Help save the children from abusive homes and schooling, bring the people who control this before the courts to face the punishment they so much deserve.


One day out of hundreds at troubled teen program, Straight Inc.

The memory I have from so long ago: she was a small girl with a lot of fight in her, 14 years old at the most but to me she didn’t look a day over 12. She had beautiful dark brown eyes that seemed to look through you all the way to your soul; her hair was brown with wavy curls that fell to the middle of her back.

Standing in a large room that resembled a cafeteria, blue chairs filled up a portion of the room. Boys were seated on one side and girls were on the other. I remember when she was told to stand up by the young man in the front of the room, she did not at first and the girls seated on both sides of her forced her up. Her eyes spoke the words her mouth did not at first. So much sadness and anger filled those eyes. Her eyes searched the room, hands were flying all around, she knew what was coming. As teens were called on, one by one by the young man in the front of the room, all she heard were screams. Their words were taunting her. They were trying to tear her down. Their words: You slut, You whore, Your nothing, Your parents don’t even want you. One by one they tried to tear her apart. They kept screaming, yelling, girls around her were touching her forcing her arms down trying to make her stand straight. Her thoughts in her head were overwhelming. She did not understand. Where am I? What is this place? Please God let me go home. The desire to leave was so strong; you could feel it off of her. The emptiness in side of her was so deep, so alone. She raised her hands to her ears to drown out the teens around her. The young man at the front yells, “put your hands down.” She slowly looks at him with so much hate and says, “no, what do you want from me?” “Why can’t you leave me alone?” Seconds later she is thrown to the floor. 2 girls have grabbed her arms, pulling them behind her back. 2 other girls are holding her legs straight out in front of her and soon she is carried to the back of the large room and placed in a smaller room. The young man from the front of the room has now picked 5 teens boys to replace the girls. The small girl now has one teen boy straddling her with his legs wrapped around her waist, 2 boys are holding each of her legs, and another boy is standing behind the boy straddling her pushing her arms to the ceiling. Executive staff, Ms. Crawford, is now in the room. Ms. Crawford is telling the young girl how worthless she is and how she will see to it that she never leaves this place, this place is called Straight, Inc. Ms. Crawford tells the boys make her scream, make it hurt. The young girl stayed this way, this day, in this position for 7 hours. When she was released from this position her arms fell to the floor she had been sitting on, her legs wouldn’t move. She fell to her side, lying on floor, she couldn’t feel her arms or legs, she couldn’t move. I remember her screams that day. I heard her scream non-stop for about 3 hours and then silence. The silence was chilling. That day the silence was worse then the screams. Her tears fell down her face for hours and then they stopped. The girl found a place, a place inside herself she could go to. She found in this place there was no pain, she found comfort with out pain. From that day no matter what they did she felt no pain. The girl in my memory is me.

Brainwashing parents: “Expect your teen to be mad at you, and tell you how awful it is, how the staff mistreats them, their roommates are ax murderers and if you really wanted to help them you would bring them home. Expect the manipulating and guilt tripping…”

"…If they begin to rant on you, it has been advised to do what they call “shut the door”. Let them know you are behind the program, and if they continue talking in this way you will have to hang up the phone. (assuming it is a phone conversation) Save this rant for family therapy."

This makes me so mad, they are pretty much telling parents not to believe their own children. It’s from this troubled teen blog, I’d the web address so as not to promote the site. Why “save this rant” for family therapy? So the therapist can continue the brainwashing on both the child and parent?

The whole thing reads to like it’s indoctrinating parents into the abuse, like explaining they may not have contact with their kid for four weeks, or this doozy: “While your child is in treatment, it will never feel right.”

I know it’s the same old program drivel, but….ugh.


Here is the full text from the post so no one has to give them traffic:

First Weeks Teen Residential Treatment or Therapeutic Boarding School

June 11, 2008 · 1 comment

in Adolescent Residential Treatment Centers


 First, Adolescent Residential Treatment is not a Mental Hospital or Correctional Institution. They are dealing with teens that may be experiencing emotional and/or behavioral difficulties and because of these difficulties are not able to function what is commonly thought of as normal teenage behavior. They may be harming themselves or others but are NOT criminals or have significant mental problems. This is not Teen Boot Camp. So that you know they cannot take the teenager out of your son or daughter

Once you have made the decision your child would benefit from this sort of program, what happens once they leave home or arrive? Since I am not the teen I really don’t know but I can give you my version as a parent.

  1. If you did not personally take your child to the facility or had an escort service they call you to let you know your teen has arrived.
  2. You teen is assigned a unit (can be 8 – 12 kids) and a therapist. The therapist assignment can be the most important aspect of the program.  From my experience, the therapist can make or break the experience for your family and the teen. Sometimes whoever helped with placement knows the therapists and will make a recommendation on behalf of teen and the issues.
  3. Next is letting go – This can be the most difficult part of the program for parents, trusting the program and your decision. Like most parents before treatment, your life is chaotic with your teen at home and trying to manage the situation. Now, this responsibility has been delegated and letting go can be harder than you think.
  4. Most programs do not allow you to have any contact with your teen until they have settled (a bit) into the program and the routine. This can be a minimum of two weeks or take as long as four weeks, it really is up to your teen.  All programs have levels and on arrival it is some form of an introductory level. They can go in any direction from the introductory level (don’t be surprised if it is down).
  5. Now your teen has settled in a bit (notice I say a bit). Most facilities will then set up a time for weekly phone calls. Usually it is about 20 minutes a week, it could be one 20 minute call a week or two 10 minute calls a week. Depending on the facility these calls can be monitored for appropriate behavior by your teen. Our first call may have been with the therapist and our teen.
  6. Expect your teen to be mad at you,  and tell you how awful it is, how the staff mistreats them, their roommates are ax murderers and if you really wanted to help them you would bring them home. Expect the manipulating and guilt tripping. If they begin to rant on you, it has been advised to do what they call “shut the door”.  Let them know you are behind the program, and if they continue talking in this way you will have to hang up the phone. (assuming it is a phone conversation) Save this rant for family therapy.
  7. By now the therapist should have introduced themselves and evaluated your teen (along with the many other professionals). A family therapy time will be set up. This is usually a conference call with the parents, therapist, your teen and can be either weekly or bi-weekly.
  8. This list is simplified, but something to take note; A facility does not have to keep your teen, once they are placed. So don’t think just because they got accepted it is a done deal. I have been in a situation where they made us move our teen. Sometimes that can be tougher than placing them for the first time. Some facilities have what they call a parent coordinator; for first time or new families this role can be very comforting. The therapists are busy people and cannot always deal with parent questions and concerns. Lastly, letting go can really make the difference between your relationship with the facility and your teens recovery.
  9. While your child is in treatment, it will never feel right.  Expect to have bad days and worse days, but when you see your son or daughter making positive changes the rewards can be great.
  10. I can’t just have 9 points, so believe in your decision and take care of yourself while they are away,  they won’t be there forever and one day they will come home.)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dee November 9, 2009 at 10:57 am

How do I handle friends and relatives that are not supportive of our decision to place our son in a RTC? One relative in particular ignores my phone calls and refused to talk to me. How to I respond to this without sounding defensive or starting “war”? Thanks!