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Sask. to appoint administrator to oversee school following abuse allegations

Saskatchewan's education ministry is appointing an administrator to oversee a Saskatoon Christian school at the centre of a criminal investigation of a proposed class action lawsuit.

Legacy Christian Academy (LCA), along with two other schools which employ individuals named in the lawsuit, will have a ministry administrator appointed.

"Student safety is of the utmost importance, and we take all allegations and complaints seriously," Education Minister Dustin Duncan said in a news release.

"We have taken action to ensure that all students can feel safe, protected and respected no matter what school they attend."

Former students of LCA, previously known as Saskatoon Christian Centre Academy, have recently come forward alleging that staff routinely paddled students and engaged in "controlling and abusive" behaviour — including a "gay exorcism."

The proposed class action lawsuit alleges sexual abuse occurred in connection with the school.

Saskatoon Police Service has confirmed an investigation into historical claims involving students has been turned over to Crown prosecutors.

In addition to the appointed administrator LCA, Grace Christian School and Regent Academy will be subject an unscheduled visit once per month.

In a statement, LCA said it has "always had a positive and collaborative working relationship with government officials"

"We understand the government’s obligation to ensure that students in any educational setting are safe and receive quality education," the statement said.

"We are confident that any additional oversight implemented by the government will be encouraged by the current approach to education at Legacy Christian Academy."

In order to appoint the administrator, the province said it amended its Registered Independent Schools Regulations "to increase accountability of Qualified Independent Schools."

The changes to the rules governing such schools also give the education minister the power to put private schools on probation and suspend a school's certification — effectively shutting them down.

The amendments also require the schools to notify the ministry within 24 hours if there are allegations of criminal activity or a criminal charge involving a staff member.

Opposition NDP education critic Matt Love said the government's response did not go far enough. Love said the school's funding should be suspended.

“This government’s first priority should be ensuring the safety of our children. To neither shut off the tap to Legacy Christian Academy, nor remove alleged abusers from positions of authority is an utter failure of leadership," Love said.

"Safety of our children is paramount; there’s no room for half-measures and passing the buck.” Top Stories

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