected to a lesson that the state DOE approved of).

      Dumb people are dumb.

  6. Steve

    Snapping turtles are omnivore and will feed on damn near any type of meat. I have watched one kill and eat a opossum, they will feed on the dead as well but it is a much different reaction than a live animal. Although I find it distasteful the teacher seems to really want to engage his students. Even finding it distasteful I would watch the snapper feed as it really is something to witness.

    I have to be vigilant about keeping them out of my pond as they will take a chunk out of my kids or dogs given a chance. They are nasty creatures but are amazing to watch in action.

    • Chris Marschner

      A chicken neck would have sufficed to demonstrate feeding.

      • Steve

        I am just not sure, I guess for me it comes down to what the point of the feeding was, if it was to engage the kids by showing how the turtle hunts and kills live prey than you need to have live prey. What makes dogs special is the bond they CAN have with people. This is a puppy, it could be a rat or rabbit but it really doesn’t change the ethics of it. Is it unethical to feed a live animal to a snapping turtle? I don’t think it is, not in terms of teaching or simply feeding it. To be cruel for cruelties sake than it is unethical.

        • Chris Marschner

          Snapping turtles are ambush killers they do not stalk prey. They lie in wait for some unlucky victim to pass within striking distance. You can put a stick in front of them and they will chomp down on it. Their reptilian brain is not developed enough to hunt prey.

          Would we see a physical science teacher demonstrating the rapid oxidizing effects when ammonium nitrate is combined with a hydrocarbon such as diesel fuel? I am sure that would get a lot of kids engaged. Perhaps that might even replicate the experiment outside of class for practice. Some might move to Austin Tx area to develop their understanding of energetics.

          Furthermore, a 13-14 year old cannot understand why feeding a live animal, to be ripped to shreds before their eyes, to any animal is no different than abusing someone’s pet. Juvenile animal cruelty is a hallmark of adult sociopathic killers. This normalizes the killing with no discernable educational benefit.

          • joed68

            Good point.

          • Matthew B

            Would we see a physical science teacher demonstrating the rapid oxidizing effects when ammonium nitrate is combined with a hydrocarbon such as diesel fuel? I am sure that would get a lot of kids engaged

            I’ve suffered tinnitus for 32 years now because of getting the mixture spot on when goofing around with my high school teacher after school. We home-made ammonium perchlorate and mixed it with charcoal.

    • joed68

      That’s why I don’t pee in ponds.

  7. Scott GF

    I wouldn’t have sat through that. Sick or not that would have been to much for me to have witnessed. I get nature, it is more violent and cruel that depicted on TV. Survival can be very bloody and raw but having a turtle eat another live animal, sick or not, would have been a bridge to far. I might have taken the action to put the puppy out of it’s misery first. Being eaten alive is a primal fear for most, if not, all living things. The teacher should have used better judgement in this case and put the pup down first respecting life and death in the process.

  8. A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy -PETA

    I know this goes on in the wild, but I don’t have to watch it. Teacher should have had a second thought, if he had a first one.

  9. Beth

    Everything about this is terrible. I would have had nightmares for years if forced to watch that. And yes, I would not have been able to kill a frog or a guinea pig either. Humans get eaten all the time by tigers in India and mosquitoes kill people every day, should any of this be demonstrated? Hey, how about some fun examples with fire ants? Certain biology lessons can be learned without live demonstrations. I don’t think dissection should even be taught until college — I didn’t learn anything from dissecting my frog other than, “Well, I guess Doctor is out of the running.” Poor turtle.

  10. Chris

    This is awful.

    It isn’t about political correctness, it’s about empathy and societal standards. Whether dogs objectively have a greater right to live than any other animal, the fact is that in this country, people have an incredible bond with dogs and see them as kindred. There is no excuse for this teacher violating the ethical principles of empathy and compassion to subject his students to a demonstration such as this. It shows he is either too stupid or too uncaring to be a teacher at all. I don’t care what kind of reputation he had before this–it is signature significance.

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