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Judge orders Agape Boarding School closed, allows state to monitor children

Several students have sued Agape claiming years of abuse
Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-08 18:05:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Cedar County judge issued an order Wednesday that Agape Boarding School should close and children should be removed from the school.

Circuit Judge David Munton signed the order after Attorney General Eric Schmitt's office petitioned for the school's closure.

Last week the FBI announced the arrest of a former Agape Boarding School dean. Shortly after, a civil right's attorney told KSHB 41 that he wanted Schmitt to intervene.

More than 20 lawsuits have been filed against Agape, including many by students of the school who claimed they've been abused — in some cases, for years.

Schmitt issued a statement on social media that blamed an "uncooperative prosecutor" for dragging out proceedings against the boarding school.

The health and safety of the students at Agape Boarding School has been and continues to be our top priority.

For more than a year, we’ve been fighting for accountability and justice, but have been stymied by the Office’s lack of original criminal jurisdiction and an uncooperative prosecutor at nearly every turn.

My Office has continued to monitor and investigate this situation and when we learned that there was a clear violation of the law, we took swift and decisive action.

We have worked closely with DSS (Missouri Department of Social Services) to put into place a Court ordered plan to allow constant on-site monitoring of the children at Agape by DSS to ensure their safety until the hearing is held.

We will continue to fight for the children at Agape, and look forward to presenting our arguments on Monday.
Eric Schmitt, Missouri attorney general, via Twitter

There is a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on Monday in Cedar County Circuit Court and two state-employed monitors are to have 24-hour access to the Agape facility until that hearing, according to online court records.

The Missouri Legislature passed a law in 2021 that gives people in higher office, like county prosecutors and the attorney general, authority to shut down residential care facilities.

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