359. The High Frontier
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.