Criminal Investigation of Closed School Continues

Article excerpt

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has launched a criminal investigation into allegations of abuse of students at Grenville Christian College, a recently-closed private school in Brockville, in eastern Ontario.

The allegations of psychological and physical abuse, some dating back to the 1970s, involve staff and two priests from the diocese of Ontario.

The diocese earlier launched its own investigation as the priests were under the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, but it has stated that Grenville was not an Anglican school. But former students dispute the diocese's claim, citing the frequent attendance at school ceremonies by senior Anglican dignitaries, the former headmasters who were Anglican clergy and compulsory Anglican worship in the school's chapel.

George Bruce, the diocesan bishop, has met with former students who have filed formal complaints to the diocese to discuss the specifics of their allegations. He has also met the priests accused of wrongdoing to hear their response to the allegations.

The diocese declined to name the priests under investigation. "We continue to do our utmost to respect the dignity and confidentiality of those involved, both complainants and those who have had complaints made against them," said Archdeacon Wayne Varley, diocesan executive officer.

Former students have granted the OPP access to their Facebook Internet site, where students have described being subjected to cult-like practices that included being woken in the middle of the night and put into a dark room with bright lights, where they were taunted for being sinners. …