College President Kills Story About Prof. Charged with Child Sex Crimes, So Student Editor Self-Publishes It

Update, 1:35 p.m.: The story is more complicated.  Romenesko is all over it.

The editor-in-chief of The Bryan College Triangle at Tennessee’s Bryan College self-published a controversial story yesterday about a former professor charged with sex crimes involving a minor.  Alex Green wrote, printed, and distributed the article on his own four days after Bryan’s president told him it could not be run in the paper.

As Green told Jim Romenesko, who had the scoop on the incident, “I placed [copies] around campus and at the doors of dorm rooms and at public areas around the school.  They were primarily in the main administration building, the library and the student center. … [A PDF] was emailed and entrusted to a select few current students and alumni in the case that fake papers began to surface.”

The article [screenshot below] outlines the real reason behind the sudden, quiet resignation of a Biblical studies professor at the Christian school: his arrest over the summer during an FBI sting for attempting to meet up with a minor.  Charges include “attempted aggravated child molestation and child sexual exploitation.”  When Green initially inquired about the professor’s departure, the school told him he was leaving “to pursue other opportunities.”

In an editor’s note headlined “Why It’s Important,” Green outlined the probable reactions of readers to his publishing decision and explained his reasoning behind it:

“I know that the first reactions from students, faculty, staff, and alumni will be varied.  Some will applaud me.  Some will be livid.  Some will feel that I am defaming and throwing salt into a very fresh and very sore wound.  Some will believe I have stars in my eyes.  And that’s OK. . . . Bryan College is not Penn State.  Had one individual in the Penn State program stepped up and revealed the truth about the actions of Jerry Sandusky, there would have been no fallout 14 years later.  Joe Paterno could have died a hero. Instead, he died a goat. Penn State could have been praised. Instead, they are broken.  Bryan College is not Penn State because there are people here that will not attempt to save face by dusting over the arrest of Dr. David Morgan.  Printing this story will not cause a Penn State situation for Bryan. I believe it will prevent one.  That’s why I’m dispensing it.”

One Response to “College President Kills Story About Prof. Charged with Child Sex Crimes, So Student Editor Self-Publishes It”
  1. marcarpenter says:

    A Past Children’s Director Reviews
    Bryan College’s Response to
    Dr. Morgan’s Arrest and Resignation.

    1. The FBI caught Dr. Morgan in a child protection task force sting. In order to lawfully engage a target, the FBI must have reason to believe that a target has an established proclivity to the offense; otherwise the offender has a legal defense of “entrapment.” In other words, the FBI cannot lure otherwise law abiding people into crimes, without first having a reasonable belief, based on evidence, that they are likely to commit the crime. Indeed, the FBI press release reported that Dr. Morgan’s online conduct had brought him to the attention of the task force. Therefore, Dr. Morgan’s actions that led to his arrest were probably not his first foray into inappropriate sexual actions with minors.
    a. Had Bryan College Trustees and Administration previously adopted a sound written policy to address this kind of situation? Obviously not.
    b. Did the Administration respond appropriately to the factual context: an arrest by a child protection task force sting? No.
    c. Did the Administration seek legal counsel, who could explain Dr. Morgan’s arrest in context? It doesn’t seem likely.
    d. If the Administration had understood the context of the child protection task force sting and the legal defense of “entrapment,” would they have viewed Dr. Morgan’s protestations of repentance differently? Perhaps.
    2. Bryan College Administration did not discharge Dr. Morgan or suspend him pending the outcome of the criminal charges. Rather, the Administration allowed Dr. Morgan to resign. Furthermore, the College allowed him to remain employed for FOUR WEEKS after the Administration knew of the serious criminal charges. They learned of the charges July 3, but his resignation was effective July 31. This continuation of employment for four weeks falsely implies that no misconduct led to his resignation.
    3. In an email to the Triangle (student newspaper), the College Administration stated that Dr. Morgan resigned “to pursue other opportunities.”
    a. There were no “other opportunities.” The Administration lied to the student newspaper.
    b. The email also included a statement attributed to Dr. Morgan giving glowing praise to the College for the wonderful years he had spent there, the wonderful relationships he had made, etc., confirming the lie that no misconduct had led to Dr. Morgan’s resignation.
    4. The College says it was attempting to implement Christian principles and its motto: “Christ above all.”
    a. Did the Administration’s lying and deception fulfill Bryan College’s motto? It would seem not.
    b. Was Bryan College’s conduct consistent with the Christian teaching of loving one’s neighbor, or did the Administration focus only on the well-being of the Kingdom within the narrow confines of its campus?
    c. Just as the Catholic Church transferred pedophile priests to new a parish to prey on a new flock of unsuspecting children, Bryan College sent out a sexual predator without warning, so that the next college, high school, or church youth group in which he landed would be just as unsuspecting as they were when they hired him.
    d. Aren’t the shepherds called to protect the lambs from the wolf?
    5. So now, what will the Board of Trustees do?