NDP: Ed. Minister idles as independent school allegations escalate

REGINA - Today, the Opposition Critic for Education Matt Love and Human Rights Critic Meara Conway called on the Minister of Education to take leadership and respond to escalating concerns from dozens of former students of Christian Centre Academy, now operating as Legacy Christian Academy.

“This story broke to the public a week ago. The Minister’s office has known about these allegations for months but the Minister has been missing in action. He’s neither faced the media to answer questions, nor signaled any remedy from his Ministry,” said Love.

In a statement from the Minister, he is waiting on the criminal investigation to conclude before addressing the concerns. “I hope the Minster understands his duty - leaving this to the criminal justice system means he’s setting the bar for quality education pretty low,” said Love. “Students deserve much better than ‘not illegal’ in the classroom.”

Over thirty students have come forward with allegations of violent discipline, traumatic rituals, and solitary confinement. Most recently, stories of mandatory partisan activity and political campaigning have been brought to light. Thus far, the Minister has not committed to any action on behalf of government. This spring, the Sask. Party government dramatically increased funding for independent schools while funding for public schools has not been prioritized.

“Criminality should not be the litmus test for an ethical education,” said Conway. “The Minister should be taking action to ensure no student in Saskatchewan goes into an abusive, unsafe, or intolerant classroom next month. The failure to demonstrate in words or in action that the human rights of all students will be upheld in publicly-funded schools is unacceptable.”

The NDP opposition calls on Minister Duncan to avail himself to answer the following questions:

  • Why has he not offered any solutions yet?
  • Does he take any responsibility as the Minister of Education to address allegations of exorcisms, paddling, and solitary confinement in publicly-funded Saskatchewan schools?
  • Is school-mandated partisan activity and political campaigning appropriate?
  • Why are independent schools not subject to the same access to information and transparency mechanisms as public and separate schools?

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