Bryan College: Ordering student newspaper to kill story about prof’s arrest ‘may have been a mistake’

Bryan College sent this statement from President Dr. Stephen Livesay about his decision to order the student newspaper to kill its story about a professor arrested for attempted child exploitation. “In hindsight, this may have been a mistake,” says Livesay.

Our goal at Bryan College is to teach our students to put Christ above all so that we can make a difference in today’s world. It means doing the right thing.

This is why we we requested that our student paper not publish information regarding the resignation of a faculty member, Dr David Morgan, this past July. Dr. Morgan is not related to a staff member here at the college of the same name.

Dr. Stephen Livesay

Here was our thinking at the time, which we communicated to the editorial staff at the Triangle. My cabinet and I agreed that since the faculty member resigned on his own initiative, that the events surrounding the resignation occurred during the summer when students were not on campus, and that the resignation involved charges being filed, but no proof of guilt (legal matters are not the expertise of the college administration), the wisest course of action for the college and our students would be to not issue a statement about the resignation.

However, this week the student editor of the Triangle elected to write and distribute such a story.

As the Triangle is produced as part of a class and students receive academic credit for their participation, the Triangle falls under the supervision and authority of the administration. This being the case, we did not believe the college should put itself or its publications in the position of commenting on pending criminal or judicial matters.

In hindsight, this may have been a mistake. We believed we were doing the right thing to protect the privacy of a man charged, but not convicted, of a crime. We have had no reports of any inappropriate behavior involving Dr. Morgan and our students, faculty or staff during his two years at Bryan. A thorough background check before he was hired showed a clean record.

If we have upset or offended anyone relating to this situation, we apologize. It was not our intent. Our intent was to look at the situation as Christians and do what was right. As humans, we are fallible. What we can do is learn from our mistakes. Ultimately, we want all involved to know that we tried to do what we believed was right. Going forward, we have learned from this incident as we continue to carry out our mission to put Christ above all and make a difference in today’s world.

UPDATE: Will Alex Green continue as editor of the newspaper? I asked.

“We have no plans to remove him,” said Livesay.

Was Green told by somebody at the college to call me on Tuesday and ask to have the post removed?

“Absolutely not.”

Earlier stories:
* Editor self-publishes story after its spiked by college president
* Will Bryan College dismiss editor for self-publishing story about prof’s arrest?

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