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Shawnee Mission teacher fired after arrest on felony sexual exploitation charges

Johnson County Sheriff's Office
Shawnee Mission North math teacher Alex Morris was booked into Johnson County jail on Wednesday. He is accused of sexually exploiting a minor.

Shawnee Mission North math teacher Alex Morris was booked into Johnson County jail on Wednesday. He is charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

The Shawnee Mission Board of Education on Wednesday voted to terminate the employment of a Shawnee Mission North math teacher who was arrested earlier in the day on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Sheriff’s Office records indicate that deputies executed an arrest warrant for Alexander David Morris, 32, around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. He was was subsequently taken into custody and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The criminal complaint alleges that between Jan. 31 and Sept.15, he unlawfully possessed images depicting a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Morris made his first appearance in Johnson County District Court on Thursday.
During his appearance by video link from the Johnson County Adult Detention Center in New Century, Morris requested a court-appointed attorney.

His next court appearance is set for 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6. He remains in custody of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office on $150,000 bond.

Morris must have no contact with witnesses on the complaint and no contact with minor children except as allowed through civil court orders. He is also prohibited from using a computer or the internet, and if Morris posts bond, then he will be placed on electronic monitoring.

What we know

Shawnee Mission North Principal David Ewers sent an email to parents Wednesday afternoon saying Morris had been removed from the classroom.

“District administration recently learned of a legal matter involving your student’s teacher, Mr. Alex Morris,” Principal David Ewers wrote in the email to parents. “When we learned of this situation, the Human Resources Department took immediate steps to remove Mr. Morris from the classroom.”

The agenda for the specially called board of education meeting Wednesday included only one action item: a resolution “for notice of intent to terminate” Morris.

The board convened at 6 p.m. and recessed to executive session for 16 minutes before returning to cast their vote.

Shawnee Mission School District spokesman David Smith said the district was limited in its ability to comment on the matter, but confirmed that Morris had been employed with SMSD since November 2013.

“The investigation is being conducted by an outside law enforcement agency, and we are not privy to the details of their investigation,” Smith wrote. “As the safety of our students is our highest priority, we acted as quickly as we could to remove him from the classroom, based on the information we were given.”

In addition to his position as a math teacher, Morris has also been deeply involved in Shawnee Mission North’s swim program for several years as a coach.

He’s been a prominent figure in the Kansas City swimming community outside high school swimming, as well. Morris’ LinkedIn profile indicates that he’s been a swim coach with the Kansas City Blazers organization and the City of Mission Swim Club.

Contacted Wednesday afternoon, a representative of the Kansas City Blazers said the organization had not been aware of Morris’s arrest and had no comment at the time. As of Thursday, images of Morris remained on the KC Blazers’ website, though he is not listed as a coach for any teams.

Alex Morris in a team photo for one of the upper-level squads for KC Blazers.
KC Blazers
Alex Morris in a team photo for one of the upper-level squads for KC Blazers.

A call to the City of Mission’s Parks and Recreation Department was not immediately returned.

Alvie Carter, a USD 232 spokesperson, confirmed for the Post via email on Thursday that Morris was employed with the district 10 years ago as a “rule 10 coach,” meaning his coaching duties were his only district assignment.

Carter said Morris was an assistant coach for boys high school swimming at both Mill Valley and De Soto high schools, as the teams combined for practices at that time. Carter said Morris coached for USD 232 for two seasons and resigned “because he had other full time employment elsewhere and was in good standing when he left.

This story was originally published by the Shawnee Mission Post.

Updated: September 29, 2022 at 3:19 PM CDT
This story has been updated after Morris' first court appearance.
The founder and publisher of The Shawnee Mission Post.
Juliana Garcia is a reporter with the Shawnee Mission Post.
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