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Jury returns verdict in Heartland Christian Academy case

A federal jury says the state did not violate anyone's constitutional rights when it raided a Christian boarding school in northeast Missouri.

The 2001 raid of the Heartland Christian Academy was part of a state investigation into allegations of child abuse at the school just south of Newark.

The school, two former students and the father of another student sued after the state removed 115 students.

A federal jury in St. Louis ruled Thursday after a trial that lasted about three weeks.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the school is still operating with about 225 students. Many of the students have behavior, drug and alcohol problems.

The Oct. 30, 2001, raid followed complaints that students were paddled and forced to shovel and stand in manure.

The school insisted that it legally used reasonable corporal punishment.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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