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Grenville Christian College

Former Grenville Christian College students tell harrowing stories of abuse

From 1973 until its closing in 2007, Grenville Christian College promised its students an elite boarding-school education. In Ontario, a $225 million, class-action lawsuit claims that the students who attended the school were left mentally, emotionally, sexually, physically, and spiritually traumatized. Nearly 200 students have shown interest in making a claim. One student who enrolled in the college back in 1985 says that, after 2 weeks of being there, he was awakened by a punch to the groin for talking in his sleep. He claims to have been dragged into the washroom and forced to clean it with a toothbrush. He was in the college for 4 years and then left. Now 46, he says he still has self-esteem issues as a result of what he went through at the college. Another former student claims that he was physically abused, put through sleep deprivation, and subjected to forced labor while he was at the college from 1988 to 1999. He was even subjected to an exorcism to “cure” his dyslexia. Grenville Christian College denies these accusations in the suit, which was launched in 2008 and certified in 2014. (Toronto Star, 11/29/16) [IT 7.2 2016]

A $1 billion class action suit has been filed on behalf of several former students against Ontario’s Grenville Christian College and ex-headmasters Rev. Alastair Haig and Rev. Charles Farnsworth alleging a host of physical abuses and humiliations going back to the 1970s. The suit has the potential to include 3,500 to 5,000 additional former students. It contends that teachers and staff subjected students whom they identified as needing “spiritual healing or discipline” to forced prayer, ostracism, and “light sessions” — staff would wake students at night, take them to a dark room, shine a bright light in their faces, and then berate and humiliate then until they renounced their alleged sins. Teachers at the school — which was financed and overseen or run by the Anglican Church of Canada and the Community of Jesus — would encourage students to join in denouncing sinners. Female students accused of being unchaste were denounced as whores and sluts. The result is that some former students suffer anxiety and depression and are not able to form intimate relationships or participate in normal family life. [csr 7.1 2008)