Iberville Parish school officials said they were shocked Tuesday by the arrest of one of the district’s top teachers on 37 counts related to inappropriate sexual relationships with three students.
Keavin Keith, 30, was booked into the Iberville Parish Jail on Tuesday on 30 counts of prohibited sexual conduct between an educator and a student, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and five counts of felony carnal knowledge.
Sheriff Brett Stassi said Keith admitted to investigators that he’d had sex with the students. Keith was released from jail on $100,000 bail Tuesday afternoon.
Keith’s stepfather, David Keith, said his son had hired a lawyer but no one would be making any comments about the arrest.
The school district’s Chief Academic Officer Elvis Cavalier said Keith, who taught Ninth- and 10-th grade physics and geography at Iberville’s Math, Science and Arts Academy-West campus, was placed on administrative leave without pay.
“Please be assured that we will do everything we can to cooperate with police in this matter,” Cavalier said early Tuesday. “The district is ready to carry out any actions that may be warranted as a result of these allegations.”
Cavalier said Keith has been an MSA-West teacher since the school opened in 2008.
A photo from 2013 posted on the photo sharing website Flickr shows Keith receiving an award for Iberville Parish “teacher of the year.” A June 2013 article from the Plaquemine Post South, says that Keith was chosen to represent the parish in the regional teacher of the year competition.
“He’s one hell of a teacher, always proficient in his job performance,” Cavalier said. “When the sheriff called me last night I was just devastated. His career is over now. I just can’t understand why he would do something like this.”
Keith’s teacher profile, posted on the Iberville Parish School System’s website, says he was born and raised in Plaquemine and was a 2008 graduate of LSU.
In his profile Keith says he “started from the bottom, and now I’m here,” a play on lyrics from the popular rap song by rapper Drake.
“I am very fortunate to be able to say that I look forward to work every day, and to challenging and equipping our future leaders,” Keith said in his teacher profile. “P.S. this is no cliche; teenagers today are our leaders of tomorrow and are worth the investment in time and energy to get them flying as high as possible.”
According to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office, Keith, who resides 58060 Desobry St. in Plaquemine, was arrested late Monday after a former MSA student who recently graduated told police she and the teacher had a sexual relationship.
After further investigation, deputies discovered Keith also had sexual relationships with two other female students still enrolled at MSA-West.
“He used his position to gain access to these kids,” Stassi said Tuesday.
Stassi believes there could be more victims and is asking them to come forward as their investigation continues.
“Once we get them registered as a victim they will have access to counseling,” he said.
Follow Terry Jones on Twitter @tjonesreporter.