The Glen Mills Schools near Philadelphia is one of the oldest reform schools in the United States. After reports of abuse at the school, Erie County has decided to pull local youth out of the school.
Syeda Abbas spoke to a former student about his experience there.
Rawchen Clarke, in his own words, told us that if there was a camera in the Glen Mills Schools, they would have a serious problem. He says his time at the school is unforgettable.
Clarke graduated from Glen Mills Schools in 1998. He was a juvenile who spent two years there. He says the staff, “slammed me against the refrigerator, punched me in the stomach, slapped me in the face, took me in the office; at this point, I’m crying, and they said, ‘Do you know why I did that? That’s what happens when you disrespect staff.'”
Clarke says the physical abuse started on his first day at the school.
Clarke says ‘Touch for Attention’ was a program at the school that would allow staff to physically abuse the students if they were not obedient.
He says it’s an excellent school for a lot of reasons, but the accusations of abuse are true.
“The things the staff does there would make a student wanna come back and shoot it possibly.”
As we reported last week, Erie County Judge John Trucilla has ordered nine Erie County juvenile offenders removed from the Delaware County reform school, following the allegations of abuse there.
“We put together what I call a task force; had a meeting on Tuesday this week with a representation of all the stakeholders. “
Almost 20 years later, Clarke vividly remembers the abuse. He says it took him until now to come forward with his truth because he didn’t know who to go to.
After the physical abuse, Clarke still thinks of it many times and wanted to be heard after seeing the story on the news.