UPDATE: The hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow was continued to 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12.

STOCKTON, Mo. – Online court records Thursday show that a judge in Cedar County has ordered the closing of the Agape Board School unless the facility fires a staffer whose name has been added to the state’s Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry.

Circuit Judge David Munton issued the order Wednesday in response to a petition from Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt that sought the closing.

That petition, from Schmitt and the Missouri Department of Social Services against Agape Baptist Church/Boarding School, states that the staffer on the registry was also on the school’s census of employees as of Aug. 22, 2022.

Munton’s order states the worker’s presence at the school “constitutes an ‘immediate health or safety concern’” and the facility must “cease operation … and provide for the appropriate removal of children” to the custody of a parent, guardian or other appropriate individual or agency.

The order is on hold until after 1 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 9, when a hearing is set to determine whether the employee remains on staff to allow the defendants to argue why the order should not go into effect. If so, the order is effective immediately.