Monday, October 31, 2011

Chelsea Filer at Casa by the Sea (

This story was originally written on a webpage created to provide statements for a GAO hearing in 2007. The address is and it waits for your statement if you believe that your stay at a boarding school included unfair treatment or even abuse. All rights and credits goes to the author Chelsea Filer, who posted the original story on

Abuse at Casa by the Sea and High Impact

I have been active in standing against the WWASP company and it's affiliate facilities since my departure from Casa by the Sea in Mexico Jan 2003. I guess you could call my story different from the experiences of others, but I can assure you that many other kids like me were severely abused and will suffer from the effects of this for the rest of their lives.

On one of their MANY sites ( advocating these facilities to desperate families in times of crisis, they listed several different "teen problems" they claimed to be equipped to handle, more then a few of which I can personally attest that they are NOT.
the list is as follows:

  • Drug and Alcohol Use
  • Depression
  • Bipolar
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Divorce and Family Conflict Issues
  • Adoption Issues
  • School Problems
  • Poor Peer Choices
  • Runaway and Curfew
  • Minimal Legal Issues
  • Accountability and Responsibility Issues
  • Integrity
  • Self Esteem and Emotional Issues

As a young child I was diagnosed with both ADD and Bipolar disorder, half of the reason my mother sent me to the program is because as a single mother she was not able to handle the symptoms of the disorder and felt I may be better taken care of in a facility dedicated to treatment and education. She was not aware, however, that Casa By the Sea, a WWASP affliated facility, was simply making these claims as a marketing strategy and not actually following through with proper treatment. These schools simply claim to treat every problem, then lock up all these kids together and push them through the same rigorous system designed to break the will of the student, establish dominence of the system and the staff, and then to mold them into what seems to everyone else to be some kind of cult member or Stepford child. We were often physically abused (restrained: see description below) for things that would never constitute punishment in any other establishment. We were also subject to isolation and abuse in the form of enduring contorted positions and if we were not perfectly still we would be restrained sometimes over and over for days or weeks. The kids in the facility live in constant fear of being sent to this isolation room and the program uses this as a threat to keep student obedient to the system. They also utilize the power of peer pressure through group berating sessions to coerce students to follow the "belief system" the program is based on. The punishment is severe for "not following the rules", which ironically enough are not rules at all. Things as ridiculous as "speaking with out permission", being "off task" for more then 30 seconds and forgetting something, would all be punishable offenses most times, leading to detention time in which you were forced to face a wall and were not allowed to do any school work for the whole 8 hours you were required to stay. These are just examples of how the program was designed, and just imagine how hard it would be for someone with a disorder who's symptoms were difficult to control and lead them to "break rules" that were set up for them to fail? I gained so many of these consequences a week that I would not advance to any level above level 1. Despite the obvious facts that the program was not designed for people with my disorder, they continued to convince my mother otherwise.

Not only was I not medicated or improperly medicated for a year and a half of my 2 year stay but I was also vigorously prosecuted and labeled as a failure to be made an example of. Because of this, I was also sent to an affiliate program of Casa By the Sea called High Impact, a "wilderness" program. At High Impact I experienced the most severe level of abuse I have ever heard of, short of the concentration camps during the holocaust. Survivors, including myself would describe this place as: "a modern day concentration camp where the Nazis are Mormons but they can't kill us because then they wouldn't be able to collect our parent's paychecks"

This is an excerpt from a publication I wrote in 2004:

"I was starved, beaten, constantly screamed at, burned and forced to walk in circles everyday. I was required to sit in very painful positions for 8 hours everyday and stare at the ground at all times. Chores were to clean the bathrooms and tent, to draw straight lines in the sand with my toothbrush, and pick up very small pieces of rocks and trash from the sand called “hand-picking”. I endured painfully rigorous exercise, carrying a 40 lb bag of sand on my back 24 hours a day for 60 days (even sit and sleep with it on top of me), sit perfectly still in dog cages all day in the hot sun and many, many, many other forms of abuse. Punishments were given for things like moving your finger or itching yourself or licking your lips. I had very chapped lips and I repeatedly got consequences for licking my lips. When I asked for Chap Stick to heal my cracking and bleeding lips, I was given a piece of wood about the size of a candy bar to keep clenched in my teeth for 2 weeks. My mouth would bleed and blister and I had splinters in my tongue and lips. I remember I was almost drowned when I had a big bucket of soapy water dumped on my head and my face held smashed down in the mud. I thought I was going to die and I would have gladly accepted it if I had"

"Today I suffer permanent back pain from the injuries I received due to the methods of restraint. These methods included dropping the victim with extreme force from a standing position to the ground flat on their stomach and face, their hair pulled back and chin forced flat and grinded into the rocky dirt, their arms pulled behind then crossed and shoved up so far the arms would displace from the sockets and the hands would be touching the ears, the legs would be brought up to the middle of the back and the staff member would either sit on top of the student in this position or apply all body weight to the middle of the back on one knee. I can remember only screaming for mercy telling them I couldn’t breath and my back was breaking. They told me if I couldn’t breath how could I be screaming? This torture didn’t stop for hours."
Its been more then 5 years since I left, but these horrors have followed me, I have been greatly affected in more ways then most people can ever understand. I did not receive a high school education, and by the time I left the facility at 17 I did not have the credits to even graduate 9th grade. I was also unable to attend college. I have long term back injuries and many symptoms of PTSD. I lost years of my life, was unable to have a healthy adolescent experience, and was not able to learn the important life lessons one would experience in their late teen years. I will always be behind in my social skills and will always operate my life out of the fear that was drilled into psyche at that young age.

These facilities use fraudulent marketing strategies to bait and switch desperate parents, they promise to take care of their kids and ask for complete trust and loyalty to their system even to ignore their childrens claims of abuse and unfair treatment as "manipulations". All our contact with our parents are either through letters or monitored phone calls. The staff including the teachers did not provide or even have any certifications nor any work experience or qualifications to be working with minors. The medical staff was incredibly questionable, being as the medical services provided were never up to par. There was no admissions process, my medical records were not even taken into any consideration even though had they done so, any doctor would not have recommended that I be enrolled in this program.

The food as well was rarely nutritious and most girls gained around 60 lbs because we were FORCED to eat all the food on our plate. The education system was a joke giving the student no scholastic interaction (as in lectures, labs, elective classes, homework or projects) with no real leadership from real teachers and the tests and school work was so easy students would fly through school work as fast as 2 years work in 6 months. They did this because it gave the parents a sense of success thinking their kids were "getting an education". The seminars were designed to brainwash both the parents and the kids... turning the kids into robots and gaining the cult like loyalty of the parents so that the facility did not have to do anything to gain their trust.

Shortly before I was released from Casa, my mom was still committed to the program. I was told she was advised to keep me int he program one more year (until i turned 18) and if I chose to leave instead of graduate the program I would only be offered a bus ride to the border and my mother would refuse to speak to me ever again. I was so depressed about this and the notion that

I would be stuck there for one more year that I wrote a letter to my grandmother who was so concerned for my wellbeing that she decided to talk to my case manager. She asked her about her qualifications to be working with children who suffered from bipolar and found out she had no prior experience even working with kids, that her education was in business, and that she didn't even know that I had Bipolar. This was the woman who was in charge of my wellbeing and the women who spoke to my mother about me for almost a year, and she knew nothing about me nor cared that I had special needs. This conversation must have struck a cord because not more then 2 days later my mother was advised to come to Casa and pick me up. That was very unheard of at Casa, anytime a student was pulled it was because a parent realized the program was not working or they might have been spooked by the seminars, however in my case, they claimed I was "Institutionalized".

When I arrived home my mother and I spoke about what had happened at Casa and High Impact and she had no idea half of the things that happened, even though I repeatedly wrote her letters about it. I can only assume those letters were intercepted and not delivered to her. She now tells me all she wanted was for me have a better education and get treatment for my disorders, I did not receive either of those, and in consequence, I live with many more struggles today then I would have had WWASP took on the responsibility to properly treat students or turn them away if they knew their system was not meant for them.

I have already accepted that I will live with this forever, I can only try to save kids in the future by encouraging the public to see the red flags of abuse and fraud with WWASP and any other programs that are developed under the same premise. I can only hope that the families that have been effected by this company will finally be avenged and WWASP brought to justice.

Sincerely, Chelsea Filer

Datasheet about the boarding school at Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora
The original statement on

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chavaya Beebee Galvao at The Family Foundation School (

This story was originally written on a webpage created to provide statements for a GAO hearing in 2007. The address is and it waits for your statement if you believe that your stay at a boarding school included unfair treatment or even abuse. All rights and credits goes to the author Chavaya Beebee Galvao, who posted the original story on

I would like to state that not all the staff members at the school are operating under selfish motives, there are also individuals who genuinely come to care about student's well being and discourage the harsh punishments that are so common within the walls of the FFS institution. There are certainly those who obviously take pleasure at inflicting suffering on students that they do not like, and are given absolute power to make student's lives as miserable as they wish. On the other hand, they give their "favorites" special dispensation to do things that other students cannot do, and punish them less harshly than other students. Among the individuals who engage in the negative behaviors are Ted Towsley, Audra Towsley, Paul Geer, Robin Deucey, Mike Deucey, and Rita Argiros. It only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bushel, most of the staff did have the best interests of the students at heart, but if you will note, the turnover rate is very high, because many staff members were deemed too "soft" and not punishing enough, or they simply did not have the stomach for the atrocities that have been committed at the school, so they chose to leave.

I will report briefly on some of the experiences that I had while a student at the Family Foundation School. On my first day, I was lied to by my parents (who were counseled by the school to do as much), and brought to the school under false pretenses. Once in the locker room, I started towards the door, and was immediately slammed against the ground with two female staff members and two male staff members on top of me. I had no forewarning that this would happen if I moved towards the door, they simply jumped on me. I was scared, and they were cutting my air supply off. After a few minutes, I was let up and forced to continue inprocessing.

The same night that I was inprocessed, I began to notice something very strange: All the young people at the school talked the same, walked the same, moved alike, and it seemed that the ones who chose to be themselves were consigned to sitting in the corner facing a wall, removed from the general population, or standing outside in the freezing hallway eating either plain tuna fish and water, or nothing at all. So, I began talking, moving and acting like all the other students so that I would not have to sit in a corner, or worse yet, haul buckets of gravel back and forth on a worksanction. Everyone knew that everyone else was full of shit, but we were all too scared to say anything about what we really thought.

The months went by, and I began to run on anxiety. Five minutes to get to class, no time to go to the bathroom, one study hall to do homework, table topics, picking up other students that were deemed a "threat," complete lack of privacy, being punished through food deprivation, constant fear of being resigned to the corner or put on exile, constant yelling, kids running away in the middle of the night, everything was extremely stressful. It was just too much. In fact, I believe that my problems with high blood pressure were caused by those two years of my life that I was shut inside the Family School.

I don't believe that in a long-term placement facility, it is right to have such complete autonomy over the lives of hundreds of teenagers. The punishments, had they been meted out by parents, would have resulted in the involvement of child protective services. I simply do not believe that starving, forcibly restraining, or locking children up in a tiny cubicle letting them urinate and vomit on themselves is the answer to drug addiction or alcoholism. In fact, 90% of graduates from the Family Foundation School "relapse" into the same behavior, but many times the addiction is exacerbated by the treatment that they have recieved at the school.

I hope that the suffering of hundreds of children and teenagers can come to light and aid in closing this establishment's doors for once and for all, ending the profit that a select few administrators are making from what can only be termed as child abuse.

I was at the school from 2003 to 2005, I never experienced hitting or slapping but I was manhandled on one occasion, resulting in bruises on my arms, and I was denied proper nutrition on several occasions. There were several occurances in which I was severely and publicly humiliated by staff members, as well as two work sanctions in which I was forced to work from 7:15AM to 6:30PM, during one I contracted bronchitis and complained of dizziness and shortness of breath several times before collapsing due to neglect of my illness.

In addition, I have eye-witnessed several abusive situations that took place at the school, including peer bullying that was encouraged and kids locked into tiny rooms and not even being allowed out to use the bathroom.

2013 the school changed its name to Allynwood Academy due to the bad press.

Datasheet about the boarding school at Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora
The original statement on

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Life and Times of a Starfish (From

This story was originally written on a webpage called, which sadly is not online anymore properly because the boarding school closed sometime in 2009. All rights and credits goes to the author Grant, who posted the original story on

Hi my name is Grant and I graduated Tranquility Bay more than a year ago.

A fellow graduate recommended me to this sight and i read a great piece about a day in the life of a lower level student. It intrigued me and even brought back memories that were pushed to the far realms of my mind long ago. Props to whoever you are to such a well written work of fact. It actually inspired me to the point of taking time out of my schedule to write my own piece in my perspective of a starfish on the next bus ride home. I'm changing the names of certain people for there sake...and i could care less who reads this and gets offeneded so i'll leave my name at the top. And if i do offened anybody then i'll glady self-correct that shit.

Finally....I'm going home. Just a few more months. I can almost taste the sweet freedom. I cant believe its almost been two damn years. I came into this God awful mess 16 and now am graduating a very resentful 18. I slowly open my eyes and see the clock dimly lit across the room by the moonlight. Its a quarter to three. I catch a glimpse of a certain staff stealing a friend of mines juice out of the fridge. Wow he must be thirsty i think to myself. So blind with thirst that he cant even read the huge black letters with the students initials written on it.....asshole. I role back over. Jesus its hot! I contemplate temporarily "borrowing" a fellow starfish's fan that his mommy and daddy gave him along with everything else his precious heart this place makes you resentful. I smile to myself for a moment thinking about how obsured it would be to be envious of someones fan on the outs. Funny how two years of slowly going crazy can affect someones character. The thiefing staff belches and carries his speedo warring hairy-ass back to his little cot. How ironic it is that we cant even take off our shirts and the staff sharing our rooms walk around with what looks like an eye-patch. I mean do i really need to see that and even worse sleep two feet from it.

The snoring starts up again. If my pillow wasnt drenched in sweat I'd consider smothering my head with it....oh well. I must say im quite surprised though... the mosquitoes have barely even....oh wait...yea i spoke to soon, there they are. And once again I'm in quite a predicament. Should i just man-up and try to ignore these vampire-thieves stealing my blood, or covering head and body in my sheet; consequently forcing myself to try and sleep in a thin cotton furnace. I'm 18, i should be worried about car payments and which college coarses to take. Ohhhh man...Id kill for a realistic dilema. I'd kill to be a normal late, why waste energy on the impossible. It's just me and my thoughts now. It almost feels as if the whole world is asleep but me. Just me and the mosquitos. I remember for a moment a bottle of bugspray in the closet. I get up, carfully walking the gauntlet of naked Jamaican men littering the floors. Shit! The spray is empty, well looks like the furnace for me tonight. Thoughts and memories of friends and family flood my mind, entraping my fore-sight with what could of been....what should of been. I hate thinking of my friends and family as funny as that sounds. Memories always make me feel like crying. Thats not how it should be. Good memories make people feel euphoric and bad memories make people feel fortunate...Some may ask, what the hell? Fortunate? What i mean by this is that whatever happened in the past is over now and no matter what things get better. So ill look back at getting arrested or something and feel fortunate that im out of that situation and my record is clear. This theory of "good things will come" was the only tidbit of wisdom that helped me through that Jamaican Alcatraz....not seminars, not "group"... just a simple phrase.

I cleared my mind and before i remembered falling asleep i was awake. At 7:00 we get up. Like aimless zombies my fellow starfish and I slowly wander to the showers. Everyday its a battle to beat Excellence family to the showers...after all we had to get ready for "work". My friend Tommy and i walk across the brezzy courtyard. Great...sure enough the Excellence family beat us there. And sure enough its because there father wanted to beat us there. Its always a competition with these guys. I walk over to Tommy ask for toothpaste and squeeze my way between the mass of kids all spitting and gargalling in the same "troff-like" gutter. Finally i get a shower. I reluctantly step in and already cold, well maybe it will be hot today...just maybe....nope! Well thats like 800 days in a row. I love the originality. The wind blows away what was left of my water and so i just stand we go again. THe Excellence father(real asshole) feels the need to interupt my standing cold and naked time in order to refresh me on why im a starfish and that i should be consequenting his kids for talking and horse play. I snap back ofcourse(as ive done since before i new he exsisted). "Why do you need me to help you do your job"? I say coldly. He stares at me while the idiots in his family start to laugh...funny how what they dont realise is that all it takes is one instant, one hint of misfortune to happen in a staffs daily routine and consequences would be handed out like candy for the rest of the night. I turn away, hoping he'd just get distracted and walk away. Tommy brings me a bucket of water. I thank him and offer a handful of my precious herbal essence shampoo. I smile thinking back to the fan and the pitty way of life here. Psh...bucket showers, even a level 6 starfish goes through that crap.

Fast forward to getting dressed for my basically obsolete job. We starfish got the pleasure of getting paid crap for pointless busy work. But the best part was we got to dress up like our heros...the staff. Everyday we worked we would get assigned new jobs for the day and they would normally rotate. Ex. Supervising a family...watching O.P ect. ect. Basically just filling the spot of a staff who didnt make it that shift. I get assigned to work with Triumph...damn..i hate this family. I of course find a buddy to walk me over there because of course we can be alone in a room all day but we cant walk 30 feet by ourselves. I walk through the hallways of families with students constantly stopping every three feet to ask if i can talk to them about a problem there having later. With familiar repetion i politely say sure. What i cant help but think about though is my own problems. My boredom, my obsessive contiplations of the corruption and hypocracy that plauges this place like loccusts, and of course my burning desire to be rid of it all....just a few months i remind myself.

For the next few hours i follow the family around in a daze. I'm forced to give out at least 10 consequences so as always i find the worst kid in the family, the one who loves the attention and rep he gets from receiving dozens of consequences, and ask if if i can give him always he says yes...great, now i can really relax. Group time comes. I roam to my families room and sit in a chair by the window. My family greets me and begins to passionatly explain the hilariously events that took place by the line area, i pretend to care and wait for our case rep. I hate group. Starfish "share" probably the least of any other individuals but are always pressured to give outstanding feedback....pearls of wisdom from fake role of my bestfriends; a level-one student named Mark, is forced to share about how he isn't getting his act together. Almost everyday my case rep stands him up and makes him talk about the same shit. Another wonderful day of repetition....

After he finishes the room (as always) falls silent. You can tell the kids who are working. There the first to stand up and share whatever they read in Chicken Soup for the Soul the night before. I always laugh at how they pretend how they made it up and try and impress the case rep at how much they are growing and learning as people...then i remember that i and every other starfish there did the same shit...that usually makes me stop laughing. Then my case rep calls my name. I reluctantly stand up as she pretty much tells what to say to my friend Mark. "Grant, tell Mark how working the program has changed your life. Tell Mark that he is being foolish and destructive, tell him he is a liar and deceitful and a bad person". Jesus, ya just did lady...I sigh and referberate everything she basically just said. He smiles at me for a moment and for a secound i feel like less of a shmuck for tearing him down for reasons i dont back up. After all....he understands that i have to go home. And to do this i must fit a certain niche. Even worse than that, having to turn a blinds eye to the corruption behind every factor that makes this place move.

As i speak to Mark through words that are not my own i think back to last week. I think about working in O.P and i think about watching him getting restrained for refusing to do any more jumping jacks. I think about the four staff on him grinding his joints into the hard floor. His screams for mercy echo my mind and for the first time in my life i hate myself. I hate myself for standing guard by the door, i hate myself for looking on as my friend is tortured for what i know is for a bullshit reason, i hate myself for not saying anything, and i hate myself for not being a true friend. I guess i am thankful for his empathy and forgiveness. He understood that if i said anything, the staff would just make up the same story, make me look like a liar and get probation or dropped. I am too close to being rid of this place to start again. It kills me slowly inside as i but my own beliefs , values and feelings on hold in order to go home. It brought new meaning to "between a rock and a hard place" to me. How many times have myself, the other starfish, past long have we turned a blinds-eye to what we new in every inch of our body and soul to be wrong. How many times have we sacraficed our character and opinions for just one chance at freedom.

Only a few more the end of group I put my hand on Mark's shoulder. My eyes begged forgivness and before i could say a word he told me it was o.k.....Im the real asshole. As we walked to the classroom i watch the girls as they cross the courtyard. In an instant every inch of me ached. I needed the touch and the feel of a girl with every ounch of me. What i wouldnt do for 5 minutes alone. Not even a peck on the cheek for almost 2 years. It almost killed me to look at them...I didnt care who...just any of them. My hormones and testostorone was on the brink of explosion. Im a 18 year old man...what the hell is going on i thought. Sexual fantasies clouded my vision for the next few hours as i sit twidling my thumbs in the class as usual.

Dinner eventually came and went..still hungry as always...always hungry. I think back at the time when i was a even more-so starving level two. I remember finding that peice of bread smothered with ants...i remember splitting it with my friend and laughing at how pathetic we both were. I walk with the starfish back to our rooms...our shift was finally over. We played basketball (my own personal therapy) until i remember the kids i promised to speak with...I unwillingly walked over to the class rooms knowing that i wouldnt make it to more than half of the kids who asked to speak with me. I listened time after time to there problems with staff, and there parents, and the family...not once asking me about my life mind you. I wanted to listen to peoples problems almost as much as i wanted to listen to my girlfriend talk about why its important to match your shoes to your purse...fastforward to me laying awake in bed dreaming of my departure from this hellish prison. I thought about how long i could play "good soldier" and swallow the 90% of bullshit being forced down my throat. I thought about how much longer i could turn my back on the ugliness that went on behind every closed door, i thought about the man i was, the man i wanted to be, i the man i was slowly turning into.....only a few more months...

After graduating i could think of nothing but the program, and the people still in it ironically enough. Now more than a year later, i always forget i was there. Almost like a fading memory of a distant dream. I eventually finished school, hold a great paying job and have been living with and happily dating one of my fantasy girls from the program...haha Even though ive been through hell and back i still recognize the person those experiences molded me into. But if you asked me if i could change anything i would. Fate made me this way, not the bullshit from love to get a chance to reclaim two years of my adolence....Id love to experience those to years as they should of been.

Datasheet about the boarding school from Secret Prisons for Teens
The original story (Cached version of - may take a while to load)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

HR 911 gets re-introduced

The previous attempt to improve the safety of minors in residential programs failed some years back.

Now with the news of numerous cases made in courts all over the United States by young adults who still suffer emotionally because they had been forced to attend a program during their teenage years combined with news coverage which should have been made decades ago, the problem of regulating residential programs must be addressed.

Now the time has come to get a secure legislation into place, so a start can be created.

Because the work is not done with the present proposed legislation. There are loopholes. Politics can only be made when you reach the majority of the politicians on you side. So it will not be perfect the first time, but it is a start.

Write to your congressman or senator. HR911 failed once. This time it must pass.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

TB: A lesson learned in fear (from

This story was originally written on a webpage called, which sadly is not online anymore properly because the boarding school closed sometime in 2009. All rights and credits goes to the author Blair Dowell, who posted the original story on

My name is Blair Dowell. I was sent to TB the 22nd of March, 2001. At that time I had just turned 15 years old. My overall experience there was definitely one of a negative nature. I have somehow blocked almost the entire experience out of my mind. I was there for 15 months and literally cried every day. The daily schedule consisted of waking up at 7:30 am and cleaning the "house"... and to put lightly, the said house was disgusting. We slept on wooden slabs that pulled out of the wall, with the money our parents were paying this was the best they could provide. Go figure. Although Jamaica is known for its wonderful year round tropical weather, showering outside at 8 am in any country is ridiculous. Yes, our showers were outside. Not to mention the water often was out, so we would lug around ONE bucket of water to shower with.

That can't be sanitary?? I hate to admit this but I also had lice for a month or so, as well as many other girls. The nurse was pretty much useless, at one point I pulled out lice from my hair and a friends and put it in a tissue and showed her. At that point the nurse called us to her office and she poured kerosene in our hair. Yep, kerosene.

Wow, the food is a whole other story. I am not a picky eater. But let me tell you the food was horrible and I mean that in every sense of the word. I would try and hide my food in napkins, but of course I would only end up getting in trouble. They served us mounds of dough that they called dumplings (if you're thinking Chinese dumplings, think again) they wer ebasically mounds of cooked dough with salt and some red gooey fish stuff on the side. Occasionally for breakfast they served us the same red gooey fish stuff with 2 pieces of buttered bread which they plopped right on top of the fish, so now you had two soggy pieces of bread filled with fish and the nasty fish crap. YUM, and you HAD to eat it. I lost 20-30 lbs there.

'Tattling' was of the norm there. You basically moved up levels if you told on as many people as you could. And of course during group you gave a lot of feedback and attacked people.

Group was a joke. That is the hour and a half of the day we spent sitting around in a group and one person would share about past experiences. Basically there was no "right" or "wrong". If you were raped... it was somehow your fault. "How did you put yourself in that position?" "Were you wearing provactive clothing? Well then you provoked your rape stop blaming the person and take accountability!" Do you really tell someone who has been raped that somehow they provoked it. Please. I think that is WRONG. Many times in group the "case manager" (more program lingo, the family rep. basically the person who deals with the parents, the middle man and group leader) would have one person stand up and the whole group would be dedicated to pointing out what was "not working" for the person. Basically calling them out in front of everyone, belitting and almost always the person was in tears. I don't care who you are, or how tough you are. Try being stood up in front of 20 of your peers and being told what was wrong with you. Somehow that was supposed to be constructive criticism. I do know the difference, and that was nothing of that sort.No one had a degree there. No one was licensed to work with children much less give out advice about such serious issues such as rape, molestation, drug abuse etc. Communication was already tough in the first place. It took me awhile to just get used to their awful grammar and slang. BTW that was not a jab at their culture, just the laziness of their speech, so mainly the individuals that worked there.

If you heard about the suicide that took place on August 10th, 2001. I was there, I saw it happen. Now let me tell you. Watching someone leap off a 3 story building to their death is a WHOLE new issue in itself. Within 2 days we were told not to talk about what happened. If we did we would receive a CAT 5 (the worst consequence) and would be sent to O.P a.k.a R and R... and would have to lay on our face. I am not psychologist either, but I would think that after seeing something like that a normal person would need to talk about it, deal with it.

There is much more I could talk about, but I believe my ramblings gave you a brief overview of the place. I could go into much more detail, just contact me if you need to know more. Let me tell you, although my post seemed distasteful towards the program (well it is), I am not out to get anyone. I am only stating my experience. If you were sent there, or you have sent a child there and have a great experience, congrats to you. And a little update on how I am doing, I am currently a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. I am an active member of my sorority Alpha Omicron Pi. I am currently majoring in Political Science/ Pre Law. I would say I am doing pretty decent. If I could say so myself. Well you all havea great day. I hope I provided some adequate information.

Datasheet about the boarding school from Secret Prisons for Teens
The original story (Cached version of - may take a while to load)
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