Youth For Christ Holds Community Meeting

By Rachel Martin

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM EDT

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Youth For Christ holds a parent informational meeting about the child pornography charges being held against former campus life director, Nathan Hasty.

Ever since word came out about former campus life director, Nathan Hasty, being arrested on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography, questions have arisen in the Huntington community.

Thursday night, the Youth for Christ (YFC) organization reached out to parents and held a community meeting.

Being open and honest was their goal, as YFC’s Executive Director Larry Lance opened the meeting in prayer.

Afterward, Lance expressed to parents that the YFC organization had “no idea” and that there was “never a hint” about what he called Hasty’s “double life.” He says YFC has no new information or details on the case. Lance says he doesn’t even know the names of the children who were involved. In fact, Lance claims the news about Hasty’s FBI investigation was broken to him in a meeting at the same time it was reported to everyone else on the news.

News letters were sent out to all Huntington County schools informing parents of the informational meeting. It was a Q&A session with parents writing their questions on notecards, and Lance answering them one by one, getting emotional as he went.

Parents asked if there were signs of Hasty's behavior, what the procedures are surrounding student and staff relations, what steps are being taken to ensure it won’t happen again, and if families will be able to trust the next person YFC hires.

Parents were seen with solemn faces and wiping tears away. It was an emotional session for all involved, but Steve Shoemaker says he feels he got all the answers he needed.

“I think the Youth For Christ organization has responded well to the community and is answering questions as best they can with the information that’s been shared [with them],” Shoemaker said.

But he says it’s still been rough on the community.

“[I’m] certainly shocked and disappointed. My kids have gone through the program and are going through the program, so it's shock and disappointment for them as well. I think tonight just starts the healing process for everybody and I'm hopeful that we can continue to go through it,” he said.

YFC leaders say they have partnered with school counselors as well as local outside counseling services to provide kids with help. The national organization is even offering to pay for those services.

As of now, Hasty is still being held in jail without bond and has a court appearance later this month.

Lance says YFC has “worked overtime to comply with organization standards” and they “have done their due diligence” in taking steps to revamp staff training and youth discussion topics. At the moment, Lance says he is operating on a “zero tolerance policy” and that parents can safely believe all staff members are up to date on staff to student procedures.

Lance says they might hold another parent meeting, and YFC plans to speak with middle school students next week.

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