First located in Kanab and later in Spanish Fork in Utah this boarding school for pregnant girls was shown to be involved in some kind of adoption business which caused 3 pregnant teenagers to attack the staff and escape in order to provide a better future for their children that the children would have experienced if the girls had remained at the facility. Pretty babies are a good business and very easy money with few questions asked.
The owners was reported to have ties to the infamous WWASP organization.
It cannot be fun to end up as a pregnant teenager in such a place.
Originally there was a school operating under the name Academy of Cedar mountain, which was closed. Under this new marketing name the school has not brought much attention on it despite it being very expensive. However during 2016 a girl ran from the school which makes it state that something indicate that is cannot be a fun place to be as a teenager.
- Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy – Cedar City, Utah (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- Staff list for Academy at Cedar Mountain in Cedar City, UT (HEAL-online)
- SHLEY GOOCH – 17 (2016) (Missing TTI Victims Teens)
The facility founded in 2003 is located in Cedar City in Utah.
Former students and parents wrote:
Our daughter was here for 15 long months! While some of the staff is well intentioned, others are not, including Jack Hinman Who was the Director at the time. Moonridge continues to accept girls that they cannot help. They do not have the proper resources or staff to help any girls with adoption or attachment issues. At each parent seminar they tell the parents the most important thing is not to pull their child. It is ridiculous because many of these girls regress and cannot be helped under the present protocol at Moonridge Academy. They knew my daughter was getting worse and rather than saying after a year, we don’t think we can help her any further, they continued to insist that we were impatient and if we kept her long enough to graduate, she would be fine. This is absurdity! They claim to know so much about adoption and attachment and they truly know nothing! After 15 months we pulled my daughter because she was worse than when she got there. The psychiatrist completely overmedicated her and was clueless to the fact that medication and talk therapy does not work with kids that have adoption, trauma and attachment issues. We brought her home and started Neurofeedback, which we could have done in our own backyard. We could have saved her the trauma and scars of living in a residential treatment facility. 80 sessions later of Neurofeedback, her brain waves are completely normal and she is free of mental health issues, minus the scars of being in treatment for so long. It truly is revolting that they continue to take on these girls who are in so much pain when they don’t have the resources to adequately help them. They force feed the girls to eat, everything is about the rules and the consequences, and a psychiatrist who over medicates and doesn’t understand the disorders he is dealing with. They all should be ashamed of themselves. And they shame the parents if the parents ask too many questions or Bring up legitimate complaints. Their website is amazing with all the right words, and sucks the parents in. Don’t buy it, do your research. This place is secluded, the girls have very little activity despite what they brag about, and almost no equine therapy. Save your daughter the trauma.Jamie R
My time as a student at Moonridge Academy left me deeply traumatized. I was forced to eat so much food that I threw up. My friend had a UTI and instead of letting her use the bathroom when she had to, staff at Moonridge Academy forced her to wear a diaper. A student was slapped across the face for not finishing her dinner. I was denied medication when I was sick. My friend nearly died from medical neglect. Students were painfully restrained for hours if they did anything wrong, including not wanting to do a chore. This is only a small list of the atrocious I witnessed and experienced while there. Please do not send your child to Moonridge Academy.Mellie Fitz
A student stepped forward on Reddit:
I was sent to Trails Carolina when I was twelve. I was in a group for sixth and seventh grade girls called Foxtrot. My memories are vague and full of sadness. They covered up my sexual assault, students frequently soiled their pants because we couldn’t stop hiking to pee and nothing happened when students threatened to kill each other.
Immediately after Trails, my parents brought me to Moonridge Academy in Utah. I was excited to sleep in a bed, eat real food and shower. But Moonridge was not at all what I had been told. The staff were very disrespectful on good days, the food made me throw up, I was forced to shower in front of staff when they claimed I wasn’t washing my hair properly and we were not given basic medical care.
An autistic student was restrained for the smallest of misbehaviors—not doing a chore, not leaving a room, singing. My friend’s anemia was ignored for over a week. When she lay unconscious on the bathroom floor, none of the staff batted an eye. When she finally was brought to the hospital, she needed five blood transfusions and the doctor said she nearly died. Another friend of mine had appendicitis and was also dismissed. She cried from the pain and could barely move until she went to the hospital. The surgeon told her she nearly had a ruptured appendix. Had that happened on campus, we would have been too far from the town to get there in time. We were forced to take such high dosages of Zoloft that my friend got heart problems.
Male staff were allowed to do our strip searches. I was uncomfortable by this and the staff said he couldn’t see me from the doorway. That was a blatant lie. If I could see him that easily, he could see me. I was twelve years old and a grown man was five feet from me while I was fully naked.
When my friend refused to shower, she was dragged to the bathroom, forcibly stripped and shoved into the shower. My best friend peed herself after begging to use the bathroom for an hour. They forced her to wear a diaper. Nearly all of us were given the same dose of Zoloft no matter what our mental health issues were or how much we weighed. We did nearly all the house chores, yard work and animal care. We were all given the same portions of disgusting food. As a very small kid, I felt sick daily from overeating but most of my friends were left hungry and stole food.
I begged my parents to take me home for months. I recently learned that they were told I would make up lies about abuse and to ignore me.
I became brainwashed. I fully believed that the staff wanted to help us and we were going to get better there. I opened up just enough that they thought I was honest but not so much as to be kept there longer. I did the work they gave me. I tricked them into thinking I was no longer suicidal. And I got out.
It has been a few years. I’ve worked on my trauma and I know I can’t stay silent. I talked to kids who got out as recently as six months ago and somehow, it has only gotten worse. My friends and I are taking action. We’ve reported Moonridge for child abuse and medical neglect. Hopefully the police and social workers will shut down the school or at least revoke their license.
I’m burning with anger and Moonridge only added gasoline to my fire. But I’m going to channel my anger into productivity. I will do what I can to stop them from hurting any other child. They don’t deserve to claim they’re helpful and supportive and caring. They nearly killed my friends and now I’m scared to fall asleep at night because I have nightmares so bad that I wake up hyperventilating. They manipulated my parents and abused me. I will not let them get away with it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my rant. If you have advice on reporting abusive programs, feel free to let me know. We survived. They don’t get to control us anymore.ThrowAwayy05401
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager
Majestic Ranch Academy is now known as Old West Ranch Academy. It used to be a part of the WWASP organization. When WWASP closed down due to negative press many of the former facilities were renamed and started to function independent of the previous organization while maintaining the curriculum.
Despite new names many of them continued to be target of investigations and later closure like Midwest Academy and Red River Academy which is not closed but hit by a lawsuit.
While no lawsuit presently is public, the track record of the place makes it safe to claim that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
News information from 2002: When the facility was operating under the name “Majestic Ranch” there was a case against Wayne E. Winder, who was the facility director at the time. The charges were misdemeanor child abuse (Source: Youth Facility Director Still Faces Abuse Counts – Charges allege boys were roughed up in Rich County -Salt Lake Tribune re-print)
News information from 2005: A lawsuit named an employee as Sean E. Coombs. He had previously pleaded guilty in an assault charge where a boy was hurt (Source: Mother Files Lawsuit, Claims Boarding School Abused Son – KSL news)
- Staff List (HEAL-online)
- Majestic Ranch Academy, Memoirs of a Troubled Teen (Ireport CNN)
- Story Submission – R. Nelson, Majestic Ranch Academy 2007 (WWASP Diaries)
2016 marked the second time a boy lost his life while he was forced to stay at Brookhaven Youth Ranch near Waco in Texas. The place is for teenagers courtordered by local juvenile courts but none of the punishment instated by the courts seem to include death penalty. Still two boys didn’t leave the ranch alive.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Mom Blames Youth Ranch for Son’s Death (Courthouse News Service)
- DFPS investigates staff at Brookhaven Youth Ranch (KXXV News)
- State faults treatment center in death of Travis County teen (Statemans News Network)
- 2nd known death at Brookhaven Youth Ranch (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- Anthony Green – 1991 (Today a child died – memorial blog)
- Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales – 2014 (Today a child died – memorial blog)