Sask. NDP requests child and youth advocate investigate government response to private school

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Carla Beck said a formal request has been submitted to the children and youth advocate to investigate a Saskatoon private school. Nathaniel Dove / Global News

The Saskatchewan NDP has submitted a formal request to the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth to investigate the provincial government’s response to a Saskatoon private school facing abuse claims.

More than 40 students have come forward with abuse allegations during their time as students at Christian Centre Academy, now named Legacy Christian Academy.

Last week, Education Minister Dustin Duncan announced a number of changes for qualified independent schools.

Legacy Christian Academy and two other qualified independent schools now have an administrator appointed to them, and will see an increase in unannounced inspections.

Duncan said the two other schools, Grace Christian School and Regent Academy, will see increased supervision as individuals associated with those two schools were named in a $25-million lawsuit alleging physical and sexual abuse.

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NDP Leader Carla Beck said the official Opposition believes it’s within the advocate’s mandate to investigate the oversight of these schools.

Click to play video: 'Sask. NDP renews call for more government scrutiny of Legacy Christian Academy'
Sask. NDP renews call for more government scrutiny of Legacy Christian Academy

Beck also renewed calls to remove the teachers who may be under investigation from classrooms.

Former students of LCA also spoke at a press conference on Thursday.

Stefanie Hutchinson called Duncan’s response to the allegations “baffling” and “disappointing.”

“It’s unacceptable — some of these individuals are currently facing numerous child abuse allegations and they’re preparing to accept new students in just a few weeks,” Hutchinson.

Caitlin Erickson said former students have also requested a meeting with Duncan, who she says “essentially has been non-responsive at this point.”

“There are 18 other students on top of the nearly 40 that have reached out to me that are preparing their statements and getting prepared to go into the police,” Erickson said.

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Erickson claimed some students have come forward who attended the school more recently.

“We would like to see some action at this point because this is an issue that should bother everybody,” Erickson said.

Global News has reached out to the Saskatchewan government and Saskatchewan’s Children and Youth Advocate for a response.

A staff member at the advocate’s office told Global News they will send out a statement on Friday. No one from the government responded by deadline.

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