You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Kansas military school received 339 abuse complaints

WICHITA — Nearly 340 current and former students made complaints to a Kansas military school claiming they were beaten, hazed, harassed, or abused during the past five years, including 21 who say they were branded, according to a court document.

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 allege is part of the culture at the Salina boarding school.

Continue reading below

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 e-mail 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 say 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.

The school reported receiving 339 verbal and written complaints from students over the past five years. A more specific list of complaints was filed under seal.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.