being a mom

Troubled Teen Industry: Where Helping Kids Includes Rape, Abuse & Starvation

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There are many stories of teens being raped, forced to eat their own vomit, beaten and starved. Recently there has been a lawsuit filed claiming fraud, breach of contract and abuse by the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools and its affiliates filed by 350 former students and 150 of their parents.  According to The Huffington Post:

The details in the lawsuit include being exposed to extreme hot or cold temperatures for extended periods; being forced to eat raw or rotten foods or to eat their own vomit; being bound by the hands and feet; and being placed in isolation, including being locked inside small boxes or cages.Some students also allege they were emotionally and verbally abused, were forced to wear unwashed clothing for weeks, were prevented from using bathrooms, were deprived of sleep and were deprived of any religious affiliations other than Mormonism.


There is a memorial page set up for kids who have died due to the Troubled Teen Industry here.

I’m sure that there are some programs that work in conjunction with therapists and doctors that actually do help troubled teens. There are even accounts on the Reddit page from both parents and kids who claims some of these programs saved their lives. But reading the majority of the stories it’s hard for me to believe that the best way to treat the majority of kids with issues is sending them away from their families into a situation where they are at risk for a lifetime of stress-induced issues or even death. In a sense it is easy for me to say because I am not a parent of a troubled teen. I don’t know what it’s like to have a kid who is a heavy drug user or who beats me or his siblings. I don’t know the day to day reality of what it’s like to live with a child who is a danger to themselves or others, but I do know that  reading the experiences of the majority of kids who attended these “schools” scares me to death.

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