Abuse Allegations Piling Up For All-Boys Boarding School
According to KY 3, nine more lawsuits have been filed against the all-boys Agapè Boarding School located at 12998 E 1400 Rd, Stockton, MO 65785. These allegations are filled with stories of abuse, from starvation to physical and emotional. One victim recalled how the abuse left him wishing he was dead and believing that “dead animals get treated better” than they did at the Cedar County all-boys Christian boarding school.
For years, students claim they were forced to endure abuse at the hands of the school employees and other students. Physical abuse, including moving large boulders and heavy lumber for hours, left one victim, now 36 years old, unable to hold a job. Another victim described the sounds of “the blood-curdling screams” coming from victims being retrained.
However, even as 14 lawsuits have been brought against the private school for troubled boys, they continue to operate. Many of the former students say this is concerning. One victim pointed out, “there’s no amount of money that can buy you justice…many of us would feel like we would get some type of justice and closure by knowing that they can’t hurt anybody else.”
To learn more about Agape Boarding School and the ongoing lawsuits:
Is Enough Being Done?
In 2002, James Clemensen told a reporter he chose to open Agape in the state of Missouri due to the lack of regulations put on religious boarding schools. Now, as multiple educational and religious institutions have been charged with abuse, the state is attempting to push more requirements on these private educational institutes. Included are background checks for school employees and the ability for parents to see their children without prior notice. However, these schools are still permitted to operate without a license.
An investigation in 2021 caused the state’s attorney general to attempt to charge 22 employees at the boarding school. Unfortunately, due to the state’s law that local prosecutors can only file charges, many were dismissed. At this time, only five staff members are facing charges.
Devastating Impacts on Boarding School Abuse Survivors
Attorney Ryan Frazier represents many of the survivors of abuse at the boarding school. He recently discussed how the legal process can help victims of abuse fight for justice.
“Survivors of boarding school abuse can be devastating and life-changing. Depression, post-traumatic stress, suicidal thoughts, and difficulty having healthy relationships are just a few of the long-term effects. They may need counseling to even begin to overcome what they have been through. Additionally, as many victims have mentioned, knowing the abusers cannot continue the abuse helps in the healing process.”
“Too often, school abuse occurs due to the neglect of a third party, such as the school. If incidents were not reported or investigated, schools can be liable for failing to follow necessary procedures. Public schools have a legal responsibility to maintain a stringent safety plan. For years these have included background checks on staff members and a reporting process. Parents should know when they take their children to these specialized schools that their children’s well-being is a priority just the same. When a school fails to protect the children, it can and should be held accountable. As more victims come forward, the legal system can bring those responsible to justice.”
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If you, or someone you know, is a survivor of the Agape boarding school abuse and would like to discuss your experience and legal options discreetly, contact our team today.
Mr. Banville is a personal injury attorney who has experience in handling auto accidents, work injuries, medical malpractice, dog bites, slip and falls, and representing survivors and victims of sexual abuse. Mr. Banville is affiliated with law firms in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, D.C., and Maryland. Justice Guardians