Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Several months ago I set up a petition on the Care 2 website to gather signatures in support of HR 911. I wanted to share some recent comments to the board. There are currently 221 signatures. Keep signing and passing the link around. We have until the end of this congressional term to get the Sentate HELP committee to schedule a hearing or it will need to be reintroduced to the next congress. This is not a perfect bill but a step in the right direction to regulate unregulated child boarding facilities. I have been touched by the generosity of those that have shared their stories with me personally and through the petition site
6:49 am PDT, Jul 6, Kim Bowen, Arkansas
As a child I attended Lester Roloff’s church in Texas where boys, girls, men and women were housed in non-licensed “christian” group homes. There was an abusive environment, the food was deplorable, and many of these teens were abused mentally and physically. They attended church a minimum of four times a week. They had to enter the auditorium and sit in reserved seating where they were not allowed to talk to anyone but had to keep their eyes averted and read the Bible. These were not bad kids. Just in our religious background you were considered rebellious if you did not go along with the church indoctrination. I believe that many sent to these homes did not need to be there. There must be more accountability in these church “homes.”
11:30 pm PDT, Jul 6, Dee Rapier, Texas
I at one time taught at the Longstreet Home . We were under Mac Ford . I made many mistakes and have ask tobe forgiven. My x husband was an overbearing person. He was abusive to me and my two boys. He also was abusive the some of the boys. I can only hope and pray that God Has forgiven me. Dee2:21
Mar 23, 2010, Clark Word, Alabama
I was a victim of New Bethany Boys Home in Louisiana. My story – It took 7 month
pm PDT, Jun 7, Teresa Boss Marsh, Oregon
Hello, This issue is very important to me because I a survivor of abuse at an unregulated facility. I attended Victory Christian Academy, in Ramona California in 1989 where I was the victim of abuse along with witnessing daily abuses of others girls during my stay. This was at the hands of a monster who still opens and operated unregulated facilities in Florida and Iowa. He and his wife are prohibited from working with children in the state of California so he has moved his predatory sadistic schools to other states that don’t require the facilities to be regulated by the state. Why would anyone oppose state regulation? They are put in place to protect our children. I am 37 years old and it has been over 21 years since my horrible life-changing experience at VCA and I often still wake up form nightmares drenched in sweat as if it were yesterday. For the sake of our children who really are our future, please please I beg you to take this issue seriously and help make this bill a LAW. Sincerely, Teresa Boss Marsh
11:49 pm PDT, May 17, Ann Hashimoto, Washington
I am appalled that this H.R. 911 has not been given a hearing date yet. I am a survivor myself of countless abuses and human rights violations at the hands of supposed residential “treatment” centers where I was wrongfully locked up when I was young. The very fact that this act was responded to with the words ‘the Senate has other priorities’ is indeed heartless, and can be called brutal; altogether portraying a much different side of America than should be exemplified by members of the U.S. Senate. What is at stake is the lives and rescuing of thousands of wrongfully incarcerated youth. I urge you to start taking action NOW. The mistreatment of youth in supposed “residential treatment programs” is everyone’s issue. Any youth can have all their rights taken away and their lives shattered due to the current allowances against youth’s ability to simply have the right of habeas corpus. This can no longer happen if the United States is to honestly endeavor to be a “Country of the Free.” I urge all of those who might read this to open up their hearts and minds to take action against this rampant abuse of human rights and, indeed, the very principles of human will and identity, and remove this threat to freedom once and for all. Teenagers are people and are the future of our nation. We cannot permit the harm and unjust treatment in residential “boarding schools” to persist. If you have a heart, you will respond with a mind. Pass H.R. 911, now.
Jodi Hobbs, California
I have created a website for the girls of Victory Christian Academy who attended either the school in Ramona, San Diego or Jay Florida. Some of the girls have shared their stories on the website. I urge you to take a look. Many still suffer, 20 years later. I wanted these girls to finally have a voice and to feel comfortable to share their experience. I also wanted a place that we all could come together. If you would like to read some of the stories please visit https://girlsofvictorychristianacademy.com
Mar 27, 2010, Carol White, Iowa
I was a social worker for 33 years prior to my retirement. I worked with many abused children. I hope you will act on this important cause.
Apr 8, 2010, Monica Lee, California
To all who come across this, thank you for your signatures. Children do not always have a voice and seek acceptance and protection from adults. Its our responsibility as a nation to protect our children–those without a voice or have not yet found their voice.
Apr 8, 2010, Mark Moore, North Carolina
Many of these children have already experienced significant abuse and neglect. These homes, some the last houses of refuge before they are turned out to an ‘adult life’ must stop the hard-line treatments they pursue and find better ways to reach them. We urge you to take up this matter in a formal way
.Jonathan Ziv, Canada
Spent two years in the Elan School in Poland Springs, Maine. There was constant psychological abuse and physical abuse. Not sure how the Elan School has been able to stay open all these years when there are so many who have and are willing to tell their stories. For more information about the Elan school visit http://theelanschool.tumblr.com/ or the “I went to Elan school” group on Facebook.
Apr 9, 2010, David Hatfield, Oregon
My step daughter went to a therapeutic boarding school. She has nonverbal learning differences and some depression. We wanted to find a school that would help her with these things. The school where we sent her said that they thought they were a good match. After five months we withdrew her from the school because we felt the school was hurting more than helping. If she had reasonable access to unsupervised calls we probably would have withdrawn her earlier. If HR 911 had been in place and we had seen a list of previous violations and fatalities, we would not have sent her in the first place. Thanks for your consideration.
Simone Jones, Kansas
When I was 14 years old, I was in a home called “New Bethany home for girls” I am now 42. I can’t even begin to explain the pain and torture I was forced to endure, during my 2 1/2 year stay there. First off, the staff members are not required to pass any type of criminal background check. Where do they come from?? I was abused daily. When I say abused, I mean it literally. Beaten and broken. Left to heal without the care of any medical professional. I had no rights as a human being, let alone a young, scared child. All contact with the outside world was gone. All privacy was gone (yes, even in the restroom, and shower) Not only is physical, emotional and spiritual abuse a problem in these types of places. Sexual abuse is rampant. As children we are told to tell if someone hurts us. Who may I ask are we supposed to tell, if there is no one listening? Children are to be loved, cherished and protected. No battered, broken and forgotten.
Read about this bill here