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Teachers in BC have called on the provincial government numerous times to take action to protect the women and children of Bountiful. We are pleased to see the attorney general has taken this very important first step and laid charges against polygamous leaders in Bountiful.

British Columbians remain concerned about the well-being of Bountiful’s women and children. Previously, the BCTF has called on the provincial government to respond to the persistent and serious allegations of child abuse in this polygamous community. We are still waiting for the government to take definitive action.

The BCTF also believes there should be a comprehensive investigation into the community’s two independent schools. These schools have received millions of dollars in public funding from BC taxpayers despite ongoing concerns of sexual, spiritual, ethical, and educational abuse.

Teachers have been very concerned about these schools for years because of unacceptable drop-out and graduation rates. Individuals from the community have reported that female students are encouraged to leave school before the age of 16 and they are taught that they need to learn only that which will prepare them for their roles as wives and mothers. The BCTF is also concerned about the treatment of boys who are turned away from school and the community.

The reports of exploitation go well beyond polygamy, and it is incumbent upon the government to ensure that all citizens of British Columbia are protected from abuses.

The arrests should only be the first step. The government must ensure the women and children of Bountiful are protected.

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For more information, contact Rich Overgaard, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).

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