Author Topic: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)  (Read 4653 times)

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Offline Oscar

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2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
« on: December 13, 2010, 10:28:36 AM »
* Despite a decade of claimed abuse
* Despite stories about claimed animal neglect
* Despite problems with licensing and regulation

- Carolina Springs will reopen early 2011 as Magnolia Christian School. From the article School of Troubles: Another chance for abandoned boarding school, by Kirk Brown, Independent Mail, December 10, 2010

Quote
Troubled teens from across the United States are expected to arrive soon at a boarding school in Abbeville County that state regulators sought to close last year.

The former Carolina Springs Academy will open in early 2011 as Magnolia Christian School.

“We’re not backing away from our mission,” owner Narvin Lichfield said.

Lichfield said classifying Magnolia as a Christian boarding school will exempt it from the licensing and staffing rules that created years of problems for him after Carolina Springs opened more than a decade ago.

In April 2009 the South Carolina Department of Social Services revoked Carolina Springs Academy’s license. The agency said its decision was based on numerous violations found during 19 unannounced visits over 18 months.

According to DSS records, students were subjected to methods of discipline and punishment prohibited by state regulations. One example: A child was reportedly handcuffed and threatened with a Taser on his first night at Carolina Springs in January 2009. DSS officials also reported seeing staff members cursing at and degrading boys enrolled in the boarding school.

Lichfield said there were no handcuffs or Tasers at Carolina Springs.

“It’s a fairy tale,” Lichfield said, adding that no abuse claims have ever been substantiated at his school.

Since a majority of the teens sent to Carolina Springs had behavior problems, Lichfield said, strict discipline was a necessity. He also said some students were restrained when they acted out.

“These are kids who have beaten up their parents,” Lichfield said. “These are kids who are out of control.”

A spider’s nest and staffing ratios

DSS officials accused Carolina Springs of failing to maintain a clean and safe environment for students whose parents paid up to $3,000 per month in tuition.

Besides moldy and outdated food, inspectors saw flies and a large black widow spider’s nest in the dining hall kitchen. DSS officials said there was poor plumbing and the boys’ dormitory lacked adequate heating. Carolina Springs had a history of fire code violations and DSS officials said the school didn’t conduct fire drills, even after a building burned in June 2008.

Lichfield said he didn’t mind eating meals at Carolina Springs. He blamed vandalism by unruly students for most of the plumbing problems.

Carolina Springs also was cited for repeatedly failing to comply with state-mandated staffing levels of one employee per 10 students during the day and one employee per 14 students at night.

When three boys ran away on a rainy night in November 2008, a single employee was watching 38 male students, DSS records show. One of the runaways stayed away for a week before turning up 20 miles away in Anderson.

Lichfield called the state’s staffing requirements unreasonable for a boarding school.

“It put us out of business,” he said.

After initially appealing the revocation of its license, Carolina Springs closed in September 2009. It then reopened as a Christian boarding school for girls, which shut down in June.

Magnolia Christian School will enroll coed students. The monthly tuition has been reduced to $2,495.

“We have plenty of demand for our services,” Lichfield said.

After learning about Lichfield’s plans to reopen the school, DSS officials visited its campus Friday. They said they were seeking information from Elaine Davis, the former director at Carolina Springs who also will be in charge of Magnolia Christian School.

In the beginning: church, court and evening visits

Lichfield, 49, was raised in Utah as the ninth of 13 children in his family. Looking to step out of his oldest brother’s shadow, he moved to Abbeville County to open Carolina Springs Academy in 1998.

“I felt inspired to go out and start this school,” Lichfield said.

The boarding school features dormitories, a dining hall and barn on 450 acres of pastures and woods on Green Acres Lane near Due West.

Lichfield marketed Carolina Springs as an educationally accredited specialty boarding school where defiant teens would be taught “respect, honor and integrity in the Old South traditions.”

Two South Carolina state agencies were at odds with Lichfield soon after Carolina Springs opened. The Department of Health and Environmental Control and DSS each contended that Carolina Springs was an unlicensed residential treatment center.

Lichfield said state officials harassed him because he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Rumors were going around about how the Mormons are coming to South Carolina,” said Lichfield, who stressed that the church was not involved with Carolina Springs. “There was a firestorm of religious prejudice.”

With the licensing dispute simmering in court, Lichfield hired Davis to replace the school’s first director. Female students had complained to investigators about comments her predecessor made regarding a girl’s breasts and how often he stopped by their rooms at night, DHEC records show.

DSS eventually licensed Carolina Springs as a child-caring institution for 58 students in September 1999. Its permitted capacity was raised to 162 students after a new dormitory was built in 2004.

Points and privileges

To deal with violence-prone youths who were addicted to drugs or engaging in illicit sex, Carolina Springs used a six-level behavior modification program. Lichfield said his oldest brother, Robert, had fine-tuned the program at a pair of boarding schools in Utah.

“We are going to get you to change who you are by changing your habits,” Lichfield said.

Students entered the program at the lowest level. They earned points for good behavior, which enabled them to gain privileges as they moved to higher levels. Bad behavior carried the consequence of point deductions. Those who committed serious infractions were taken to an area called Observation Placement.

“A lot of kids done real good — it was all up to the student,” Davis said.

Many parents praised Carolina Springs for righting their wayward children.

“After a few weeks there, I had my daughter back,” proclaimed one father who is an Anderson native.

Former Carolina Springs Academy student Philip DiPaolo was 16 years old when he offered a less glowing assessment of the school in an affidavit.

“Carolina Springs felt like an institution instead of a school or program to help kids,” said DiPaolo, who now serves in the U.S. Marine Corps. His grandmother said DiPaolo was sent to the boarding school from Florida after taking money from her and his grandfather.

DiPaolo described the Observation Placement area as a “skinny building next to the boys’ dorm and near the basketball hoop.”

“I heard girls screaming out at the OP room all the time,” DiPaolo said in his affidavit.

Staff members frequently threatened to send students to a tougher boarding school in Jamaica, DiPaolo said.

“Staff told us that Carolina Springs was like a 5-star hotel compared to Jamaica,” he said.

In his affidavit, DiPaolo fondly recalls leaving Carolina Springs.

“I saw my grandparents and started crying,” he said. “I felt a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.”

“It was the happiest moment of my time there.”

Charged then cleared in Costa Rica

With Carolina Springs filled to capacity by 2001, Lichfield opened a boarding school in Costa Rica called Academy at Dundee Ranch.

Several months after quitting her job, the academy’s former director told Costa Rican officials in March 2003 that she was concerned about the well-being of Dundee Ranch students.

Authorities raided Academy at Dundee Ranch a few weeks later and notified 210 students that they were free to go. Dozens of the youths celebrated their liberation by ransacking the school.

Lichfield was briefly jailed on charges of coercion, holding minors against their will and crimes of an international character. As a result of those charges, South Carolina officials barred him from the Carolina Springs campus. He was acquitted of all the charges in 2007.

“I went to jail over nothing,” said Lichfield. “I spent four years going through the joke of the judicial system in Costa Rica.”

Lichfield blamed a student’s mother who was embroiled in a custody dispute, an overzealous child advocate, disgruntled employees and an opportunistic constable for orchestrating the Dundee Ranch raid.

“Our staff was taken out at gunpoint,” he said. “This was South America at its worst.”

Dorm fire, other woes

Carolina Springs, which had managed to stay under the media radar, was thrust into the headlines by a fire on June 25, 2008. No one was hurt, but the midday blaze destroyed a dormitory that housed 57 boys.

The fire was far from the school’s only problem at that point.

In December 2007 a former student filed a lawsuit alleging that the staff at Carolina Springs had kept him from seeing a doctor for several months after he hurt his wrist playing basketball.

Upon learning about the case, Lexington Insurance Company successfully sued Carolina Springs in federal court to rescind its $1 million liability policy. The insurer said school officials had made “false or intentionally evasive and incomplete” representations about violations, physical and sexual abuse and other incidents that could lead to claims.

More recently, another former student won a $200,000 judgment against Carolina Springs. The girl fractured her arm after falling off a horse at the boarding school in 2008.

Besides mounting legal woes, Lichfield said, his oldest brother raised his consulting fees for the school just as the economic downturn began to affect enrollment. DSS officials also were ratcheting up the pressure about staffing levels after a report that six boys at the school had tattooed themselves.

“It’s been a nightmare,” Lichfield said during a recent interview. “All we have tried to do is help kids and we’ve been crucified.”

“I know I have a bit of a persecution complex,” he added. “But after everybody starts shooting at you, you learn to duck your head.”

A new business plan

Lichfield said he spent close to $3 million covering losses at Carolina Springs. He said he was ready to make a change by September 2009. To avoid continued scrutiny from DSS, Lichfield closed Carolina Springs and converted it into a Christian boarding school for girls.

But that endeavor was doomed, Lichfield said, by the bad economy, overhead expenses and an employee who embezzled $200,000.

Lichfield said he closed the girls’ school in June so he could sever financial ties with relatives and catch his breath.

With a new business plan in place for Magnolia Christian School, Lichfield predicted he will be able to provide “better services for my children.”

“We’re here because we believe in what we do,” he said.

According to sources which have been mailing with our organization, the WWASP-umbrella is also working on a smear campain against poster critical of their firm. Covergaard has urged all to collect all references from the past and repost them on the internet, so their marketing machine can meet some resistance.

This message is also being posted on other message boards.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: School of Troubles: Another chance...
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 11:33:26 AM »
Sidebar to the above article, "School of Troubles: Another chance for abandoned boarding school" (by Kirk Brown; December 10, 2010; Anderson Independent Mail):


    Boarding school timeline
    Here is a glance at the history of Carolina Springs Academy for unruly youths and it's planned reopening as a Christian school.

    1998
    • Narvin Lichfield moves from Utah to Abbeville County to open Carolina Springs Academy.
    • Two state agencies contend that Carolina Springs is an unlicensed residential treatment center.
    1999
    • The South Carolina Department of Social Services licenses Carolina Springs as a child-caring institution for 58 students.
    2001
    • Lichfield opens Academy at Dundee Ranch in Costa Rica.
    2003
    • Costa Rican officials raid Academy at Dundee Ranch, sparking a student riot. Lichfield is briefly jailed on charges of coercion, holding minors against their will and crimes of an international character. As a result of those charges, South Carolina officials bar him from the Carolina Springs campus.
    2004
    • The permitted capacity at Carolina Springs is raised to 162 students after a new dormitory is built.
    2007
    • Lichfield is acquitted of all charges in Costa Rica.
    2008
    • Fire destroys a dormitory at Carolina Springs.
    • Three boys run away from Carolina Springs. One of the runaways is gone for a week before turning up 20 miles away in Anderson.
    2009
    • Citing numerous violations, the Department of Social Services revokes Carolina Springs Academy's operating license.
    • Lichfield closes Carolina Springs. It then reopens as a Christian boarding school for girls.
    2010
    • The girls' school closes.
    • Lichfield announces plans to open Magnolia Christian School in early 2011. He says the school will be exempt from state licensing and staffing rules.


    2010 The E.W. Scripps Co.[/li][/list]
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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    Offline Whooter

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    Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
    « Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 11:50:24 AM »
    Very troubling news.



    ...
    « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

    Offline Dysfunction Junction

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    Re: School of Troubles: Another chance...
    « Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 12:36:13 PM »
    Quote from: "Ursus"
    Sidebar to the above article, "School of Troubles: Another chance for abandoned boarding school" (by Kirk Brown; December 10, 2010; Anderson Independent Mail):


      Boarding school timeline
      Here is a glance at the history of Carolina Springs Academy for unruly youths and it's planned reopening as a Christian school.

      1998
      • Narvin Lichfield moves from Utah to Abbeville County to open Carolina Springs Academy.
      • Two state agencies contend that Carolina Springs is an unlicensed residential treatment center.
      1999
      • The South Carolina Department of Social Services licenses Carolina Springs as a child-caring institution for 58 students.
      2001
      • Lichfield opens Academy at Dundee Ranch in Costa Rica.
      2003
      • Costa Rican officials raid Academy at Dundee Ranch, sparking a student riot. Lichfield is briefly jailed on charges of coercion, holding minors against their will and crimes of an international character. As a result of those charges, South Carolina officials bar him from the Carolina Springs campus.
      2004
      • The permitted capacity at Carolina Springs is raised to 162 students after a new dormitory is built.
      2007
      • Lichfield is acquitted of all charges in Costa Rica.
      2008
      • Fire destroys a dormitory at Carolina Springs.
      • Three boys run away from Carolina Springs. One of the runaways is gone for a week before turning up 20 miles away in Anderson.
      2009
      • Citing numerous violations, the Department of Social Services revokes Carolina Springs Academy's operating license.
      • Lichfield closes Carolina Springs. It then reopens as a Christian boarding school for girls.
      2010
      • The girls' school closes.
      • Lichfield announces plans to open Magnolia Christian School in early 2011. He says the school will be exempt from state licensing and staffing rules.


      2010 The E.W. Scripps Co.[/li][/list]

      WWASPS is confirmedly abusive, folks.  It should be strictly avoided along with Aspen Education Group.  Both have been proven to abuse, neglect and even kill kids in their care.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline seamus

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 04:52:50 PM »
      heavens to sue scheff! :rofl:
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
      It\'d be sad if it wernt so funny,It\'d be funny if it wernt so sad

      Offline Ursus

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      Re: Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 01:37:00 AM »
      What's with all this obsession with Magnolias?

      Fwiw, I believe Narvin's latest rendition of Carolina Springs Academy went by the name of Magnolia Hills Academy and/or Magnolia Hills Christian School when it reincarnated as that Christian boarding school for girls in 2009.

      Incidentally, this place is different from, and not to be confused with, but similar enough in essense — as far as the mindfuckery goes — to... spank-happy Magnolia Christian Center.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline Pile of Dead Kids

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 02:39:43 AM »
      You've got to be fucking kidding me. I expect my sig length to max out soon if these fucknuggets actually manage to open this place.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
      ...Sergey Blashchishen, James Shirey, Faith Finley, Katherine Rice, Ashlie Bunch, Brendan Blum, Caleb Jensen, Alex Cullinane, Rocco Magliozzi, Elisa Santry, Dillon Peak, Natalynndria Slim, Lenny Ortega, Angellika Arndt, Joey Aletriz, Martin Anderson, James White, Christening Garcia, Kasey Warner, Shirley Arciszewski, Linda Harris, Travis Parker, Omega Leach, Denis Maltez, Kevin Christie, Karlye Newman, Richard DeMaar, Alexis Richie, Shanice Nibbs, Levi Snyder, Natasha Newman, Gracie James, Michael Owens, Carlton Thomas, Taylor Mangham, Carnez Boone, Benjamin Lolley, Jessica Bradford's unnamed baby, Anthony Parker, Dysheka Streeter, Corey Foster, Joseph Winters, Bruce Staeger, Kenneth Barkley, Khalil Todd, Alec Lansing, Cristian Cuellar-Gonzales, Janaia Barnhart, a DRA victim who never even showed up in the news, and yet another unnamed girl at Summit School...

      Offline BuzzKill

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      Re: Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 10:23:49 AM »
      Quote from: "Ursus"
      What's with all this obsession with Magnolias?

      Fwiw, I believe Narvin's latest rendition of Carolina Springs Academy went by the name of Magnolia Hills Academy and/or Magnolia Hills Christian School when it reincarnated as that Christian boarding school for girls in 2009.

      Incidentally, this place is different from, and not to be confused with, but similar enough in essense — as far as the mindfuckery goes — to... spank-happy Magnolia Christian Center.


      Its just smart marketing. People in the south love their magnolias and people in the north admire them and try to grow them. So, "Magnolia" creates a positive association in most peoples minds. This is also no doubt why they are calling it a Christian program. People ignorant of the common abuses in these private for profit programs; ignorant of the sad fact that so called "Christian" programs are among the worst; ignorant of the fact that WWASP programs are operated by Mormons who will refuse to let a kid read their Bible but will invite them to Bible classes and then pass out the Book of Mormon, will have a positive association with the word Christian and the concept of Christian thought, practice and learning. It's nothing but marketing.

      I should add that Narvin admits going "Christian" to avoid licensing and regulations; but he could accomplish this if he opens as a LDS program. That however would cut back his potential victims drastically - so he claims Christ falsely. Its a shame he doesn't read his Bible :
      Matthew 7:
      15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

      21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’



      Matthew 25:
       41“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

      Offline Oz girl

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #8 on: December 14, 2010, 07:36:13 PM »
      I dont know why it is popular with the christian arm of this industry as i dont think there is a biblical reference but I think it is referencing the film steel magnolias which described the women as being sort of strong but delicate and ladylike. The magnolia flower is known to be tough and resistant to bugs etc. I have no idea why boys boot campy type places go with this flower image because a flower no matter how tough is pretty poofterish if you are a guy, which is of course not what christian boot camps are all about. But I can see the imagery in marketing a girls school
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
      n case you\'re worried about what\'s going to become of the younger generation, it\'s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.-Roger Allen

      Offline seamus

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 09:01:29 PM »
      It kinda smacks of southern culture,kinda that antibellum,traditional bs that the south just eats up. Like trying to glom onto that sort of thing, just like housing deveopments do.They name themselves ,the streets etc shit like hampton,chuchill,or the reserve. more marketing than anthing else.......prolly do it in some fashion in your country too , no? Kinda like an alternative school will call itself "New Directions" or somesuch.
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      Offline Oz girl

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 05:33:09 PM »
      Yeah the more dodgy the area a new housing estate is built in the more pompous the title. Often the reference is to farming i suppose in keeping with the Australian Bush myth. So if you live in a new place with close to no wide open spaces but plenty of mcmantions it might be called andrews farm or bushmans ridge.
      But the marketing of schools is a little different as mainstream Australia mostly can be a little suspicious of anything that looks too holy rollerish or overtly relgious.  Often a new generically christian school will put grammar in the title to make it sound at bit more old and dignified. The only exception to this are catholic schools which are usually named after saints or theologans but even then their brochures talk more about generic "values" and "traditions" or discipline than god specifically.
      For instance many people who complained about and eventually got Mercy Ministries shut down here said that they were aware it was christian but assumed that just meant that the people running it were christian but that the main focus was on mental health services not bible studies. To an American I can see how this would seem almost retardedly naive but it was genuinely how it was marketed here.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
      n case you\'re worried about what\'s going to become of the younger generation, it\'s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.-Roger Allen

      Offline seamus

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 08:12:00 PM »
      i dunno if you are a program vet or not, but if you arnt, I hope you understand the distain for thogs named some thing fluffy
      but are really crap that I have. That and where my family farm used to be now stands condos,and really high end houses,36 holes of golf,and it all has gimpy names like the reseve,farmington vistas...the belmont etc....makes me so sick inside to think some privleged asshole yuppie fuck lives there.....its all just the same old marketing jive,no matter where ya go.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline Ursus

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      Comments: "School of Troubles: Another chance..."
      « Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 12:59:39 AM »
      Comments left for the above article, "School of Troubles: Another chance for abandoned boarding school" (by Kirk Brown; December 10, 2010; Anderson Independent Mail):


      yankee writes: December 10, 2010 10:05 p.m.
        I can't imagine any person sending their kids to any "school" under his control.

        Funny, since it will be a "christian" school, the state has less power to protect the children from harm??
      StringCheese writes: December 11, 2010 7:05 a.m.
        Don't forget the allegations of animal cruelty against Mr. Lichfield, also:

      http://www.independentmail.com/news/201 ... nvestigat/

      http://www.independentmail.com/news/201 ... er-animal/

      http://www.independentmail.com/news/201 ... -property/[/list]
      southernbybirth writes: December 13, 2010 2:21 p.m.
        Mormons aren't coming to South Carolina Mr. Lichfield. We have been here since the early 1890's when the first missionaries came through from the Southern States Mission. That being said, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would not condone staff behaviour as stated in this article, threats of violence, cursing etc are not the way we are taught to deal with anyone and certainly not children no matter how wayward.


      2010 The E.W. Scripps Co.
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline Ursus

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      Re: Comments: "School of Troubles: Another chance..."
      « Reply #13 on: December 16, 2010, 10:41:06 PM »
      Re. this second comment from above:
      Quote
      StringCheese writes: December 11, 2010 7:05 a.m.
        Don't forget the allegations of animal cruelty against Mr. Lichfield, also:

      http://www.independentmail.com/news/201 ... nvestigat/

      http://www.independentmail.com/news/201 ... er-animal/

      http://www.independentmail.com/news/201 ... -property/[/list]
      See also the following thread for more coverage of these latest allegations of animal cruelty:

      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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      Offline seamus

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      Re: 2nd try as Magnolia Christian School (Carolina Springs)
      « Reply #14 on: December 17, 2010, 04:32:29 AM »
      I smell Smoke................
      « Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
      It\'d be sad if it wernt so funny,It\'d be funny if it wernt so sad