Ray Carter | May 28, 2020
Leader of teacher walkout loses teaching license
One of the chief ringleaders of the 2018 statewide teacher walkout was stripped of his teaching license by the Oklahoma State Board of Education on Thursday, following his arrest for making lewd proposals to a minor.
Charges filed in Payne County District Court earlier this month accuse 27-year-old Alberto Morejon, an 8th Grade U.S. history teacher at Stillwater Junior High, with engaging “in communication for sexual or prurient interest by the use of Instagram messages” with a former student who was younger than 16.
The probable cause affidavit reported that Morejon began communicating with the former student two years ago when she was 14, and that he had sent her “approximately five images of an exposed penis over the past two years.” The affidavit said Morejon also sent the girl “imprint” images—photos of an erect penis concealed by tight-fitting clothing such as underwear—“in almost every conversation.”
At one point in the investigation, when Morejon believed he was communicating with the minor but was actually texting with a police officer, he “provided instructions on how to perform oral sex” and “explained what would happen if she did perform oral sex on him,” according to the affidavit.
The Stillwater Police Department first received a report from a concerned parent on May 12, 2020. Following investigation, they arrested Morejon on May 19.
Through his “Oklahoma Teachers-The Time is Now” Facebook group, Morejon became a prominent leader of the 2018 teacher walkout and drew national prominence as a spokesman for Oklahoma teachers, including standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Oklahoma Education Association officials at times.
He subsequently sought to play a greater—and notably partisan—role in state politics, including calling in 2019 for the ouster of 35 Republican lawmakers, despite the fact most of those lawmakers had supported teacher pay raises and school-funding increases during the 2018 session.
Morejon has also been a prominent opponent of school-choice policies that allow children options other than their local public school, including a tax-credit scholarship program whose beneficiaries have included child victims of abuse.
The agenda for the regular May meeting of the State Board of Education, which was conducted online due to COVID-19 restrictions, included “discussing possible action to suspend the teacher certificate and certificate number of Alberto Morejon pending an individual proceeding for revocation or other action.”
After a brief closed meeting in executive session to discuss the case, board members voted unanimously to suspend Morejon’s license.
Director, Center for Independent Journalism
Ray Carter is the director of OCPA’s Center for Independent Journalism. He has two decades of experience in journalism and communications. He previously served as senior Capitol reporter for The Journal Record, media director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and chief editorial writer at The Oklahoman. As a reporter for The Journal Record, Carter received 12 Carl Rogan Awards in four years—including awards for investigative reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, spot news reporting, business reporting, and sports reporting. While at The Oklahoman, he was the recipient of several awards, including first place in the editorial writing category of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives Carl Rogan Memorial News Excellence Competition for an editorial on the history of racism in the Oklahoma legislature.