Bob Jones allows abuse probe to proceed

Bob Jones University announced today that it has reached agreement with GRACE to complete the independent review of the university’s response to sexual and other abuse.

By Bob Allen

Bob Jones University announced Feb. 25 that an independent investigation into the school’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse can be completed.

The university abruptly terminated its 2012 agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), a group founded by Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian, a law professor at Liberty University and grandson of Billy Graham, citing unspecified concerns about the directions the investigation team was heading.

After meetings Feb. 18-19, Bob Jones officials said, “GRACE satisfactorily addressed the university’s concerns and Bob Jones University is confident the review can be completed in a timely and professional manner.”

Bob Jones SrBob Jones, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, S.C., founded in 1927 by evangelist Bob Jones Sr., consulted with GRACE after nine cases of sexual assault occurred on campus in 2011.

Another controversy involved a student allegedly expelled in retaliation for organizing the school’s first-ever student protest about a former member of the school’s board of trustees accused of covering up the rape of a 15-year-old girl in his congregation.

GRACE officials said they were surprised by the decision to pull the plug on the investigation just days before the team planned to do final interviews and begin its final report.

Bob Jones officials said both organizations “are united in their commitment to a review that is thorough, transparent and objective.”

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Bob Jones University halts abuse probe