STOCKTON, Mo. — As the controversial Agape Boarding School closes its doors permanently today, other doors will soon open on the same property, also aiming to reform troubled boys through Christian schooling.
According to documents from the Missouri Secretary of State, a nonprofit called Stone of Help was filed on Sept. 15, 2022. At that time, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt was outspoken about his plans to shut down Agape Boarding School and prosecute alleged abusers.
State business filings show the address listed for Stone of Help is 12978 E. 1430 Rd in Stockton.
It’s 0.2 miles from the official address for Agape Boarding School in Stockton.
Jennifer and Jason Derksen’s names are listed on state business filings for Stone of Help Group Homes. Jason Derksen says the allegations of mental, physical, and sexual abuse at Agape were often exaggerated or untrue. He confirmed he was a former principal at Agape and that his wife Jennifer worked in the academic office there.
As the couple looks toward an opening date for Stone of Help, they’re seeking a similar clientele – boys with behavioral issues to enroll as students. Some former Agape students will join their roster, according to Derksen, who declined to interview on camera.
Derksen also told our investigative team that he wasn’t sure why a connection was being made between Stone of Help and the shuttered Agape Boarding School, despite the two sharing employees, land, students, and the same general business concept.
Schmitt moved out of his role as attorney general at the beginning of 2023 after being elected to the U.S. Senate. His successor Andrew Bailey says he plans to keep a close eye on Stone of Help and ongoing litigation against Agape Boarding School and its previous staff.
“We’re not going to let child abusers play a shell game and hide their abusive behaviors under different names and different entities,” said AG Bailey. “We’re going to use the legal mechanism of the state to prevent that from happening and protect children.”
Derksen tells KOLR 10 Investigates that Stone of Help is awaiting proper permitting from the health and fire departments, but anticipates the group homes could be able to open before the end of January. Agape had capacity for 150 boys. Stone of Help will have room for 30.