A Christian reform school in Stockton, Missouri, will be closing in late January amid allegations of abuse, according to multiple reports.
Agape Boarding School, dubbed the “Christian Reform School from Hell” by Rolling Stone, announced it will be shuttering its doors Jan. 20, KSDK reported. The school cited financial problems as its “sole” reason for closing, according to a press release cited by the outlet.
“For the past 30 years Agape Boarding School has provided over 6,000 boys with an opportunity to get their life back on track and toward a bright future,” Bryan Clemensen, former director of the Agape Boarding School, wrote in the statement, according to KSDK.
“Agape has made the decision to stop providing services to the boys in its care effective Jan. 20. Agape’s focus is getting the boys who remain in the program safely transitioned to their parents or to foster care, other group homes or residential programs. Agape’s decision to close is voluntary and solely due to the lack of financial resources to continue caring for the boys,” the statement continued, according to the outlet.
The school gained national attention earlier in January, when one Rolling Stone article alleged a strict military-esque hierarchy existed at Agape, as well punishments reportedly including a “restraint” room known as the “Padded Palace” and physical abuse by Clemensen.
Clemensen told Rolling Stone he denies the accusations of physical abuse.
Check out Rolling Stone’s deep-dive investigative reporting about Missouri’s Agape Boarding School torture and slavery compound – which still remains open.
However bad you think it is, it gets worse.
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) January 5, 2023
Robert Bucklin told KSDK he attended the school from 2007-2012. “After years of fighting for justice, justice has finally prevailed. Today, hundreds of victims can finally start to begin to heal. This is just the beginning, we want to see more legislation not only in Missouri, but all over the U.S. to prevent situations like this from happening,” he said after learning Agape would be closing, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Forced To ‘Spread My Legs And Submit To Cervical Exams’: Paris Hilton Reveals She Was Sexually Abused As A Teen)
The school had been under investigation for over a year prior to the Rolling Stone article’s publication, KSDK reported.
Former students have alleged in various lawsuits staff members threw students into walls, forced them to do 1,000 pushups, choked them, broke their noses and hit boys in the testicles hard enough to potentially cause a “traumatic groin injury,” among other allegations, Rolling Stone reported.
Missouri’s new attorney general Andrew Bailey said Jan 3. he would continue litigation against the school, the Springfield News Leader reported.
Agape Boarding School and Bryan Clemensen did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment at the time of publication.