This testimony was given on the webpage Safe Teen School by a student whos name has been withheld. All rights goes to the original author.
I arrived feb 22nd of 2008 and graduated highschool out of there facility in october of 2009. I was woken up in the middle of the night and transported to the facility were i was strip searched had to shed, spread, squat, cough, and lift up my genitals and was immediately placed in an all orange hoodie and orange sweat pants labeled homeless on the chest like i was a prisoner.
When i arrived with the group I was informed for the next two weeks there was no communication with other students if you talk its a strike you got 4 strikes in each half day if u got over the amount of strikes you failed your day which resulted in more time in homeless. Things that included recieving strikes were talking not finishing ur workout ...not finishing ur disgusting meals...refusing to comply...asking unnecessary questions and so on I was in homeless for 3 months before i was allowed to be an inside student.
The staff refered to me as the homeless king who would never get out we traveled throughout the campus outside all day pulling a cart known as the yolk like we were horses....every morning we were fed 1 bowl of cream of wheat or oats for breakfast depending on the day...rice and lentels for lunch everyday...and rice and lentels with chicken for dinner...1 bowl every meal i went from 400 lbs to 180 lbs in the time i was there from there strict workouts and labor...the homless staff Mike Fox and Jon Goobler would deny students use of the porta potty and in particular would harass one student with this power till he'd pee his pants. On days parents would come they would hide the homeless kids in the workout room out of sight. On numerous ocassions I was subject to energy release this is were they run you and make you do laps and various strenuous exercises up and down the so called football field until you 1. passed out or 2. begged to stop and would comply this particular punishment was administered by Ricky Diaz, Robbie Diaz, Danny Borchard and Shane the guy in charge of isolation. Many times i was checked against the wall by an employee named Kyle Carter and beat for my insubordination. Once i became an inside student i joined there football team where if you were talented you were pampered if you were of no use to them and there obsession with the game you were worked to the point of passing out.
If you preformed poorly in the game as an individual you could be placed back in homeless as punishment in my total time at DRA I spent over 6 months in homeless. The staff that woulds stay inside our dorm room were on our side, they would say how its wrong what they do to us and how they are sworn to silence and if they were to speak up they got fired immediately which happend often. Everyone was given a book of Mormon and was pushed in the direction of there beliefs and if you did not participate you were frowned upon. The five main abusers of kids at the ranch were Robbie Diaz, Ricky Diaz, Danny Borchard, Shane whatever his last name is and Kyle Carter. Many times i watched students be thrown down, knees in backs, arms were broken in the restraint of students to the point where lower power staff members would turn there heads in disgust. I got along with alot of the staff that stayed with us all day such as Victor.. Josh..Steve Darvaeau....Mckay Probert but most of them were fired because they actually cared about us as people we were neglected for food especially if you were big you would get half portions and definitely neglected for bathroom privalges in the homeless part of the program medical care was only good if you had to take meds for disorders otherwise they didn't care about you, the medical staff was amazing and careing but again were held under dictatorship rule by the higher up people. On the phones you were limited what you could say and if you stepped outside the boundries of conversation your call was hung up on all my letters stating concerns to my parents were edited outside of my own words or blacked out.
I felt like a prisoner they made it seem not bad when you get there but after your parents pull down that dusty dirt road it was as if it was a completely different story i personally have been traumatized by my stay there and have developed anxiety ridden abandonment issues my relationship with my parents is good now but that is only because they now realize what I've been put through. Diamond Ranch Academy is the equivalent of a cult driven on the basis of Mormon beliefs hard labor and football. If you do not comply with those three things your time there is hell. I've have been to several other facilities in my life but none as dark and hush hush covered up as this one they are excellent at hiding what they do and could only be exposed threw an undercover student the whole program is based on a lie of saying its a boarding school when in reality its more like a prison.