'Spanking will leave marks': Manual used at Saskatoon school encouraged paddling
A training workbook allegedly used at a Saskatoon school targeted in a proposed class action lawsuit outlines a guiding philosophy which encouraged physical discipline.
Excerpts from a training workbook, titled "The Child Training Seminar," are referenced in a legal claim filed on behalf of two former students seeking $25 million in damages.
In addition to the legal action, a Saskatoon police investigation relating to the historical allegations of former students has been turned over to a Crown prosecutor.
The workbook contains multiple references to the practice of paddling, which former students allege was a routine form of discipline at Saskatoon Christian Centre Academy — now called Legacy Christian Academy.
The training manual was authored by Keith Johnson, the former pastor of Saskatoon Christian Centre, the church which operated the school. It has since changed its name to Mile Two Church.
Efforts to contact Johnson have proved unsuccessful. The church declined CTV News' request for an interview regarding the handbook.
The workbook contains blanks in many paragraphs intended to be completed by participants following along throughout a training session.
In the workbook, Johnson writes that "an entire generation" of young people has been raised based on guidance from child psychologists who discouraged the practice of spanking.
The completed seminar workbook obtained by CTV News names "the devil" as the influence behind such ideas.
"Sometimes spanking will leave marks on the child," the completed workbook says.
"If some liberal were to hear this, they'd immediately charge us with advocating child beating," it says.
In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada outlawed corporal punishment in schools. While parents are permitted to physically discipline their children in limited circumstances, the federal government discourages the practice.
The completed workbook says that spanking should be a consistent "ritual."
"Have him bend over and apply the paddle firmly," the completed workbook says.
"Don't permit any wiggling around or jumping around. Don't allow any pre-discipline howling and snivelling. Don't let his crying and begging diminish the degree of severity of punishment."
Following a paddling, the completed workbook recommends praying and offering closing remarks of assurance and love.
A Saskatoon-based child psychiatrist said she found reading the manual "upsetting."
"There's a very strong focus on coercive control over children and really liberal use of excessive physical force in the form of corporal punishment," Dr. Tamara Hinz said.
"Physical punishment actually ends up in the long run — as well in the short and long term — producing much more harm than any benefits it purports to gain," she said.
"It has negative impacts on the relationship with parents, negative impacts on self-esteem and actually is also a predictor of negative future consequences like being a perpetrator of violence, substance use, and mental health issues. So it's really something that any experts in children's mental health would really advise against."
Hinz said she was particularly troubled by a section of the manual that advocates physical punishment to treat symptoms of ADHD.
"When I was a child, I often wanted to run through the house, jump on the furniture, yell at my parents and be ill-mannered at the table. But my dad hadn't been trained in the handling of hyperactive children. At such times, how I would have loved some medication," Johnson writes.
"But my dad didn't know he was supposed to give me medication!"
The completed workbook instead says Johnson received a spanking.
"I wasn't nearly as hyperactive after he got through with me. We apply the same standards of response to hyperactive children in our Christian school and the problem isn't a problem for long."
According to the statement of claim working its way through the courts, students could allegedly be paddled for reasons such as showing disrespect to staff, being caught within six inches of a student of the opposite sex, talking negatively about the church or for not crying during the administration of corporal punishment.
A former student previously told CTV News that she and several members of the school's volleyball team were paddled for whispering during a church service. Another said he was paddled following a "gay exorcism."
Nick Hutchison, a former student, said the workbook was sold in the lobby of the church, along with paddles.
"It was just outlining in very graphic detail, how to discipline your children, how essentially to break their will so that they would follow exactly what was mandated by the church, using spanking as the method," Hutchison said.
Hinz said she worries the handbook, which appears to be tailored for parents, may have had far-reaching effects.
"To know that so many parents are in vulnerable families who are looking to a trusted authority figure for guidance and parenting instructions have been following this as sort of the rule of law," Hinz said.
"I think there just must be untold children out there who have been physically abused and shamed and controlled because of this manual."
The proposed class action lawsuit also alleges sexual abuse in connection with the school.
In light of the allegations, Saskatchewan's education ministry announced the school would be placed under the oversight of an administrator during the upcoming school year.
Two other schools where former Legacy Christian Academy employees who are named in the proposed class action lawsuit will also be placed under added ministry oversight.
--With files from Tyler Barrow
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The Ottawa woman who former Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard is convicted of sexually assaulting says she is now suing him for $2.8 million.
Videos of revolts and unrest started to flood the internet when Iranian protestors flocked to the streets in response to the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman allegedly detained for wearing her hijab improperly.
This fall, teachers and parents have been sharing photos on social media of do-it-yourself air purifiers that they’ve made for classrooms to help protect kids from COVID-19 — and according to researchers, these low-cost purifiers actually work.
Hockey Quebec says it has lost confidence in Hockey Canada and will not transfer funds to the national organization, while Tim Hortons and Scotiabank have extended sponsorship boycotts.
Nearly all Conservative members of Parliament voted for a bill they say would protect the conscience rights of health professionals when it comes to medical assistance in dying.
North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles toward its eastern waters Thursday after the United States redeployed an aircraft carrier near the Korean Peninsula in response to Pyongyang's previous launch of a nuclear-capable missile over Japan.
In the first footage of its kind, scientists captured the moment a pod of orcas hunted great white sharks in South Africa.
A Texas death row inmate whose case redefined the role of spiritual advisers in death chambers nationwide was executed Wednesday, despite the efforts of a district attorney to stop his lethal injection.
Colorado baker fights ruling over gender transition cake years after case involving gay couple's wedding cake
The Colorado baker who won a partial Supreme Court victory after refusing on religious grounds to make a gay couple's wedding cake a decade ago is challenging a separate ruling he violated the state's anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.
Saskatchewan residents are paying more to attend live concerts, theatre performances and art gallery exhibitions following an expansion of the provincial sales tax.
A Regina woman who was convicted in 2019 for embezzling millions of dollars has been granted her appeal and a new trial has been ordered.
McKell Wascana Conservation Park is officially the Regina Wetland Centre of Excellence serving as an outdoor classroom for science students at Dr. Martin LeBoldus Catholic High School.
More than one-third of Winnipeggers believe people who have occupied public spaces in the city should be allowed to stay there briefly, according to a recent poll.
The Winnipeg Police Service has charged five more people after an encampment was cleared at the Manitoba legislature on Tuesday.
A mayoral debate Wednesday hosted by the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association saw four of Winnipeg’s 11 mayoral hopefuls talk crime, infrastructure and economic development.
Decisions made at a conference of international oil producers are expected to affect the crude oil market and the price of gasoline at Alberta pumps, which are already back to summer peaks.
Premier Jason Kenney, speaking a day ahead of the UCP leadership vote, said he is uncertain of his political future, but is proud of what he's done for Alberta.
Thousands of mail-in ballots in the United Conservative Party leadership vote have been rejected and now some voters are receiving phone calls and emails telling them they'll have to vote in person on Thursday.
The St. Albert RCMP held a press conference Wednesday night regarding an investigation involving a teenager who was taken into police custody Oct. 2.
Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party is scheduled pick the province’s new premier Thursday, and political observers say its next step should be getting back on the same page as the rest of the province.
Edmonton restaurants will not be allowed to serve food in styrofoam containers and plastic shopping bags will be banned starting July 1, 2023.
The Ottawa woman who former Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard is convicted of sexually assaulting says she is now suing him for $2.8 million.
Businesses in Ontario will be allowed to pass on credit card fees to customers starting on Thursday. There are a few things businesses and consumers need to know.
Insults, discrimination, mental distress and a lack of support from leadership – these are some of the claims brought forward by Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employees who say bullying and harassment have become commonplace in the publicly funded workplace.
Ottawa police say a man is dead, and two other people were injured in a shooting in the area of Tompkins Avenue and Tenth Line Road Wednesday night.
Ottawa police are reporting a sharp rise in the number of vehicles stolen in Ottawa this year, with newer model Honda CRV's topping the list of targets for thieves.
Ottawa city councillors may soon need to disclose personal relationships with city staff to the city’s integrity commissioner.
'The worst that it has ever been': Concern mounting as severe drought conditions persist in parts of B.C.
On B.C.'s Sunshine Coast, home to about 20,000 residents, drought conditions have caused water levels to drop so low an emergency operations centre has been activated.
People in New Westminster will be getting a new mayor in 10 days, with two-term mayor Jonathan Cote not seeking re-election. Advance voting began Wednesday in the city, where voters will be choosing between three mayoral candidates.
3 taken to hospital after trailer flips, spills load into oncoming traffic on Vancouver-Burnaby border
A trailer attached to a dump truck flipped and spilled its load into oncoming traffic on the Vancouver-Burnaby border Wednesday, and paramedics say three people have been taken to hospital.
Hockey Quebec says it has lost confidence in Hockey Canada and will no longer transfer funds to the national organization.
Organizers of the Montreal Pride need to pay for security, communicate better, and hire more experienced staff to avoid another repeat of the devastating cancellation of the parade next year, according to a post-mortem report into the August 2022 fiasco.
The new rule allowing businesses in Canada to pass credit card fees onto customers will not apply in Quebec.
Victorians lined up outside city hall on Wednesday to cast an advance vote for the next leader of the city. Across the street, those vying to be the next mayor squared off in a live debate hosted by Victoria radio station CFAX 1070.
The B.C. Conservation Officers Service (BCCOS) has confirmed that two African servals are on the loose in the Qualicum Beach area of Vancouver Island. The exotic cats have killed a domestic cat, according to the BC SPCA.
B.C. Premier John Horgan says the New Democrat government's crime-fighting agenda involves more than increasing arrests of alleged violent offenders. Horgan says he agrees with Attorney General Murray Rankin who told the legislature on Tuesday that a focus on more arrests of prolific offenders to curb crime would be “futile.”
More than 16,000 customers in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are still without electricity 12 days after post-tropical storm Fiona hit the Maritimes on Sept. 23. The ongoing outages and restoration efforts have prompted the Nova Scotia government to declare a state of emergency in several counties in northern Nova Scotia.
Some Nova Scotians are unsure if they qualify for the federal Fiona recovery fund announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.
Post-tropical storm Fiona changed the coastline of Prince Edward Island forever, however nowhere is more obvious than the P.E.I. National Park on the island’s north shore.
Two recent incidents of adults trying to lure children have North Bay and area parents and caregivers on edge.
Cambrian College in Sudbury is still offering a free dental clinic as a way to help both people in need and students in the dental hygiene program.
Candidates vying to be Sault Ste. Marie’s new mayor say a few issues appear to be top of mind for voters: homelessness, drug addiction and mental health.
London police have identified the woman who allegedly made racial comments and spat on an employee at a northwest London, Ont. business last month.
Candidates for council seats in London, Ont. are vowing they won’t be intimidated after another spate of sign-tampering on the campaign trail.
After 14 years of decay, redevelopment of the former McCormick-Beta Brands cookie factory property at 1156 Dundas Street may be regaining momentum.