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Preston School District investigating ‘regrettable circumstance’ involving animals

PRESTON, Idaho – Jill Parrish says she is both frustrated and disturbed by reports called in to her about a puppy that was heard screaming from down the hallways of Preston Junior High School.

“Puppies make a noise when they are in pain and whatnot. They literally scream like babies,” Parrish described. “Something like this should not be swept under the rug.”

Jill Parrish explains why witnesses to the March 7th incident are too afraid to publicly come forward.

Parrish said two witnesses who were at the school Wednesday night came to her, because she is known in the area as an animal advocate.

“Not one person that was there dares say anything,” Parrish said. “They are all so worried about repercussions, because they are all getting the same story; ‘but he’s a beloved teacher. He’s been here for 40 years plus.'”

Parrish said witnesses told her they ran down the hallway, along with school staff to find a puppy being fed to another animal, possibly a snake or a snapping turtle.

“They ran down there, but it was too late,” Parrish explained. “It is not OK. It should be a moral outrage.”

Both the Franklin County Sheriff and the Superintendent at Preston School District kept relatively quiet about the investigation. Superintendent Marc Gee issued a statement.

“Preston School District was made aware of a regrettable circumstance involving some of the biological specimens at Preston Junior High,” the statement reads. “District administration was made aware of the issue soon after it occurred and immediately began the process of investigation and taking steps to ensure that this type of action could not be repeated.”

The statement does not detail what exactly happened at the school, but said: “This is not a situation that is easy, nor do we feel it is a measure that can be taken lightly.” (Click here to read the full statement)

While those who witnessed the incident may be afraid to speak out, Parrish said she feels she must do it for them.

“The one person cried for two days, two days because of the sound,” she exclaimed. “He’s still teaching over there. At the very least, he should be put on administrative leave until this is said and done.”

Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar said the investigation has been handed over to the County Prosecutor for review.

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