In scanning the headline, “Missouri teacher, 30, accused of sex with teen boy student,” the reader is inclined to think this is old news.
Just five days ago, for instance, the Sentinel headlined a story, “Female Missouri Teacher Accused of ‘Grooming’ Middle School Boys for Sex.” But no, this is another teacher in another town and a new story. Elizabeth A. Morgan, a 30-year-old female from Lebanon, Missouri was arrested Friday and charged with class E felony sexual contact with a student.
Investigators reportedly spoke with the student and witnesses and gathered electronic evidence they said showed Morgan was having an “inappropriate relationship” with the student in question. Springfield television station KOLR is reporting that Morgan was released the same day she was arrested on $5,000 bond. This story has been picked up by the New York Post and Fox News among other national entities.
Morgan’s apprehension represents the third such arrest of a female public school teacher in Missouri for sex with a student within the last year.
In April 2017, Amanda Schweitzer, 37, was arrested on charges of child kidnapping, first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sodomy. Now she and the Joplin School District are being sued by the parents of two of the victims.
In June of that year, Loryn Barclay, 24, a paraprofessional in the Monett School District not far from Joplin, was arrested for having multiple sexual encounters with an underage student in her car and in his home.
Although the Kansas City Star and other media within the state reported Morgan’s arrest, they did so much as they have reported the arrest of Schweitzer and Barclay, that is as brief news items with negligible follow up. These arrests represent the kind of trend the media would prefer to ignore.
As the Sentinel has documented in 2017, the Star failed to note a trend within the North Kansas School District despite six dismissals of male school teachers for inappropriate sexual relations with students, male and female, within a 14-month span. Five of the six were arrested. One was sentenced to seven years in prison.
One does not need much of an imagination to envision the enormity of the scandal had six priests–or three nuns–been busted within the Kansas City-Saint Joseph diocesan school district for sex with a student. On this score alone, one could understand if priests and nuns decided to unionize.