The numbers surfaced last week in a federal lawsuit brought by 11 former cadets and their families against St. John's Military School. The latest filing in the case makes public for the first time the extent of abuse that the plaintiffs claim is part of the culture at the Salina boarding school.
But the school says the number reflects its concern for student safety and welfare because it investigates and corrects every such instance, including the most minor, and keeps records of them. St. John's president Andy England said in an email to The Associated Press that the school averages fewer than six incidents a month even though students are in close contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The school has been sued by former cadets from California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee and Texas. They claim its quasi-military program, which gives higher-ranking cadets the power to discipline other students, encourages physical and mental abuse. They also say the school intentionally fails to supervise its students, allowing the abuse to continue.