I want to say something about the situation at Bryan College over in Dayton, but I am kind of at a loss. Here's the deal: Alex Green, the editor of the student paper at Bryan College, discovered that Professor David Morgan did not leave the college to — as the official college statement said — "pursue other opportunities,” but because he is facing charges related to driving to Georgia to meet a minor child (or two, according to the Times Free Press) allegedly for sex.
Green was going to publish a story in the student paper, but the school's president Dr. Stephen Livesay, ordered him not to. Green took matters into his own hands and distributed the story himself. Jim Romenesko then picked up on it, and the story hit the big time:
“I placed them around campus and at the doors of dorm rooms and at public areas around the school,” he tells Romenesko readers. “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.”
Green knows he could be expelled for distributing the story, but “the school has not made any comment or remark about me or my future at the school at this point,” he says. “The president has planned a campus-wide announcement at 4:30 p.m. As of now, that is all I’m aware of in terms of their response.”
And from there, things appear to have started to get very complicated for Green. Romenesko further reports:
This morning I talked to Bryan College Triangle adviser John Carpenter and asked: Are you aware that Alex Green called and asked me to remove the post?
The adviser said he was.
Did you or someone else at the college tell him to make that call? I asked.
“I can’t comment on that,” Carpenter said.
Blogger Rebellious Mom reports on the assembly Dr. Livesay held on Wednesday. I quote the part that makes me want to vomit:
He prayed and gave his announcement as to why he wouldn’t allow Alex to post his story in the school newspaper. A brief summary of his announcement was that he met privately with Dr. Morgan, and had a private discussion with him, and agreed to keep everything private. He said other things, but like most political speeches, it all circled around to the idea that Livesay believed this was a personal matter, and would be dealt with as such.
Here's the reason it makes me want to vomit — the only person who seems to remember that there are children at the center of this story is Alex Green. The people most in need of compassion and protection are Morgan's potential victims.
But as long as Dr. Morgan's problem — and let's remember that his problem is that the FBI thinks he traveled across state lines to try to get sexual access to minor children — is a "personal" matter or a "private" matter, then it makes the people at the heart of the matter, who are minor children, invisible.
I keep coming back to this idea. Say this whole thing blows over. People forget what Morgan is accused of. News stories move behind paywalls. And one day, say, your child tells you she or he has made a friend on the Internet — David Morgan, who used to be a professor at Bryan College. Maybe you're a little uneasy about him, but you Google him and you see that he left to "pursue other opportunities." Maybe, like Alex Green, you assume that means he got snapped up by some school able to pay him better.
When you find out the truth, possibly because Bryan College couldn't totally suppress what Green did, who do you feel did the right thing here?
If you're the president of a college, responsible for people's kids, how do you lose sight of the fact that your first responsibility is not to protect a guy accused of preying on children?