News

Christian school teacher in Iowa faces 140 abuse charges

Christian school teacher in Iowa faces 140 abuse charges

The arrest in October of fifth grade teacher Curtis Van Dam, 35, of Sioux Center Christian School in northwest Iowa, has led to a lot of hand-wringing and talk of prayer from the ‘Christ-centered’ school’s officials. 

Van Dam, according to a statement issued by the school, has been charged with 101 felonies and 39 misdemeanours allegedly committed between August 2013 and October 2017.

The school’s statement said:

We’ve wept, now it’s time to weep again. We’ve prayed, now we need to continue praying. We’ve brought our anger and fears to the Lord, and now we need to lay those feelings again at His feet.

The statement also offered reassurance to parents and children:

Kids, we want you to know that we consider you brave for telling your parents, the police, and the interviewers what happened to you.

We praise God that your testimony has brought to light a dark secret that none of us adults knew was there.

Please know that thousands are lifting you before the throne of your Father in heaven … Trust Him to restore you completely.

Our focus at Sioux Center Christian continues to be the Christ-centered education of our students, while also providing daily support and guidance to students as needed through their teachers and professional counsellors.

Authorities say charges were filed after a complaint was lodged with police on October 18, alleging inappropriate conduct between the teacher and a pupil at the school.
But since the original allegation was made 140 separate charges have been filed, including 14 counts of sexual exploitation by a teacher.

The school added:

On Oct 18, within hours of hearing a complaint, school officials removed Mr Van Dam from the school and immediately contacted authorities. His employment was terminated on Oct 19 and we have been in full cooperation with civil authorities since.

This case is in the hands of our criminal justice system and we trust that justice will be served. Though the number of charges do not necessarily reflect the number of students, we are grieved again as we hear the extent of the charges.

Van Dam is currently being detained in Sioux County Jail and is awaiting trial.

10 responses to “Christian school teacher in Iowa faces 140 abuse charges”

  1. CoastalMaineBird says:

    We’ve brought our anger and fears to the Lord, and now we need to lay those feelings again at His feet.

    Yes, and how’s that working for you?

  2. gedediah says:

    Why is it that religious schools often have inadequate safeguarding procedures? We know the answer already, dont we?

    Faith – not a reliable way to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.

  3. Angela_K says:

    “We’ve prayed, now we need to continue praying.” Yes, because talking to your hands is so effective. Christians full of hypocrisy as usual. Will van Dam’s defence be “Satan made me do it”?

  4. ray metcalfe says:

    We’ve prayed, now we need to continue praying.i expect thats what his victims did And yet this pervert still abused these kids. That’s the power of prayer for you. Just anoher Christian pervert sad to say this as got so common it happens so often and religion is there now they are running around in circles like headless chickens worrying about the fall out. No mention of the victims being given help and the support that they will need. Oh yes there will be more praying and lifting up but no counselling for the victims

  5. barriejohn says:

    Someone shared this today:

    https://pics.onsizzle.com/a-bunch-of-innocent-people-got-murdered-what-should-we-28977026.png

    Over-simplified, but quite funny.

  6. Broga says:

    barriejohn: Made me laugh although I suppose crying would have been more appropriate.

  7. Club Secretary says:

    From this story in Newsweek.
    “The school is also offering students and their parents special therapy sessions with a Christian pastor.”

    I think the kids have already had enough “special therapy”

  8. Laura Roberts says:

    ” Though the number of charges do not necessarily reflect the number of students, we are grieved again as we hear the extent of the charges.”

    WTF do they mean by this? That they think it’s not fair for someone to be charged for multiple offences against the same students? That they claim to grieve despite the fact that not all kids were abused? I honestly can’t think of how this is supposed to be a positive message.

  9. Jobrag says:

    A suggestion for all Christian institutions, pray that God will open the hearts of all child abusers on their staff to come forward and admit their crimes, if none come foreword, across all institutions, either admit that prayer doesn’t work or that God approves of kiddie fiddlers.

  10. Broga says:

    Jobrag: No chance. The convoluted wonders of the addled religious mind are a miracle in themselves. Wrong becomes right and black comes white with scarcely a pause. And the consequence is the infliction of pain on the helpless.