Ontario Christian school tells court it was unaware abuse would cause emotional damage

DM

A now-defunct Ontario Christian college and the estates of two former headmasters shouldn’t be held accountable for verbal and emotional abuse suffered by students, their lawyers argued in court on Tuesday, saying their clients had no way of knowing it would cause harm. In February 2020, a judge presiding over a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former students found the staff at Grenville Christian College responsible for systematically abusing girls and boys who attended the boarding school in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. That abuse included repeated references to girls in their care as “sluts, whores, Jezebels [and] bitches in heat” and saying rape is the result of girls and boys being too “tempting to men.” An appeal of the trial court decision in favour of the students was heard in the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto on Tuesday. The school, located near Brockville, Ont., about 350 kilometres east of Toronto, was founded in 1973 and advertised itself as an Anglican institution. It also had ties to a controversial Christian group in the United States called the Community of Jesus. The school closed in 2007.

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