Bismarck ATA Martial Arts releases statement following arrest of karate instructor

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BISMARCK, N.D. - ​Bismarck-Mandan parents are in shock after the arrest of karate instructor Adler Scheer.

On Facebook, they're commenting things like. "Don't they do background checks?" "Disgusting," "How sick," and "Where are children safe anymore?"

Bismarck ATA Martial Arts released a statement on Facebook Friday afternoon detailing the safety measures the school already has and new steps that they are taking.

According to the statement they have re-keyed all of the locks, and are installing cameras on the inside of the school for security.

The owner, Erik Powell, is taking over the classes for the summer saying, "Our focus will continue to be our students; providing a safe and secure environment for them to continue to learn and proceed in their ATA journey."

He also insists that if anyone has any concerns they can contact him.

You can find Powell's full statement below:

May 17, 2019

A serious incident occurred at Bismarck ATA which resulted in the termination of one of our instructors. I’m sure you may have a lot of questions. As a parent, I am personally shocked and disappointed with his actions and betrayal of trust. We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement and have been assured the students/parents involved have been notified.

I want to personally take this time to ensure our parents and students that our studio has strict policies and procedures in place for the safety and security of our students and staff.

What is our current policy?
• All instructors are required to have a background check as a condition of employment and receive continued training on methods of instruction.
• A guardian (18 years or older) must be present for private lessons.
• The backroom is intended as a drop-off area for shoes and a changing area for students to prepare for class. Visitors and students not on the mats are not allowed to play in this area or the walkways

What else are we doing?
• Locks have been rekeyed.
• Rooms have been searched for any potential recording devices.
• Cameras will be installed inside the school.
• Reviewed the Youth Protection Guidelines with all staff.

Our new schedule started on Monday (August 13th), and classes will continue throughout the summer by me with the assistance of part-time staff that have completed varying levels of instructor certification through the formal ATA procedures.

If there is ever a time when you feel the Songahm Spirit of Taekwondo oath is not being upheld, please contact me or another adult immediately—if you see something, say something.

Our focus will continue to be our students; providing a safe and secure environment for them to continue to learn and proceed in their ATA journey. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

Erik A. Powell, 5th Degree Black Belt
Owner/Chief Instructor