Author Topic: Gateway Christian Military Academy testimony  (Read 10079 times)

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Offline Oscar

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Gateway Christian Military Academy testimony
« on: December 23, 2022, 03:19:08 AM »
Found this in a blog: (link)

Quote from: Matthew Pierce
Reading through the news articles in the Tampa Bay Times, I found some disturbing similarities in the statements of others and what I experienced here, even though they were sent to this facility many years after me. I was sent to Bonifay, Teen Challenge in May of 2002 and ?graduated? in September of 2003 only after my parents signed a waiver for me to join the US Army (as my other option was homelessness). But in June of 2002 I was nearly killed in this facility by a staff member called ?Sergeant Williams.?

I raised my hand to ask a question in the dining hall and was picked up several feet off the ground and slammed head first onto a tile floor. I could not move or feel anything for several minutes. I had a knot on my head the size of a softball, got dizzy and sick often, and found walking difficult for several weeks. I was refused medical care. I would find out years later during a CT scan that my skull had previously been fractured and I had sustained what should have been treated as a life threatening concussion. SGT Williams would go on to do this to several other children during his career at TC Bonifay, until eventually being let go for nearly killing another cadet.

In this facility we were forced to fight each other in a boxing ring in what was called the ?back 40? (the 40 acres of land behind the facility facing away from Highway 2) for staff entertainment. Sometimes the staff would enter the boxing ring with cadets if they felt there was an issue with a child. It is important to note that the staff members during my stay at TC Bonifay were all either ex-military, active duty police officers, or former police officers. One of which was ?SGT Pollock,? an active duty police officer, who was fired for sexual misconduct involving a cadet (TC did do the right thing here). Another honorable mention is SGT Wright, a former Marine, who entered the ring with a cadet and knocked him out (he was not fired).

We were physically worked until several of us were urinating blood, and forced to dig 6′ x 6′ holes in the ground to ?bury our demons? if we committed an offense such as not standing at the position of attention with the correct posture.

It noted in the Tampa Bay Times that the school is not regionally or state accredited. The Army accepted the HS diploma issued (bear in mind it was 2003 during the invasion of Iraq), when applying to college after leaving the military I still had to go and get a GED due to this school not being accredited.

If anyone else is out there reading this, please do not send your child here. If you are also a victim of abuse at this facility, please share your experience and vote to change the law regarding class action suits of facilities like this so we can be somewhat compensated for the brutality experienced here and years of PTSD which follow.