After college spikes story on professor’s arrest, student editor publishes it himself

When the editor of Bryan College’s newspaper learned there was more to a professor’s resignation than had first appeared, he looked into the incident and started reporting.

Using public records, Alex Green discovered that assistant professor David Morgan’s resignation was preceded by a June arrest in which he was charged with attempted aggravated child molestation, attempted child molestation and sexual exploitation of a child.

Green planned a story on the arrests, but before it could run in last Friday’s issue of The Bryan College Triangle, college administrators at the private Dayton, Tenn., college told him he couldn’t run the story. So Green — as media blogger Jim Romenesko first reported on Tuesday — decided to publish it himself.

Tom Davis, director of public information, said the administration nixed the story because it felt the school and professor “had nothing to gain by allowing publication.”

Davis also said that as a Christian college, the administrators felt they had a responsibility not to spread information they were not in a position to confirm independently. The Bryan College Triangle is produced through a class, Davis said, and falls under the administration’s control.

Green published the story Monday on Morgan’s resignation and arrests independently of the paper, along with a sidebar explaining the situation.

“I placed them around campus and at the doors of dorm rooms and at public areas around the school,” Green told Romenesko. “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.”

In the column, Green said he was aware he could face disciplinary action for the article’s distribution. President Stephen Livesay’s office released a statement Wednesday stating that any disciplinary action would be handled under the school’s “community life standards and policies.”