Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)


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Alex Dellinger

My name is Alex Dellinger and i am a survivor of FFS. I was removed from my parents house on April 15, 2004 by two escorts and brought to the Family Foundation School.

upon arrival i was immediately taken to the office to meet with one of the schools therapists. he proceeded to ask me some very personal questions. I felt uncomfortable as well as scared and lonely. I was then taken to the boys locker room and forced to strip then squat and cough. They took away all my clothes and any belonging that weren't part of their requirements. I then was taken into the main hallway where the entire student body was formed into a group singing a song and saying a prayer before lunch. I would like to point out that I was a 15 year old boy who was at the time very anti religious. That was soon changed but not by choice. I wasn't sent to FFS for drugs or alcohol or drug use. I had smoked marijuana once and drank a hanful of times. I was sent to the school for anger issues as well as poor grades and family issues. Within my first few days of being at the school I was being forced to eat cream of wheat and soy burgers at all my meals. I was not allowed to eat anything else. This was a result of my refusal to memorize prayers as well as the 12 steps to alcoholics anonymous. I was then forced to sit in the corner facing the wall. I was not allowed to get up from that corner without raising my hand and waiting to be called on. I felt humiliated. I was not permitted to speak to my parents for the first month of being there. This was pushed further back due to my refusal to due hw. This was just a start to 4 years of traumatizing and humiliating treatment that I was forced to go through.

I remember the 3rd day I was at the school I refused to get out of bed. Terry McCarthy, Angelo B, and another staff were called up to the dorm to come speak to me. They then proceeded to rip the sheets off my bed and yell at me to get out of bed. I was then givin to the count of three before the staff proceeded to flip my matress off the bed causing me to hit the floor very hard and causing me to hit my head and back on the ground. I was on the top bunk. I was put on many sanctions(punishments) that were not only embarrassing but also harmful and humiliating. these included blackout which meant I was restricted on who I could talk to. exile where I was forced to stand outside away from everyone and was not allowed to talk to my peers. I was put on work sanction in which I was forced to do physical labor instead of school work for hours on end. due to the fact that I wasnt allowed to go to classes my grades were significantly low and I did not complete high school in the 4 years I was there.

I was then sanctioned for failing. i was also a victom of verbal abuse as well as physical harm. during table topics I was degraded, humiliated and yelled at by both peers and staff. I was once told that I was the scum of the earth and that I was the reason my parents separated. I was once restrained for leaving a table topic and walking outside. I was being nonviolent and was walking away to get some space. The staff yelled at me to stop and in return I told them to please give me some space and I would come back in a sec. Three staff proceeded to then throw me on the ground and restrain me. as a result I got a cut on my face and my wrist was sprained. I also had many bruises on my body.

I was then forced to stay in a 6x6 room that was cold and smelled like urine. In my 4 years at the school I was required to stay in this room for days on end. I was forced to wear a minimum amount of clothes and was not allowed to speak to the students watching me. One time I was in this room and had to use the restroom. My request was ignored for so long that I eventually couldnt hold it anymore and ended up peeing in the corner of the room. i was stuck in this room with my own urine for ovwe 8 hours. I was also restrained once for knocking a picture off the wall. At 130 pounds there is no reason for eight 200 pound men to restrain me at once. I was held down on the ground 0ver an hour. These are just a handful of incidents that I went through at the Family Foundation School. Due to the motional trauma I went thru I was later put on medication and was sent to two different treatment facilities after. I hope that my testimony helps with the fight to stop this kind of abuse and I hope that no child shall have to go through this kind of experience.

I left FFS in june of 2007. I am now 20 years old and have managed to get my life on track. I am no longer on meds and no longer in therapy. I'm happy and am living life to the fullest.

Thank you FFS for ruining my adolesence.

Submitted By: Alex Dellinger