Skip to comments.Missouri (Agape) boarding school under investigation will shut down
Posted on 01/11/2023 1:22:40 PM PST by Morgana
A Christian boarding school in Missouri that’s been under intense scrutiny over abuse allegations announced Wednesday that it will close later this month due to financial hardship.
Agape Boarding School in Stockton has been the subject of state and location investigations and several lawsuits from former students. It will stop providing service effective Jan. 20, according to a statement from the school for boys.
Attendance at Agape plummeted after abuse allegations surfaced. Agape had 132 students 13 months ago, its lawyer, John Schultz said. It now has 12.
The school’s focus now is “on getting the boys who remain in the program safely transitioned to their parents or to foster care, other group homes or residential programs,” its former director, Bryan Clemensen, said in a statement.
Clemensen said the decision to close “is voluntary and solely due to the lack of financial resources to continue caring for the boys.”
Agape’s trouble began in 2020 when former students came forward with abuse allegations. One former student said he was raped at Agape and called “seizure boy” because of his epilepsy. Others said they suffered permanent injuries from being disciplined or forced to work long hours of manual labor.
Allegations of physical and sexual abuse at Agape and Circle of Hope Girls’ Ranch prompted a state law in 2021 requiring stricter oversight of such facilities. Missouri previously had virtually no oversight for religious boarding schools.
In 2021, Agape’s longtime doctor, David Smock, was charged with child sex crimes and five employees were charged with low-level abuse counts. Then-Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office contended that 22 workers should have been charged, and with more serious crimes. But in Missouri, only the local prosecutor can file charges, and Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney Ty Gaither has said no additional employees would be charged.
(Excerpt) Read more at apnews.com ...
When you see the word agape on anything, run!
They should call themselves a public school. Or a govt troubled youth center. Then they could call the same acts “therapy” and get awards.
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