219. Mountain Park Academy

Mountain Park Academy also mentioned as Mountain Park Boarding Academy was marketed as religious boarding school. It was located in Patterson, Missouri. It was founded by Reverend Bob Wills, who moved to Patterson when he ran into legal issues at his previous boarding school located Hattiesburg, Mississippi. (See entry: 199. Bethesda home for girls)

The facility closed closed in 2004. After the closure of Mountain Park some of the employees went on to work at ABM Ministries and other prison-styled religious boarding schools in Missouri.

The conditions the teenagers were forced under included use of corporal punishment. Some of the students became so desperate to leave the school and the horrible environment that they killed a student because the conditions were better in prison. This tragedy for the Futrelle family who lost a son is a prime example of how extreme religious boarding schools can push young lives over the edge. The horrible conditions at the school was the cause. The two murderers who was locked up for life became the tool.

It didn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.


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About Rotsne

Danish immigrant, but very integrated. After having worked for another research center, I have recently started working for International Culture Exchange where I serve the youth and their families wanting to become an exchange student.

One response to “219. Mountain Park Academy”

  1. Courtney Nichole Nance boutwell says :

    I was a student at Mountain Park Baptist Boarding Academy. I was there 2 months shy of three years. I now suffer from Complex, Chronic PTSD & severe chronic pain from Fibromyalgia—directly linked to trauma from the mental, physical, and sexual abuse that we students suffer at these cult, so called “reform schools.” I can barely hold down a job, because of anxiety and pain, and I didn’t quite have it as bad as some. Witnessing other children being abused is also traumatizing. I was there during the murder. I didn’t even fully process it until about 8 months ago (24 years later)—let that sink in. They pounded scripture into our brains 24 hours a day. Told us over and over and over that we were going to burn in hell for all of eternity. I still, after years of therapy, struggle with scripture and thoughts of burning in hell for all of eternity rattling around inside my head (to the point of contemplating suicide numerous times and having attempted it once). If you send your child to a place like this, after reading all these horror stories, you should be charged with neglect. I don’t care what struggles you are having with your child; unlicensed, uneducated tormentors (torturing your child in the name of religion and Jesus Christ) are not going to fix your child and if you can’t put in the time and effort to go to counseling (even Medicaid pays for it for those who can’t afford it) then you should not have had a child in the first place. The aftermath, the psychological ramifications that come along with having to go through an experience like Mountain Park Baptist boarding academy are going to be, in most cases, far far worse than anything your rebellious child might do in the short term, while crazy hormones are pumping through their body and their prefrontal cortex is still developing. Look up what trauma does to the prefrontal cortex and ask yourself if your child’s undeveloped prefrontal cortex is worth sacrificing to temporarily ease the frustrations you feel over some of the poor decisions that they are making because their prefrontal cortex is still developing and new hormones are pumping through their bodies. Then, know this: The boy that was murdered at Mountain Park Baptist boarding academy was a new student. He was murdered by two other children who weighed their options and felt like prison would be better than what they were going through. Now ask yourself how would you feel if you sent your child to one of these reform schools not knowing because of you not doing the proper research to know what’s actually going on behind the closed doors of these so-called reform schools being run by unlicensed money hungry ________________s. Is it worth it? Would it be worth it to find out that your daughter was raped by one of the faculty at the place you decided to send her to because of all her backtalk and bad decisions? Would it be worth it to know that your son was being beaten, spit on, harassed, bullied and called demeaning names all in the name of toughening him up and making him into a man? What would you do if you found out your child had been forced to wear a toilet seat around their neck, have a roll of toilet paper strung on yarn so your child could wear it as a necklace, or forced to carry a baby chair around the school everywhere they went all day long every single day in order to make them lower than others— as a means by which to humiliate them? These are just some of the tactics employed by these troubled teen industry “schools.” I was forced to stay at Mountain Park Baptist boarding academy until I graduated; years later, after the place was shut down on allegations of child abuse, I tried to get a copy of my transcripts and I discovered, because the school wasn’t licensed or properly staffed with those trained to be child educators, my high school diploma was basically equivalent to a roll of toilet paper. I couldn’t use it to gain access to college. And that was just the beginning of and the least of the problems I have encountered since leaving that cult hell. Just think, and remember: this is *YOUR CHILD;* DECIDE WISELY!

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