Allegations of abuse and intimidation at a Saskatoon city Christian school have prompted the opposition NDP to call on the Sask Party government to take action.
Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck and Education Critic Matt Love met with members of the media on August 3 to call on the Government for a funding freeze to Legacy Christian Academy. Accusations surfaced that violent discipline, exorcisms and intimidation were part of a homophobic campaign at the school involving up to 18 students. The allegations of padlings and physical measures stem back to 2004, the year the Supreme Court outlawed corporal punishment. Statements presented by those involve note that activities of physical punishment continued past that date.
“These are incredibly disturbing allegations. Outwardly anti-LGBTQ2S+ sentiments and violent discipline have no place in our schools,” said Beck. “It’s frankly unacceptable that the Sask. Party feigned ignorance about the alleged culture of abuse at Legacy Christian Academy despite having received shocking complaints from former students. The government should have immediately launched an investigation knowing that the safety and wellbeing of students could be compromised.”
A release from the NDP states that eighteen former students have already come forward with allegations of physical and psychological abuse. An email exchange between a former student and Education Minister Dustin Duncan's assistant indicates that the minister’s office was aware of the allegations despite claiming earlier this week that they had “not received any complaints regarding LCA since funding for Qualified Independent Schools (QIS) began in 2012”.
“The public education system is being cut to the bone while the Sask. Party is ramping up public spending on Qualified Independent Schools,” said Love. “If the Sask. Party is going to increase investment into this school category, they should at least be ensuring these institutions should at bare minimum uphold the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.”
The Crown and police services are conducting an investigation. The Opposition is calling for an independent investigation into the alleged abuse and mistreatment at the school, along with a demand for the funding freeze.