An Idaho teacher accused of feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of several students has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty. Preston Junior High School science teacher Robert Crosland made the plea yesterday in Franklin County Magistrate Court.
Crosland faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted at his trial scheduled to start October 26. The school is in rural Preston, where the 2004 teen cult classic film “Napoleon Dynamite” was set.
Several parents came forward to say Crosland fed the puppy to the turtle March 7. Several weeks later, state officials seized the turtle and euthanized it as a non-native species.
After the alleged incident, school district officials asked community members for patience and said the teacher has shown care, effort and passion on the job for years.