Sunday, February 28, 2021

Kimberly at Turn-about Ranch

This testimony was located on Yelp. All rights belongs to the author

Clearly anyone giving this place high marks has never gone here or is a rich white, attractive kid that got preferential treatment (yes, they treat rich white kids much better), as well as most likely a parent that pushed their kid this program, without really understanding the ramifications of sending a child here. I don't ever want another kid to go through what myself and so many others have gone through. I don't want another kid to suffer from the PTSD I still struggle with 17 years after leaving Burnout Ranch. I can personally attest to witnessing/experiencing verbal, emotional, physical abuse by staff and rape/sexual assault that would go unpunished/unreported due to staff blaming girls/calling them liars. No child deserves this.

Around 2003/2004, I witnessed staff member Myron calling a black kid a "n****r" while staff member Carl called the same kid a "tarbaby" while he was forced to do a "desert walk" (walking miles in the desert with a truck driven by staff slowly following him and shouting racial epithets), staff member Wayne smashing a lesbian's head into the wall and calling her a "dyke", director Max taking me out for "private 1 on 1" walks in the desert to press me about my sexual activity while caressing my body to "heal"... Not to mention being so hungry that I stole a box of crackers and was sent back to the first level for simply being hungry.

My mail sent to my family was read by my counselor Tina and I was punished just for trying to write to my brother and tell him what I was seeing and experiencing. In regards to my earlier statement, the 2 wealthy white girls were quickly moved into staff member's Connie house and were treated well from the beginning. Not every level 4 girl was moved into Connie's house. Just her "favorites", which were always the same type: rich white girls. The handsome wealthy white males also received preferential treatment, with a tall attractive male being nicknamed "Slick" for his best blonde hairdo and constantly being high fived by staff, while being a minority, gay, or fat made you a constant target towards negative comments and physical abuse and punishment.

Reports of sexual assaults and harassment, in addition to rape perpetrated by boys at TAR resulted in staff asking the group of males if they sexually assaulted/raped a female, to which they replied no (of course). Apparently 5 boys that are friends are believed over a girl's accusations and the girl was sent back to the first level. Ex-drill sergeant Connie called her a "slut" and a "liar" for merely being a victim. She was never taken to the local doctor and checked for signs of rape. When the same thing happened to me, I was too afraid to say anything and it continued happening for the rest of my time there.

17 years later, I still suffer from PTSD from being kidnapped in the middle of the night by strangers without knowing who they were or where I was going. I still suffer from flashbacks. All this place did was torture me for 90 days and I'd do anything to keep another kid from experiencing the pain I still feel from this place. Kids having behavioral problems deserve a safe space to heal and figure out what their problems are and how to face them. TAR is the exact opposite of a safe space for children. It's a predatory environment that breeds low self-esteem, low self-worth, encasing it in a bullshit religious agenda and run by frauds. Please do not send a child here. Stop sending your kid away to "deal" with your problem.

After TAR, I've gone through years of intense therapy and no therapist has ever said TAR was a good parental choice and how emotionally damaging it is for parents to push their "problem children" into a wilderness program as some answer. No child deserves this. Deal with the problems your parenting has created. Actively deal with the problems your children are facing so your kids know they're not alone. If you send your kids to TAR, you're a horrible person that deserves the karma coming to you for subjecting your child to torment when you're supposed to protect them.

The facility is currently being sued due to alleged sexual assault. Some years ago, an employee was killed by one of the children held at the facility. A lawsuit states that the tragedy happened because the ranch in search for profit took in children, which were not evaluated to be handled with the level of security for both children and employees, the facility was able to provide.



Sunday, January 31, 2021

Testimony concerning Greenbrier Academy for Girls

This testimony was located on Yelp. All rights goes to the author.

Reposting since my reveiw was now deleted TWICE. May be wondering why GBA would be trying so hard to make sure nobody sees this...

I have never seen a worse place in my entire life. Girls sit on the “Sunporch” for hours everyday and about 8 on Sundays because there is nothing to do. The school claims that the four month program is transitional and opportunities like having a phone can be earned fast. This is the biggest lie. I was turning 18 and headed to college which is why my parents chose this place. I could not even walk around the entire campus alone for 2 weeks or even have an ipod for almost 7.

The place did not give me much opportunity to work on college applications and did not give me the option to tour colleges. I had barely any communication with my parents to help me with the process. There was no privelage to have a computer for yourself so all the time I was wasting sitting doing nothing on the sunporch I could have been on a computer talking to my parents in order to work on college applications or be on kahn academy to study for the SAT. I have openly told staff and leaders of the school how much I hated it and how I was signing out when I turned 18 and in return I was threatened without my parents awareness. I was threatened to be sent to the homeless shelter with $5 if I were to sign out. I was also threatened extended custody until the age of 21 which my parents had no intent or thought of doing. I was also told that they could be “very convincing” when it comes to parents and when my parents decided to pull me that they would have a “talk” with them. All of this just a week before I was taken out, trying to scare me.

The only good thing about the place is the RAs. These are the true therapists of the school and are the few people actually there to help your daughter. Although I was blessed with a good therapist not many girls are and when they ask to switch, the school will not allow it. This is messed up because your therapist decides your home visits and when you leave so if you have a bad therapist, be prepared to be extended. The school loves their threats and lies so I would consider this before sending your daughter here. I would also consider the fact that there have been multiple drug problems where girls have brought things in so if you want a safe environment, this is not the place. The school also tends to believe rumors and you will be treated poorly until you are able to prove you did not do anything. Until I had a clean drug test show up, I was treated as if I was snorting pills. I was also not able to talk to my parents about it and sense all calls are supervised and social calls will be ended if therapy related things are brought up there is no way to actually tell your parents what is going on in less you are willing to break the rules for it.

These were the least beneficial months of my life. I left two months early, have a full time job doing what I want to do, am taking classes at my local college, and being able to function as a normal teen without being locked up in that school. Also do not send your daughter here if you want her to be in any way prepared for college. A little kid could get As in the classes. Your kid WILL fail college if this is the only education they know. They will also make it very hard to recieve any credits most likely because they want the money and want your kid there longer. Overall terrible experience, send your kid elsewhere or maybe consider the fact that the educational consultants tell every parent after wilderness to not have their kid go home, not considering some kids are actually ready to go home.

The original testimony on Yelp

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Katherine at Auldern Academy

This testimony was found on Google Maps. All rights go to the original author.

After now working in human services with disabled children, I've reflected a lot on my experience at Auldern. While I can agree that "it's all about perspective," it shouldn't have to be framed like that. The program is unprofessional, abusive, and traumatizing. Please do your research on the owner company, Sequel. It's a for-profit-prison and residential system-- not education at all. A lot of the practices used mimic that of being a prisoner. Their forms of punishment are that of manual labor, and after further research, are against labor laws. They used shame tactics, and had staff members come in intoxicated to verbally berate and abuse students at 1 in the morning. Please also look into "Breaking Code Silence." I was the first successful escapee in 2012. I've been called in to help with court cases and non-profits to bring light to these kinds of programs. If you are considering Auldern, I know that you are 1) desperate to help your daughter, and 2) you have money. There are other options that aren't institutionalized abuse. I have considered to this day to speak out against them for for everything from denial/refusal of medical care (I have a permanent muscle tear from being forced to carry boulders as punishment, and when I went to the nurse, was told it was just the weight from my backpack), endangerment (they convinced and manipulated my parents to kick me out during Hurricane Sandy in NJ until I agreed to come back when I ran away, even though I was 18), and the longterm impact/impairment that the trauma has left me.

If a parent is seeing this, please feel free to reach out to me. I will gladly divulge my full story. I have helped families get their daughters out of there. I promise you that your daughters can't fully communicate while they are there. Staff listens in on the phone calls, and are instructed to hang up the phones if students begin to get emotional or volatile. If someone has the e-mail privilege, their therapist is reading their e-mails. I would look like a lunatic when I'd behave normally on the phone, and then in person would beg my parents to get me out.

Also, in response to the mother saying their daughter's GPA went up, of course it did. The course work was easier than middle school and did not "college prep" me at all. In order to graduate, students had to apply to 2-3 colleges. They also withheld my credits when I returned to public school to finish senior year.

In addition, in response to "they are selective with their admissions process," they are not. It makes no sense clinically for me to have been accepted into a program with girls who had astronomically different treatment plans. I was there for having been in an abusive relationship and acting out in a rebellious way. I would sneak into New York City, and wouldn't answer my phone. While these are problem behaviors, how does it make any sense that I was in the same program as girls with addictions, ones who had witnessed siblings getting assaulted or had a Bi-Polar or Borderline diagnosis? Their "admissions process" is if you have the funding, and if they need a RTC instead.

So, my family dished out over $100k to leave me more traumatized with a lot of friends who are now dead after attending. If you have the resources, please seek help elsewhere.

The original testimony from Google Maps

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