Sunday, December 15, 2013

Erik at Discovery Academy

This story was originally written on the message board called the Fornits Home for Wayward Webfora.

I attended Discovery Academy (DA) from the summer of 1997 through January of 1998. It was among the most psychologically damaging experiences of my life. Please don't send your children to Discovery Academy. DA is a very punitive place.

For example, if a student does not make his bed to the satisfaction of the DA staff, the student may be made to stand up to five "demerits", one demerit being defined as standing for 25 minutes facing a wall. Demerits are liberally doled out for any offence, from slight infractions of the rules such as cursing or complaining, to large violations, such as attempting to escape from DA. An attempted escape typically prompted between 100 and 500 demerits, or more. That is between 2 and 9 days, approximately, standing facing a wall.

Five minute breaks were allowed between each 25 minute standing session, as well as breaks for sleeping and eating. When most students arrive at DA, they are upset and they show it. As they become familiar with the way Discovery Academy works, they learn to conceal their anger and any other emotions that are indicative of problems. When the DA staff sees this, they take it as the student's problems being solved.

If the symptom disappears, the cause must have disappeared, is the logic that Discovery Academy operates by. However, in reality the student's problems remain, and are made worse by the habitual concealing of them that DA's punitive/"therapeutic" system rewards. I picked up on this rather quickly, and was able to rise rapidly through the level system and complete a good deal of coursework in a fairly short time.

In light of this, and my newfound ability to conceal my emotions, I was able to convince my parent to remove me from DA after about six months. During the time thereafter that I lived at home, I worked as hard as possible to conceal my true feelings from my parent. Those true feelings, if expressed, had the potential to land me back at DA, something which I was not about to let happen.

So, parents, the moral of this story is: If you want your children to never tell you the truth again as long as you are their legal guardians, to disown you in the future, as well as to add to their unhappiness, send them to Discovery Academy. I am not exaggerating or dramatizing the consequences. Before you send your child anywhere, I strongly recommend that you read the book Smart Love by Pieper & Pieper. If you have any questions that you'd like to ask me about this, please feel free to email at: xxxxxx@xxxxxxxx. (email-address removed due to privacy)


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