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Heartland Case To Be Heard At Civil Trial

By Beth Hunolt
Heartland Christian Academy members are attempting to sue twelve Missouri juvenile officers in the events that occurred on the Heartland campus in 2001.  Six former students and 13 former HCA parents are also party to the 2006 suit.  
 Heartland alleged that the twelve juvenile officers ignored the faith-based group’s constitutional rights and along with law enforcement raided the Heartland Christian Academy’s campus, removing over 115 students from the premises on October 30th, 2001, after the third allegation of child abuse charges had surfaced.
Named in the suit are Michael Waddle, Jeff Hall, Cindy Ayers, Dana Martin, Denise Cross, Jerrie Jacobs-Kerner, Christine White, Donna Rohrbach, Pam McGowan, James Harrison, Mac Abernathy, Richard Englehardt and Rick Hill.  The suit alleges the defendents conspired to intimidate and harass Heartland Christian Academy.
The students were sent back to Heartland three days later and the officers involved were exonerated.
In 2006, the United States District Court of Missouri ruled in favor of Heartland, it’s six former students, and thirteen parents for former Heartland students.
On Monday, February 8th, after reviewing the District Court’s 2006 ruling, the Untied States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit denied an appeal by the twelve officials involved, thus allowing the case to proceed to civil trial.