- CRITTER TALK
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Your young teen comes home from school and you ask:
“How was your day?”
Your child answers,
“Great Mom and Dad. In fact, I received extra-credit in my science class.”
You are thrilled:
“Oh, son! How great! What did you do in order to earn the extra credit?”
Your son responds:
“Mr. Crosland had some of us stay after school to learn about the circle of life.”
Interested, you probe a bit further, and say,
“Oh, that is so neat. What did you learn about the circle of life?
Your teenage son or daughter explains to you that Mr. Crosland fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle and he or she “got to watch.”
Now, I ask you?
How would you feel if you were that parent? What emotions would be set in motion if your young child shared this information with you?
Mr. Crosland is no fictitious teacher, nor is the incident a joke. Far from it.
This incident actually took place about two weeks ago at Preston Junior High School, in Preston, Idaho. And if you are as sick and disgusted as I am right now, you are not alone. In fact, so moved was animal activist, Jill Parrish, after another teacher told her of the incident that she rightfully filed a police report. Said Parrish,
“Allowing children to watch an innocent baby puppy scream because it is being fed to an animal. That is violence. That is not okay. There’s a lot of humane things you can do. Feeding a live animal to a reptile is not humane and it’s not okay.”
Well, thankfully we’ve got that handled, right? Wrong.
Because while over one-hundred thousand signatures have been harvested calling for this teacher’s termination, another petition has harvested over three-thousand signatures supporting Mr. Crosland, demonstrating once again that our nation continues to seemingly be losing its way when it comes to deciding what is right or what is wrong. One such parent supporting Crosland, Annette Salveson states in such a cavalier fashion:
“If it was a deformed puppy that was going to die anyway, Cros[land] is very much circle of life……“If you’re not fine with it, leave the room.”
So, according to this woman, if a child, yes a child, is uncomfortable with what is taking place, “leave the room.” To clarify: If a science teacher is doing something like this, all of the students would have been right to have left the room. Would they still have received their extra credit?
According to the Associated Press, the turtle, which ate the puppy was euthanized. Many were disappointed with this outcome – again, rightfully – questioning why the turtle had to be euthanized. Utah resident, Elvie Devor, is one such person. In an email to the Idaho Statesman, Devor asks:
“Why was the turtle punished by being euthanized for something the teacher caused? He should be punished, not the animal. Something is very wrong with this … this is getting worse than better.”
Sadly, many will find very little respite in the fact that Crosland is currently only under investigation for animal cruelty, however, others in the community find it nearly appalling that the teacher even has to be submitted to such scrutiny. One mother, Farahyln Hansen wants to set the record straight, and feels “it’s important for the truth to be out there.” According to the mother:
“They saw the physical state of the very young puppy. It was sick, wouldn’t accept food, and was dying. All of the three kids that were there felt Robert did the humane and right thing. My children work on farms; they understand life and death.”
The mother continued:
“What has been more traumatic to my children is the way Robert has been treated when they have worked by his side and seen him be nothing but compassionate and kind,” Hansen said. “What you (critics in the public) are doing to Robert is more inhumane than anything he did.”
According to a spokesman for Idaho Fish and Game, Roger Phillips, “Snapping Turtles are invasive,” and agriculture officials from the State are on record indicating that relocating invasive animals is “complex due to stress on the animal, lack of suitable release sites, and disease spread to other wildlife, livestock, companion animals and people.” One would think that since the incident took place in Idaho, there would be next to zero difficulties finding a relocation site, and stress aside, the turtle had every right to live. It is illegal to own invasive animals in Idaho.
I honestly do not know how people can be so divided over such an issue, let alone a puppy, even if the allegations that the pup was sick are true. Have these people not heard of a veterinarian? Instead of taking the puppy to the local science teacher who has an earned reputation for doing these things, perhaps the pup would have had a chance.
When people cannot even agree on something as simple as this, that is, whether there is any educational value in submitting a sixth grader to such an experience, or the apparent simple lack of mores being present in a community, it might be time to re-evaluate how in the world we all got to this point. Let me be clear: There is NO value in such science and had this teacher been a college professor, he would have had to pass an Institutional Review Board in order to do this sordid act. Both a puppy and a turtle lost their lives, and the students will live with this incident for the rest of theirs. Where is the value in that?
On a daily basis, I am asked as a journalist, how in the world this nation ended up with Donald Trump. Remember sixty-one million people – most likely people, just like this, who cannot see how disgusting an act this was – supported him.