Tales from the crypt
October 11, 2006
Hands-on learning can be a good thing. But when Candace Longworth, a biology teacher at Rocky Gap High School in Bland County, Virginia, snuck into a cemetery vault with two students and photographed them handling human bones, she may have taken the concept a bit too far. The vault, which contains the remains of 114 coal miners killed in an 1884 mining explosion, is not actually located in Bland County, but in the nearby town of Pocahontas. Rocky Gap Principal Robert Morehead hammered home this point when he said of the incident, "It's something that happened on [Longworth's] own time, on the weekend, in another county. It has nothing to do with this school." Longworth may face up to ten years in prison for "contributing to the delinquency of a minor" and "disturbing and defiling a dead person from a place of burial." Rocky Gap has suspended the biology teacher, but Gadfly is withholding judgment until he sees the students' latest science test scores.
"Teacher, students crept into vault," by Rex Bowman, Times-Dispatch, October 6, 2006