Based on the original CEDU school this school was founded in Italy. It didn’t last long because Italy at that time had stricter requirements into what a school should include regarding curriculum. For the teenagers who were sent there it was basically a waste of time they could have used on better things.
Robbing time from teenagers when they could go through the rite of passage towards adulthood drinking, socializing and partying makes it safe to state that it wasn’t fun for the teenagers to stay there.
HAS ANYONE HERE EVER HEARD OF THE AMITY SCHOOL IN ITALY? (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
In the years from 1997 to 2009 this academy was considered one of the worst places to end up as a teenager. None gained anything from being locked into that place other than life long nightmares.
In 2001 girl jumped to her death. She had arrived just days before. The employees hit a suicide note written in code from the authorities and the parts of her uniform which she didn’t wear at the time of her suicide to new students the next day.
In 2007 a group of citizens rescued a boy from New York using political pressure. In 2009 the academy was shut down efter the authorities in Jamaica finally took interest in the activities at the academy.
To describe all the complaints teenagers could have against such a place would take several blogs so we will conclude that it is safe to state that it was not fun to be there as a teenager.
- WANT YOUR KID TO DISAPPEAR? (Legal Affairs)
- Jewish family sues Jamaican reform school for troubled teens (New York Daily News)
- Factsheet about the facility (Fornits Wiki)
This boot camp lasting one week was sponsored by Huntington Park and South Gate police departments. In 2015 arrests were made after allegations of abuse.
It is safe to state that it could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
The High Frontier located outside Fort Davis in Texas. In 2002 some boys ran from the facility and ended up in a hospital due to intake of drugs found during their run.
A former resident wrote:
I was sent here as a child and had a terrible experience. Most of the staff has no business being around children… I still can’t trust people after the experience. I think that if my parents had found a better place for me I would have actually learned some coping skills and maybe worked through my problems instead of learning to fear people and their abuse. 😦 There are other great programs out there, but this is not one of them.Anna T.
It seems that it is not a fun place to be as a teenager.
- Teen runaway hospitalized, three remain jailed (Pecos Enterprise archive)
- Reviews (Yelp)
- High Frontier – Fort Davis – Texas – investigation thread (Fighting Institutional Child Abuse Network)
Various sources speak of the program moving to Montana which was a state where there were no regulation and protection of children in residential programs until recently. While based in Montana, the program operated under the name “Big Sky Academy”. The manager in charge should be a person named John McKay. Big Sky Academy seems to have been closed in 2020.
Reviews found on Yelp seem to support this:
I started out at high frontier down in Texas. Then they moved us up to Montana. both locations were terrible but Montana was absolutely trash. first of all my group leader Matt had no idea what he was talking about. he tried to keep kids there longer for their money. Also the kitchen did not get their cooking license until about 3 months after we arrived to Montana, so we were stuck eating gross gluten free sandwiches. Some of the staff didn’t care about us as teens. Some staff let their relationships get in the way of their job. Now that I’m home I had to wait about 2 months for my check that I worked for 20.5 months for to come. Also tom said that they would ship out my clothes that I left there. that was about 2.5 almost 3 months ago. so please don’t send your kids here and please don’t work here. the hours are long and you don’t get a lot of sleep.Ben G.
If you care about your child, please do not send them here. To say it’s a cult is an understatement. The founder of the academy wrote a book “Positive Peer Culture” and these people religiously follow it. The administration also brainwashes the parents of the students so that they will keep their kids there longer (each month your kid is there profits them about $20000). Because it’s basically a cult, the campus itself is miles away from civilization and the kids are cut off from all outside communication other than with their parents at allotted times. They malnourish the kids so they don’t have energy to run or do anything beyond the robotic daily tasks. They strip search the minor teenagers down to their underwear and they watch them sleep. It’s miracle how this is even legal. If you think your kid is depressed at home, sending them to this hell in earth will only worsen the depression. Please for the love of God dont traumatize your children and make them resent you by sending them here.Aaron S.
On Track Wilderness Program was involved in the Brown Schools organization. Today it is mostly known due to the tragic death of Charles Chase Moody caused by an illegal restraint hold.
Backed up by other testimonies it is safe to state that it could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
- Teen Died in Illegal Restraint Hold (corrections.com)
- A Nashville girl in the wilderness near Mason, Texas (Just another hike)
- Death in Texas at “On Track” Wilderness (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
Star Ranch was a boys ranch located near Ingram in Texas.
Two boys died there before it was forced to close. The owner later opened a summer camp in another location.
The deaths and testimonies from boys who were sent there makes it safe to state that it could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
Resolution Ranch is a boys ranch located outside Cameron in Texas. In 2011 the ranch attracted notice in the media because two boys who ran from the ranch were hit by a train. Fortunately they survived.
A former resident wrote:
I would not recommend Resolution Ranch to any family. The facility is not at all as you see on their website. In our experience, none of the staff performed in a professional manner or seemed well qualified for the tasks at hand. I did not find them to be kind or caring toward the boys that were there. The employees that dealt with the boys on a daily basis were past jailors and in one instance a baker at Walmart. The boys were locked into their dormitory in the evenings from the outside. If there was some type of emergency the boys would not be able to get out without someone unlocking the doors from the outside. While our son was there we found out they were under investigation from the Texas Licensing Division for violations. One of the accusations was that one of the administrators had actually beaten a boy in the bathroom. We had the opportunity to speak with the agent from the state on several occasions, but are not aware of the resolution since we removed our son. The schooling that they brag on did not transfer with our son once he was back in regular public school. The director of education at the time had a record of being arrested for a drug charge and her teaching license had been suspended by the State of Texas. I would just recommend that before you place your child in this facility, check them out. Check out their employees and teachers. That’s exactly what we did as it is all public record – unfortunately we didn’t do that until after our son had been placed there. In my opinion this is just not a good place if you want your child to become a happy, healthy functioning human being. Look elsewhere. This is just a few of my personal experiences with this awful facility. They showed a great interest in their monthly income not the kids.Tammy Krause S.
However putting the boys in a so desperate state that they choose to run risking life threatening injuries make it safe to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Train Strikes Two Teenage Runaways From Central Texas Boys’ Ranch (KWTX news)
- Resolution Ranch Academy (Reddit r/Troubled Teens)
- Two runaways hit by a train – again (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)