Author Topic: after the research....  (Read 1224 times)

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Offline alternativa

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after the research....
« on: March 21, 2005, 03:01:00 AM »
i posted this on the wrong place originally, I think.

I'm a single parent with a 15 year old son who does whatever he wants, and I called one of these numbers and then I researched. It doesn't matter what they call themselves--anything listed under wwasps is to be avoided.

I can't handle my son. That's a fact, and his father is who knows where. Last year I sent my son to a military school in NY (alma mater of Donald Trump) and it was great, and next year he's going back. It was 60 miles away and he could come home every weekend (a few exceptions--parades, etc.) starting from the first week. He could use the phone (from Day 1) and the internet between 8-9:30. My whole thing was that I couldn't keep him in school. He's very smart, but they could get him to class most days. Was it perfect? No. But what the kids told me and what the tack officers said were the same negatives. The kids fight. There are some incidents of hazing. There have been 2 severe incidents in the past 100 years (1912 and 2003)but no one died. There's the boys will be boys attitude, and at military school they do fight all the time, and a lot of them smoke cigarettes, and there are ways to get alcohol and drugs on campus though it's nothing like suburban environs. But I knew what was going on, the tacks knew what was going on, and the kids knew--and there was no conflict in stories. That sounds negative, but trust me--it's a lot less than is going on in suburbia.

But here's the thing--which I realized after calling one of these numbers. I have an obligation to get him educated to the best of my ability. I don't have the right to imprison him and have him tortured. The doors at the military academy were left open and kids were free to walk out the door ANY TIME. And sometimes they did. But mostly they didn't because there were kids who left or got kicked out and ended up in boot camps or wwasps and no one ever heard from them again (I found this out after a discussion with my son last night--he just had a friend go to boarding school a few months ago and NONE of her friends have heard from her. No calls, no IM's.) But if you choose military school --make sure it says founded before 1860. No new place. Check the alum, make sure it's not "for profit," check the endowment. Call or email alumni. Avoid anything that has the word "Christian" in it--a guarantee that it's not.

My son also drinks and I know it, but guess what? He's either experimenting or he's an alcoholic. If he's experimenting--then just leave it alone and keep him from riding with someone or driving under the influence (another plus for military school--no cars.) If he's an alcoholic (as his father was) there's nothing I can do about it. You can't make anyone quit drinking unless they want to quit. Period. The same goes for using drugs.

I have many alcoholics in my family and the only way any of them every quit was AA. Forget forced rehab, too. If you can't tolerate the behavior in the house, let him try the homeless shelter. I am not in a state that can force kids into wwasps and boot camps, but juvenile detention is better than these places. And so is a foster home. Tough love is about not putting yourself between kids' decisions and the natural consequences. Some derelect school that's way worse than Attica is not a natural consequence--it's insanity.

Is your child at risk? No doubt. I know mine is and I want to minimize the risk as much as possible and if he ends up in foster care because I can't keep him in school--then so be it. I have to be willing to look like a bad parent. Maybe I am a bad parent but I think I'm more of an overwhelmed parent. But investigating these crazy programs reminded me I am powerless over alcohol and there by the grace of God.

But I believe what these kids are saying on these board. Kids ALWAYS let you know what's going on in a school. The sad case here is that it's AFTER the fact due to circumstances. Sure occasionally there is a rare incident or someone who cries wolf--but this many? No way.

As for "staying home," some people come from families with traditions of boarding and military schools. Second, if you're a single parent (for whatever reason--death, divorce, circumstance) sometimes you can't do it all. But don't get so desperate you spend  a gazillion dollars on one of these schools or programs where you can't talk to your child, his teachers (because evidently these places don't HAVE teachers) and I've discovered all these places are the same no matter HOW they advertise themselves. Make sure you can walk in any time.


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Offline Anonymous

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after the research....
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 08:27:00 AM »
Congratulations on taking the hard road and accepting that you were going to have to choose between imperfect choices and picking the safest one you could find.

It sounds like you have him in the military school equivalent of Hogwarts.  Yeah, bad things sometimes happen there, but *most* of the staff is decent, the place is generally run decently, and the kids want to go back in the fall.

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

It sounds like you're realistically picking the best option in a bad situation instead of looking for someone to tell you a fairy tale.

Good for you.

Timoclea
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Offline Anonymous

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after the research....
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 11:13:00 AM »
In a similar situation, my son lived with his best friend's family for a while. Ironically, his 'problems' didn't occur until after he spent 6 months in a military facility. It was useful for him to see that all households have rules and guidelines.
Ironically, the mom considered him to be the perfect house guest- very helpful and considerate.

He came back home for a while, then got a job and quit school, out again to share a house with a couple of friends.
Ironically, he was always complaining about his roomies being slobs, never doing their part, etc.

I think some kids just push for independence earlier. And some have to meet matter head on.

For my son, he needed different experiences to decide what he wanted. Ultimately, after numerous jobs (Taco Bell, Hardware, laying wood floors, survey crew), he decided to get his GED and enroll in college. His decision. Based on his previous experience.

Not graduating on schedule is not the end of the world. Needing different experiences is not a bad thing either.

Both my sons spent time at military academies. Neither had a positive experience. Keep a close watch and open communication with your son.

http://fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?to ... t=30#47152

http://fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?to ... &forum=9&6
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Offline nite owl

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after the research....
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2005, 11:54:00 AM »
You're not alone - most kids are impossible at 15.  These teen programs are private prisons - an open boarding school is a much better option.  Your son is probably angry because of the family situation and his acting out is part of that.  I'd suggest some family counseling first. Don't give up on him - address the anger-and find out where it's coming from. When families split up it causes serious harm emotionally and psychologically to the kids. As parents we need to realize this.  

Most of the children in residential treatment are from "broken homes."  They turn to drugs, alcohol, sex and anything else that can ease the emotional pain and turmoil.  

Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself
--Jimmy Carter

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Offline Antigen

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after the research....
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2005, 07:11:00 PM »
Alterativa, I think yours is about the most sane, well reasoned and level take on the situation ever to come accross this audience.

I'm guessing you're also more the norm than the exception to the rule. But we rarely ever hear from parents who don't fall for the scam to begin with (unless they did their time in a gulag as a teen, anyway)

So what prompted you to post here? Was it the humorous trolls? A bad experience of someone you know? Just the compulsion to look, like that of watching a train wreck? Please let us know! Whatever it is, we'll try to do more of it.  :grin: (uh, except, of course, the bad experience part. We're all trying to reduce that.)

As to why your son may be angry, I wouldn't not venture a guess. Nite Owl, when my parents divorced, I was very young. Maybe 5 or 6. But I remember the transition. It was a HUGE improvement! Our household went from being a place of constant fighting and everyone being on edge all the time to relative peace and quiet. It was wonderful! Of course, I was lucky to have a dad who didn't bolt after the divorce. He was always accessable. Never moved more than about a mile away and came around often. So long as Mom and Dad weren't tied to each other like some sick knife fight, they were both at least tolerable, sometimes really good, to be around seperately.

I don't think every kid is necessarily angry over divorce. Life's just so much more complex than that.

Infidel: In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion, in Constantinople, one who does.
--Ambrose Bierce

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Offline BSarro

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after the research....
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2005, 08:28:00 PM »
Ginger,                          DIVORCE IS AGAINST GOD! You might as well urinate on his face! You are not gonna be accepted into the gates of heaven!It is sad that so many people will read that above post and that so many will believe that divorce is acceptable in God's eyes! It is not acceptable in God's eyes!
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od helps those who help themselves.                            Take marriage seriously.                             Once the Wedding Ring goes on the finger, it stays on the finger.

Offline Anonymous

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after the research....
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2005, 09:30:00 PM »
phsyco troll holly roller alert!!!
phsyco troll holly roller alert!!!
phsyco troll holly roller alert!!!
 ::soapbox::
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Offline alternativa

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after the research....
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2005, 09:54:00 PM »
for your kind words and advice. It makes me feel more sane.

How did I come to post on this board? In a nutshell--because I was apalled at all I had learned about these places and how they packaged themselves differently but were all pretty much the same ball of wax.

I've been divorced since my son was 2--his anger and wildness came about after we moved from NYC to the suburbs. Well, I'm sure he'd rather have a father who showed interest, too, but he never remembers having that to begin with, but he grew up in Manhattan and it was a whole new world for both of us when we came here, and it wasn't a good fit. At any rate, we are moving back to the city as soon as I can get my house ready to sell and then sold.

Anyway, I teach at a community college, and I had a student who wrote a composition on RedCliffe Ascent, and the student wrote about how much he liked nature, etc. etc. so I was thinking it was like Outward Bound with a counseling componant. Outward Bound IS okay--I've been myself though now they have a "troubled teen" one, too, and I doubt I'd trust that. Being an English professor--I'm thinking Thoreau and Emerson. Then I noticed they had actual schools that stressed they were not boot camps. It wasn't until I started reading this board and thestraights.com and newspaper articles related to various atrocities that I recalled the comments I'd made on his paper. I'd said, you tell the reader your parents sent you there because they loved you and it was in your best interest--but you never say what sins you committed that led you there AND you tell the reader nothing of your actual experience. He chose NOT to rewrite that particular paper. I was disappointed because I really did want to know his experience there. Now it's making sense.

I knew about the atrocities in Mexico at Casa, but I naively believed as long as a program or school was in the US--well--you know, it must be ok. So I called a number and the woman recommended Ivy Ridge or Spring Creek, but there was something peculiar about the conversation. Maybe it was when she said kids were on "lock-down." My ex-husband worked for the Dept. of Corrections and I'm thinking, does she mean lock-down as in "locked up" or literal lockdown--something in the prison system reserved only for death row inmates OR after a prison riot or similar. Anyway, I have phobias about fires and means of egress in general, so I knew I wasn't sending my son to THAT school.

Then I got to googling and researching and I realized all these places were all connected, and then I read some of these boards, and I was absolutely horrified. Now I served on a community school board in NYC, so I know schools get investigated for all kinds of reasons, but when you hear the same thing coming from all over the place over and over again, it serves one well to believe it because everybody's not lying.

I post this because hopefully parents who research will come across this as well and it will persuade them to find a different option. Certainly a lobotomy would be much less painful--which seems to be the results these programs want--a lobotomized teen. Parents--do not turn your children over to people who don't allow contact between you. Less can happen to them living on the street.

Turns out, my son's friend, Alex from the old neighborhood was at Tranquility Bay during the revolt. I was shocked because Alex is such a nice kid (I knew him before he got sent off, and I don't know what his parents were thinking--I can't even imagine what he did--maybe he got a B in math). Then my son has another friend, Kelly, and she used to be at the house all the time--very nice girl. She was from a rich family, however, and her brother had died of a heroin overdose, so her parents were very edgy. But since Kelly went to "Boarding School"--no one has heard from her. I went to a reputable boarding school and we had 3 pay phones on every dorm hall. The worst problem was some girl hogging it talking to her boyfriend. So now I'm worried about Kelly. No emails, no IM's, no phone calls--not to my son--not to any of her friends. Moreover, she left abruptly--didn't tell anyone, and word got around she had suddenly gone to "boarding school." Someone tell me she's at Exeter or Andover, please.

I just find this all so shocking and I feel like an imbecile now for even making the phone call to the "placement lady."
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Offline Anonymous

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after the research....
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2005, 10:03:00 PM »
BSarro,


You are wrong  IMO. Divorce is not against God.

God does not want any of his children to suffer.

A destructive marriage does not make for a happy family . God wants what is best after all efforts have been exhausted.

God is a loving and kind God.
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Offline Cayo Hueso

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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2005, 10:14:00 PM »
Alter - you have no idea what it does for me to hear from a sane parent with realistic expectations of life and their child.  You've restored a little of my faith in humanity.  Amazing what a bit of rational, critical thought can bring about.

If there's a worse idea going than locking people up for drug use, it's probably locking them up in close proximity to some tyranical altruist who wants to 'help' them with a problem that probably doesn't exist
-- Ginger Warbis
having had about all the help I can stand!

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t. Pete Straight
early 80s

Offline Antigen

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after the research....
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2005, 10:18:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-03-21 18:54:00, alternativa wrote:

I just find this all so shocking and I feel like an imbecile now for even making the phone call to the "placement lady."


You are not an ibecile. You're just working from a vastly different paradigm. Now, how can we help Kelly? One thing that has been somewhat helpful in the past (but not without serious risk) has been to identify relatively sane people in the kid's family or close to the family and tip them off to what you've just discovered.

Is that feasable/apropriate in her situation?

You have rights atecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/7006/rulebook.html' target='_new'>John Adams

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Offline alternativa

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after the research....
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2005, 11:30:00 PM »
Kelly was the sane one in the family.

I was thinking that her school would have a record of where she transferred, but I wonder if these schools even ask for records. And even if her old school did--I don't know how I'd get my hands on them.

Now I'm thinking about other kids who disappeared without a trace. Kelly's brother was shipped off somewhere for about a year before he came home and OD'd on heroin. I assumed he was at Hazeldon. But some of the kids I'm thinking of were not bad kids at all. Now I feel like I'm getting paranoid and delusional or else living in Nazi Germany and people are mysteriously disappearing. At first, you don't notice. People leave suddenly. Then it happens again--you think--that's odd--then it happens again and it is starting to seem really strange, then you hear rumors about concentration camps...

oh, and I saw some of these schools were accredited by the Northwest something or other out of Utah--it's recognized accreditation--but they'll give accreditaion to a school of fish. But then, you probably already know that. The Aspen Academy advertises they take Blue Cross/Blue Shield--how legit does that sound? I'm just dumbstruck by the enormity of this.
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Offline Antigen

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after the research....
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2005, 11:48:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-03-21 20:30:00, alternativa wrote:

Now I feel like I'm getting paranoid and delusional or else living in Nazi Germany and people are mysteriously disappearing. At first, you don't notice. People leave suddenly. Then it happens again--you think--that's odd--then it happens again and it is starting to seem really strange, then you hear rumors about concentration camps...



You're catching on. Let's hope you're an early adopter.

You probaly don't have legit access to that info. But, doubtless, family and friends do. All of these programs that I know of recruit by word of mouth. They train parents in how to pitch the program to their friends and offer cash incentives to do so. You probably already knew that too.

But, if you want to do something for this kid, the best place to start would probably be by casually asking around her friends and family.

The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire...Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.
--Elizabeth Cady-Stanton

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Offline Deborah

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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2005, 11:52:00 PM »
I was too, alter. When I met the industry face to face I was dumbstruck. I thought 'reform homes' were a thing of the past. Living in my little bubble, I thought parents were making extraordinary efforts to be better parents. All the parenting workshops I attended were full. Moms were buying books, watching videos, in counseling, forming play groups, supporting one another. I was shocked. It seemed so backward.

Then suddenly the flood gates busted open. My friend divulged that she'd been shipped off to a Rolloff home in the 70s. My neighbor's son was killed at Skyline Journey. A business associate's grandson was sexually molested at a baptist BM facility. My first husband fought his ex to keep their teen daughter out of a Tx wilderness camp. (I provided some good ammunition) And low and behold, my mom divulged that she and her twin had been incarcerated as teens- she was sent along for the 'sins' of her twin.
It never went away, it just evolved. Only the image changed. It's no longer something a parent need feel 'shameful' about. Many people brag, as if they had their kid in a high-dollar boarding school.

Kudos on your effort, and the best to both of you.
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gt;>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Hidden Lake Academy, after operating 12 years unlicensed will now be monitored by the state. Access information on the Federal Class Action lawsuit against HLA here: http://www.fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic.php?t=17700

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2005, 12:07:00 PM »
why would she not be allowed into heaven just because "her parents" divorced?
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