September 24, 2022

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Shut down non-public Sask. Christian college instantly, former college students inform training minister throughout assembly

Shut down non-public Sask. Christian college instantly, former college students inform training minister throughout assembly

A non-public Saskatoon Christian college on the centre of dozens of abuse allegations should be closed instantly, former college students advised the province’s training minister throughout a gathering Wednesday.

“There are 4 many years of victims. We do not desire a fifth,” former Christian Centre Academy scholar Caitlin Erickson mentioned following the 90-minute assembly with Training Minister Dustin Duncan.

“Sure, I really feel there’s been sufficient victims. What number of is a large enough quantity to take motion?” mentioned one other former scholar, Coy Nolin.

Nolin, Erickson, former scholar Stephanie Hutchinson and their lawyer, Grant Scharfstein, had a non-public assembly with Duncan and his employees Wednesday afternoon in downtown Saskatoon.

They have been urgent for Duncan and Premier Scott Moe to listen to their issues. Following a CBC Information investigation this summer time, greater than 30 former college students and church members have come ahead alleging they have been subjected to widespread deprivations and violence that included sexual, bodily and psychological abuse, solitary confinement and homophobic exorcisms.

They filed a $25-million lawsuit in opposition to practically two dozen officers from the varsity and adjoining Saskatoon Christian Centre church. The names of the establishments have since been modified to Legacy Christian Academy and Mile Two Church.

The allegations led to an investigation by the Saskatchewan youngsters’s advocate, and the provincial authorities has appointed an unbiased administrator to run the varsity this fall.

College students say that is not ok. They needed the federal government to close down the varsity, or not less than droop the roughly $700,000 in annual taxpayer funds that go to it.

Scharfstein mentioned they reiterated these calls to Duncan once more Wednesday.

“I feel he heard us. We mentioned we want motion. Legacy must be shut down,” Scharfstein mentioned. “However I do not know if something will occur.”

Scharfstein, Nolin and Erickson additionally advised Duncan that taxpayers’ funds ought to be used to strengthen the general public system and never go to personal non secular faculties. They mentioned oversight of those non-public faculties is poor, and one thing should change instantly.

Saskatchewan Training Minister Dustin Duncan met with some former Christian Centre Academy college students Wednesday. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

Duncan couldn’t be reached for remark Wednesday afternoon. As a substitute, the Ministry of Training offered a press release.

“Whereas the Ministry of Training has not been named within the lawsuit, it would proceed to watch this case because it strikes via the authorized course of,” the assertion mentioned. 

“The Authorities of Saskatchewan has already taken important steps to make sure the protection of all youngsters in all Saskatchewan faculties, together with putting in directors into the three faculties that had somebody on employees named within the lawsuit, enhancing the rules and oversight of the faculties, and absolutely co-operating with the Advocate for Kids and Youth in its investigation.”

Present Legacy and Mile Two officers have declined repeated interview requests. They mentioned in written statements that they take the allegations critically and can co-operate with any investigation.

College students say officers are usually not honest. They pointed to a latest sermon by present Mile Two Pastor Brien Johnson that the church posted on YouTube. Within the sermon, Johnson mentioned he thinks a number of the allegations are “exaggerated,” however didn’t present any proof or particulars.