Sunday, July 27, 2014

Greg at Carolina Springs Academy (

My name is Greg. I went to Carolina Springs Academy on Dec. 16, 1999. A week after my 16th b-day and 2 weeks before Christmas. I found this forum and thought it might be a cool place to vent about stuff that's been locked up for so long. I saw that movie 'Changeling' with Angelina Jolie and when she got sent to the psych ward it brought back all my boarding school memories. I've always had the memories, and dreams of being back in boarding school and I just had nothing to do with them. So I'll just share them with you guys. I didn't really see a need to 'share' them with anyone until it all kinda surfaced after the movie. I have yet to talk to my parents about any of the things that went on at CSA or TB. I'm currently 25 yrs old, I have a 4 yr old daughter and work as an x-ray tech in Texas.

So when I started out at CSA I was so shocked I didn't want to talk to anyone. They sent me to a room behind the cafeteria where they had a kid that was in trouble. I later found out that he had committed a level 3 offense or higher and that's why he was by himself in this room with a staff member. As much as I try to remember people's names from CSA or TB I have a hard time doing it. So I don't know his name but he told me he had 3 nuts and I started laughing. I started talking after that and got shuffled into the deck with the rest of the students.

At CSA I was in the 'Ragazzi' Family. I remember we had an Italian kid in our group that we thought was cool. He basically named our family. I remember making the family banner or flag. Someone asked if I could 'tag' and I said 'yeah' knowing I could draw. I made the Ragazzi family banner with bold old english letters and later found out 'tagging' was gangster graffiti. So no I couldn't 'tag' but I made a banner everyone liked. I think I even put an Italian flag in the background.

I remember in the beginning thinking that everyone in my 'family' at CSA was normal. There was a tall lanky kid that had obvious mental retardation problems. I remember we would all wrestle or fight him just cause he was so weak. Beating up on him always made us feel a little better. I don't get any joy out of thinking about beating him up. I just know it's what we did. So in light of this being an antiWWASP forum and if a parent is reading this, know that certain kids are singled out for not being the in-crowd and some fighting or beatings were allowed by staff.

I feel like I could sit here and tell stories all day, and I might try to until someone emails me or something and tells me how they know me and I'll see if I can remember you.

I eventually got sent to Tranquility Bay after being at CSA for 11 months and running away. I promise I'll tell that story one day. 2 hired thugs came and got me up in the middle of the night and drove me to an airport in Atlanta and then to Montego Bay, Jamaica. We took the longest drive to St. Elizabeth parish on the south side of the island to TB. I was in the 'Honor' family in TB. I remember being scared of TB cause of all the rumors I heard about it while I was in CSA. I remember they were even sending upper-levels from TB to CSA to tell us to 'shape up' or else we'd go there.

I remember not wanting to participate in any 'program' stuff like progress or earning levels so I just kept to myself and obeyed the rules to avoid worksheets and OP. And I did for a long time. I think I was in TB for 3 months just not sharing in group. I think I only went to worksheets once so I was sitting on a massive stack of 'points'. My only outlet at TB was school. Yeah, we had no teachers, just learning by reading books and taking chapter tests. I'd started realizing I might get to go home if I was 'doing good' when I graduated high school.

I started to share in my family groups in TB when it was getting close to me graduating. I had been a level 5 at CSA so I knew what everyone wanted to hear. I shot right up from level 2 to level 3, I think level 2 was a 'give me' anyway with points wasn't it? The only difference between level 2 and level 1 in TB was level 2's got snacks on saturday with the movie? I dunno, it's almost been 10 yrs. When I got level 3 it was kinda controversial because I really hadn't been 'sharing' or 'doing good' that long and I almost had level 4 points. I remember all these people in my family opposing the idea of me getting level 3 and definately the level 4 to come with so little length of participation. I remember needing to do something DRASTIC to get support to get voted to level 4 before I graduated.
I convinced all my classmates that I'd sent a letter home to my parents saying that no matter what my parents said when they visited for graduation I told them that I wanted to graduate the program. Everyone was thinking what I was. They thought if I was level 4 by the time I graduated high-school that my parents would take me home. This 'commitment' from me saying I would graduate the program level 6 yada yada was good enough to get voted to level 4 by my staff and upper levels in my family. I just remember it being a record how fast I got level 4 at TB. Thing is, when my parents got there for graduation and I graduated in May of '01 with 2 other people my parents asked me to come home.

We were sitting at the tables by the pool underneath some trees. I remember when my parents asked me to come home I just started crying. I kinda didn't think it was real. All my suffering was finally over. I'd never sent the letter saying I wanted to stay in the program and graduate it. I took my parents up on the offer. The staff let me go back and say good-bye to my family, they were in the classroom. I remember a kid(sorry I don't remember any names from these schools) he had gone into this 'pact' with me about sending a letter home. He was a level 3 trying to get voted into level 4 too. He kinda jumped on my bandwagon but actually sent the letter home to his parents saying that he wanted to stay in the program and graduate no matter what. The Honor family didn't vote him to level 4 though. The damage was done because his letter had been sent. I remember seeing him as I was leaving. It didn't occur to me then why he gave me such a painful look. He was stuck there and partly because of me and my scheme to get out. If you happen to read this and you are the kid that was stranded there by your parents because I convinced you to write them a letter to keep you there I'm sorry.

Most of my thoughts every day while I was locked up for 17 months at these schools were 'how can I get out of here'. It's a shame I can't say has anyone heard from this name or that name. I just don't remember anyone's. I'm just going to keep telling stories in this forum until people start emailing me telling me who they were and how they remember me. My email is (Email removed due to privacy) I know it's long. These posts will probably help me to do something productive with all the memories i have of CSA and TB.

To close this post, I just want to say to any parent that these schools are not any place I'd send my child. I think I got sent to these boarding schools because my mother was having issues in her life and she didn't have the time or patience to deal with mine as a teenager. If anyone needs anything, I'd love to chat. If I find a good spot just to blog about my boarding school experiences I'll post it somewhere so if anyone who is interested can find it.



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