Massages and relationship questions – Yahoo News Canada
Current and former students at The King’s School say a male teacher, who has been put on leave amid an investigation, overstepped boundaries by massaging them, disclosing intimate secrets to teenagers, and asking deeply personal questions in return — including the status of their relationships with their fathers.
One Grade 12 student at the independent Winnipeg school, which is run in partnership with Gateway Church and partially funded by the provincial government, said she immediately noticed the educator’s inappropriate behaviour when she enrolled.
“It just didn’t sit right with me,” she told the Free Press.
The student described the educator’s conduct as “intimate.” He offered what he called “fatherly hugs” and asked teenage girls, herself included, about what their relationship with their fathers was like, she said.
“Private schools and private Christian schools need boundaries. We can’t just do things just because we’re Christian. We need clear boundaries. We are a school… before we are a church.”
Multiple sources indicated the teacher has a reputation for being touchy with students, be it by hugging or putting his hands on their shoulders when he prays for them in the tight-knit community, and proclaims that is how he “shows God’s love.”
A former student said little changed after she reported being uncomfortable in the fall of 2018. Earlier this year, however, a group of current pupils approached administration with similar concerns that have prompted an external probe.
Prior to a Free Press report, church leaders and administrators at The King’s School, an evangelical institution that provides instruction for pupils in preschool through Grade 12, had released few details about the situation.
Gateway Church issued a notice late Wednesday to inform members of the congregation about the investigation, which has been underway for more than four months.
Church elders acknowledged the recent media coverage and assured the community the school takes the safety and well-being of its students “very seriously” and has “comprehensive protection policies and procedures” to guide the response to any concerns about employees.
“Earlier this year, concerns about inappropriate behaviour were brought to the school board’s attention regarding a teacher in the school… The teacher in …….