A science teacher at a junior high in Idaho is facing investigation after he allegedly fed a puppy to a turtle in front of his students.
The teacher fed the puppy to a snapping turtle after hours at Preston High School, East Idaho News reports. The status of the dog at the time is unclear, according to reports from Fox Now, but a local animal activist alleges that the puppy was alive at the time it was fed to the turtle.
"Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay," Jill Parrish told Fox 13.
Parish states she was informed by a teacher that the puppy was sick, with other parents repeating claims that the puppy was "deformed" and "was going to die anyway".
Though snapping turtles look adorable, they have bites forceful enough to take off a human finger and are omnivorous, eating anything from small fish to snakes, frogs, and birds.
The teacher has not been suspended, though the school district said that they were made aware of an incident shortly after it took place, and have put steps in place to ensure that it won't be repeated.
"On March 7, 2018 Preston School District was made aware of a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens at Preston Jr. High," District Superintendent Marc Gee said in a statement.
"The event occurred well after students had been dismissed and was not a part of any school directed program. We emphasize that at no time was the safety of students or staff compromised."
Additional details, such as the live status of the animal, could not be confirmed while information is still being gathered, he said.
However, "PETA has learned that witnesses, including students, reportedly watched this teacher place a live puppy into a tank with a snapping turtle, who attacked and nearly cut the dog in half, as the animal screamed," PETA Senior Director of Cruelty Casework Stephanie Bell said.
"This teacher – who is allegedly known for feeding guinea pigs to reptiles during lessons – is a bully who should not be allowed near impressionable young people. Any youngster who witnessed cruelty in the classroom is now in desperate need of lessons about having empathy for other living beings."
The District stresses that it doesn't condone these kinds of actions, but doesn't want the incident to overshadow his work as a science teacher.
"We hope that any errors in judgment made by a teacher in this instance will not cause us to forget the years of care, effort, and passion the teacher has given to students in Preston School District."