Are children safe in religious institutions?

The Child-Friendly Faith Project previously publicized egregious abuses in the Mormon Church and at Cal Farley’s Boys RanchWe are now calling out other problematic institutions and providing critical information to parents who are thinking of enrolling their children in faith-based schools or programs.

In the news

Abuse in Arizona

Mormon church accused of failing to protect scouts

In seven recent lawsuits, officials in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were accused of failing to notify law enforcement about sexual abuse allegations that occurred in church-sponsored Boy Scouts of America troops from 1972 to 2009.
Finally fired

Baptist churches hired known sex offenders

Last February, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) expelled two member churches for employing pastors who were convicted sex offenders. In 2019, the SBC published a report on preventing and responding to sexual abuse cases. However, churches are not required to follow the recommendations.

Misery in Missouri

Circle of Hope was a more like a circle of hell

The owners and operators of  a boarding school for at-risk teenage girls face more than 100 criminal charges of sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Their horrific ordeals at Circle of Hope Girls Ranch was brought to light when former residents went public on TikTok.
Hiding behind religion

Lawsuit against religious school is dismissed

A district court in Texas threw out a lawsuit filed by a mother against Trinity Episcopal School after her son endured repeated racist bullying. The judge agreed with the school that the court shouldn’t “intrude upon a religious institution’s management of its internal affairs.”

What every parent should know

While it’s heartening that these cases are receiving public attention, it is possible that they and others like them could be dismissed, thanks to a legal precedent set by a Texas appellate court in 2018. In that case, the Episcopal School of Dallas raised what is known as the “ecclesiastical abstention doctrine,” or EAD. 

As a result, the school faced no recourse and details relating to how a boy was harmed by an unjust expulsion weren’t brought to light. If you’re a parent or guardian who is thinking about enrolling or re-enrolling your child in a faith-based school or program, you need to know about the EAD. 

Click the button below for a free fact sheet on how the EAD could affect your right to sue religious institutions. 

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