hi my name is kari i was actually sent there to heartland christian academy for 3 years i have now been out for a year there is alot of horrible things that went on there that no one even knows about.. they cut my hair to above my ears they would not allow us to talk for weeks at a time we were forced to read the bible and got to 25 church services if not more in a week we lived in dorms with no windows and we had a courtyard were we could "go outside" but there were 30 foot walls around it so we could only glimpse the sky one punishment was to hit us with a big paddle while being bent over by grown men until we couldnt take anymore and we would fall out they also made us dig 6ft by 6ft graves and made us lay in them how sick is that they told us we were burying our old selves and now god could live in us if people needed to unite over something this is it it is an evil place and yes torture is describing their acts they should be shut down immediatley i tried to kill myself there and i know several kids tonight that are locked up there are contimplating it my email is email@example.com we need to do something
OMG! My husband and I drove past the Heartland compound just this past Friday . . .
I will pass this info on to my state reps and ask what can be done to shut them down. (Unfortunately, the Missouri state lege is in the hands of some real whackos, on up to Gov. "Boy" Blunt, so I won't hold my breath ... but I'll do what I can.)
These kinds of comments always bring me up short because they are such a sharp reminder that all I am doing is sitting in my comfy chair and opining. I obviously have certain very strong ideas but it really doesn't make much of a real-world difference how badly I feel for the children at Heartland Christian Academy or how evil I think it is.
As far actually doing something, I feel as though I don't really any brilliant ideas but I will open the thread up for discussion. The difficulty in this case is that the State of Missouri's prior efforts on behalf of the children at Heartland have been found to be outside the bounds of the law and the State has been punished for it. A juvenile officer was ordered to pay $800,000 to Heartland to compensate it for an improper mass removal of juveniles from the facility. It appears that the State has done all it can under the law for the time being and it appears likely that the State will tread carefully in the future. Any solution would probably require passing new legislation in Missouri-- perhaps some sort of law regarding state monitoring of juvenile boot camps or boarding schools.
Here is what I will do, as little as it is: I am going to email this post to Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education (PTAVE) and to Prevent Child Abuse Missouri because they may have more practical ideas than I about what could be done. And I certainly urge anyone who is a Missouri resident, like Galnoir, to speak to your state rep. about the situation and about whether any legislation could be passed to remedy it.
As for children who are currently in Heartland and contemplating suicide, I am not sure I know enough about the situation to give good advice. But here are my thoughts: If you have specific information about a child at Heartland contemplating suicide, the authorities would surely intervene in some way. But I am not sure how far such intervention would go in protecting these children FROM Heartland, as opposed to merely preventing the imminent threat of suicide. Heartland itself may end up dealing with the situation and I don't know if they take a punitive approach to suicide attempts. (Kari, you know better than I do how Heartland is likely to respond to a suicide attempt.) Another option might be to inform these children's parents if you have their contact information -- although presumably the parents actually approve of Heartland's methods. (Kari, I will email you the link to report this matter to the Missouri Department of Social Services, if you choose to report to them any imminent danger to a child at Heartland.)
It's frustrating. I wish I had better ideas as to how to respond. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.