|Posted by Roland R. Hansen on October 3, 2021 at 3:40 AM||comments (26)|
I haven't seen anyone really post about this school. But figured it's about time I speak up.
I was sent to several “therapeutic schools” to help resolve my problems. The truth is they did quite the opposite. The majority of my trauma came from the Glenholme school. So let’s talk about that. Looking at their brochures and websites it almost looks like a getaway. Go karts, equestrian, endless activities. But I can say that no fond memories came from that school except the memories of the other students that got me through it.
Each day you were given a piece of paper a token sheet. Your whole day and privileges revolved around these tokens. You’d lose tokens for speaking out of turn, your uniform isn’t perfect, you don’t follow their specific rules the exact way they want you to. And there were levels which were based off of your performance. The highest level you could get offered the privilege of walking short distances by yourself, being alone in your room for short periods of time, choosing your own food to eat. That’s what you strived for that would be the highest point in your life. Their whole system was built to keep you quiet, obedient and out of the way. Which can be the exact opposite of what these “troubled teens” need.
That was just their program the staff were another story. Sure there were a few good ones, mainly the teachers. But very few gave you the impression they were there to help. For most it was a job and ended at that. Your problems were made public, no privacy staff would openly discuss your issues in the company of other students, make jokes at your expense. The real nasty stuff came from when you were alone with them. I confided in one of my classmates my gender identify and sexuality. The staff overheard or found out somehow. I was called disgusting, unnatural as well as numerous homophobic and transphobic slurs and comments. It was easy to ignore at first but then it really starts to break you down. I was told to stop crying or I’d be removed. (Basically brought else where to sit in silence. Students would be gone for hours.) Told that I was making everyone else sad. I was given no support at any time. Taught my problems were my own and not to bother others looking for help. All communication outside was monitored, emails and phone calls. That one time a week you could get on the phone I’d try to tell my parents what was really going on. I was told the phone call would end if I continued for “lying and trying to scare my parents” Those phone calls were precious, you didn’t want to lose them. After a while some people would earn the privilege to go home on the weekends. The staff taught your parents the token system, you had to bring those forms home. Even then you didn’t get a break from them. It was a two+ hour drive from the school to my home. Sunday night heading back to the school I was filled with such a dread it’s hard to explain. I was suicidal and incredibly depressed over the thought of going back. I’ve never wanted to escape something so bad before. You could feel all the happiness being sucked from your body. Not to be overdramatic but it was terrifying.
Twice a week I was sent to the stable to work in the stalls and with the equine, Despite my huge fear of them and repeated begging for other work I was still forced to go. Much went on at that school that I cannot speak on, even six years later it’s too hard. But so many other students suffered too. One student opened up about being sexually assaulted by a staff member. She was called a liar and attention seeker by staff. It didn’t seem like there was any investigation into the matter. Later I would find out that wasn’t the first time something like that happened. A previous staff member had been arrested for repeatedly abusing a student. The school was sued. To this day I think back to that school and all the students still there suffering. Those two years there were the lowest points of my life. I was later diagnosed with CPTSD from my experiences there. The sad thing is this wasn’t an isolated incident. I have spoken to dozens of past students of Glenholme all with similar experiences.