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Former student at Christian school asks education minister to close

On Wednesday, a former Legacy Christian Academy student and Minister of Education Dustin Duncan met for the first time since the allegations were first reported by the CBC.

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A former student at a Christian school in Saskatoon demanded more action after alleging she and others had been abused for decades, directing Saskatchewan’s education minister to close the school. I requested.

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Caitlin Erickson, one of three former students at Legacy Christian Academy, formerly known as Christian Center Academy, met Education Minister Dustin Duncan and Department of Education officials Wednesday. The meeting, which included student attorney Grant Scharfstein, followed Duncan’s request weeks after Ericsson and a former student had sought an in-person roundtable to discuss allegations of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. was held at Erickson is the lead plaintiff in his $25 million class action lawsuit against Legacy Christian Academy and Mile Two Church.

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According to Erickson, after providing the Minister and Deputy Minister Donna Johnson concrete examples and evidence of their allegations, Erickson directly asked Duncan to close the school. Erickson said Duncan didn’t make any commitments to keep the schools open in any way.

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“We appreciate them meeting with us, but there’s a lot going on at the agency. We’re talking about 40 years of abuse victims right now.

“As the incumbent Minister of Education, I don’t think anyone wants a legacy as a victim of abuse for 50 years. So I asked him directly to close the school.

The Department of Education confirmed in an email that Duncan met with former students to hear firsthand about their experiences and historical claims to the school. It was a follow-up to a meeting between

“The Department of Education has not been named in the lawsuit, but will continue to monitor this situation as we proceed with the legal process,” the state said in a statement.

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Education Minister Dustin Duncan needed to step up the government's treatment of private schools and legacy Christian academies.
Education Minister Dustin Duncan needed to step up the government’s treatment of private schools and legacy Christian academies. Photo by Troy Fries /Regina Leader Post

In a statement, the state said it has placed administrators in three schools named in the lawsuit and “is stepping up school regulation and oversight, and advocating for children and youth in oversight investigations.” We are fully cooperating with them,” he said. of a private school in Saskatchewan.

Erickson said Wednesday’s conversation, first reported by the CBC, was one-sided, with the former student and his lawyer doing most of the talking.

“They’ve heard a lot of things, which we appreciate, but we have a lot of information about this situation, so I hope they can help us to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen in the future.” I expected a little more from them about what they were going to do.

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Scharfstein said in an interview that the students had been waiting for the meeting for some time. He called it a step in the right direction and said Duncan listened “carefully”. According to Schaafstein, the meeting will inform ministers and ministry about what happened at the school and what they feel is the lack of independent schools, the state funding of the schools, and the school’s oversight. It was an opportunity to share our concerns about the

“I have no doubt he was listening to us. Do you know what’s going to happen? I can’t. I don’t know. But they certainly know what the problem is,” Scharfstein said. said.

Their claims are not political, Scharfstein added, because “the total failure of this ministry” occurred under the NDP, Conservative and Saskatchewan governments.

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“We believe that based on the curriculum being taught and who teaches, the complete failure to protect the interests of these children academically, and the problems of abuse that have occurred in these schools. I wanted to clarify something.

Saskatoon Police have confirmed that a criminal investigation into the allegations is underway.

Saskatoon StarPhoenix reached out to Legacy Christian Academy and its parent organization Mile Two Church for comment, but did not receive a response.

Legacy Christian Academy shares the same building as Mile Two Church in Saskatoon's Lawson Heights neighborhood. Photo taken in Saskatoon, Sask. Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
Legacy Christian Academy shares the same building as Mile Two Church in Saskatoon’s Lawson Heights neighborhood. Photo taken in Saskatoon, Sask. Wednesday, August 3, 2022. Photo by Michelle Berg /saskatoon star phoenix

In August, former students at the school filed class action lawsuits against Legacy Christian Academy (formerly known as Christian Center Academy) and Mile Two Church, with both organizations claiming the students. Alleged spanking, and performing or permitting minors to be caressed by church staff or others.Physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

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The lawsuit, which seeks $25 million in damages, named 21 defendants, including former teachers and administrators. The allegations have not been validated in court.

As of Friday, no defense has been filed.

The Post Media spoke with 12 former students who attended the school from the mid-1980s to the early 2010s, claiming that church and school workers beat the students with large wooden paddles as discipline. I’m here. The Supreme Court declared the use of corporal punishment against students illegal in 2004.

In late August, the department appointed administrators to oversee Legacy Christian Academy, Grace Christian School in Saskatoon, and Regent Christian Academy in Prince Albert.

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Duncan has revoked Grace Christian School’s license to operate after the school’s director refused to cooperate with administrators, a spokesperson previously said.

Legacy Christian Academy is classified as an “accredited independent school” operated and owned by a non-profit organization but funded directly by the state. Although we currently have to follow the state curriculum, we can offer locally developed courses at the secondary level approved by the Ministry of Education.

Received $736,000 in state funds for 2020-2021.

Caitlin Erickson is one of the two lead plaintiffs in a $25 million class action lawsuit against former Legacy Christian Academy staff and the school and the church that runs it.
Caitlin Erickson is one of the two lead plaintiffs in a $25 million class action lawsuit against former Legacy Christian Academy staff and the school and the church that runs it. Photo by Michelle Berg /saskatoon star phoenix

— with Zak Vescera’s StarPhoenix files

tjames@postmedia.com

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Former student at Christian school asks education minister to close

Source link Former student at Christian school asks education minister to close

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