May 12, 2021

Loretta Merritt’s Grenville Christian College case appeal heard May 4, 2021

Loretta Merritt’s Grenville Christian College case appeal heard May 4, 2021. She was quoted by CBC News on the case.

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.

Lawyers representing the students argued it's irrelevant whether the emotional harm was foreseeable or not, given that the abuse was proven to be out of step with standards of the day.

Loretta Merritt told the court that staff at the school had several warnings that students were being harmed by their actions.

She said students were running away or asking to be taken out of school, parents repeatedly wrote to the school expressing concerns about their methods, students were crying during lectures about sexuality and during "light sessions" and one student attempted suicide while attending the school.

"The defendants can't say it wasn't foreseeable that their behaviour or actions would cause harm when they saw the harm their actions were causing," Merritt said.

"I suggest they did know ... and they did it anyway."

To read the full article, please visit the CBC News website

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Loretta P. Merritt