SHINNSTON, W.Va. — A Lincoln High School civics teacher is suspended indefinitely pending an investigation, Harrison County Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin confirmed Thursday.
J.D. Crosby, a civics teacher at Lincoln High School, apparently published a book that included interactions with current and former students, details of students’ sex lives, and used the real names of some of the students in question. The book, which was available previously on Amazon, is no longer listed there.
“From what I can gather, it was supposed to be fictional,” Manchin said. “But it ended up very specific with specific names of students, interaction with students that apparently really happened, things of that nature. I think there’s real concerns of the parents, there’s real concerns of the students, there’s concerns of the Administration, and there’s the concern on my end.”
Manchin said a full investigation into the true nature of the book and Crosby’s time as a teacher at LHS are underway, but said there is no timetable for completion because he has not yet been able to read the full book.
“Has there been some sort of violation of our local policy — which we are reviewing — state policy, some federal guidelines, some privacy rights, FERPA, things of that nature that perhaps has crossed the line,” he said. “Or, perhaps, even if there was some inappropriate action taken by the teacher then maybe even criminal. We have not reached that conclusion yet.”
Manchin said the excerpts he has seen from the book Untouchable were enough to at least suspend Crosby.
“Obviously, we are very sensitive to the privacy of our students,” he said. “That relationship between the teacher and the student is sacred, and when anytime — what appears — that bond has been broken or that privacy or anything of that nature, then obviously we have some concerns.”
Manchin is hoping to get his hands on a copy of the full book sometime next week.
“If it is determined that it is inappropriate, the proper action will be taken by me and the Board of Education.”
No item related to this incident has been placed on the agenda of the next Harrison County Board of Education meeting, Manchin said.