Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)




Jonathan Bowen

I arrived at The Family Foundation School on January 23rd 2003. I was an emotional mess. I didn't care about anything. After failing my freshman year at my local high school and being expelled from boarding school, my parents decided to send me to the FFS. While walking through the doors of the family school on that Friday morning, I did not realize what hell I would experience for the next 30 months of my life. It did not take long for me to get in trouble at the school. I was told everything about me was wrong, bad and even immoral. I was forced to partake in religious services even if I did not believe in what was being preached.

At times I was forced to stand in the corner, with no shoes on, in all my classes and at meals, being able to sit the last ten minutes of every hour. I was pulled out of classes and forced to do manual labor instead of going to school. Shoveling snow, hauling buckets of rocks up and down hills, the work was horrible. While being on this worksaction, I was only given only a small bowl of cream of wheat for breakfast, a dry tuna sandwich for lunch and one for dinner as well. I lost of 65 pounds in 2 months. I fainted about twice a week do to malnutrition. To this day I still have a problem eating regularly. I was humiliated and abused verbally in front of staff and peers.

I was yelled at by staff telling me I would grow up to be a rapist or a sexual predator. I was mocked by both students and staff calling me a homosexual, faggot, and queer. I went through daily verbal torture. I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone except for certain staff and a few students. I was completely alone. I tried running away but ended up coming back after a few days.. I am not ALONE. I am a survivor of The Family Foundation School. However, while at the FFS a fellow student who couldn’t stand the verbal, emotional, and mental abuse inflicted by staff and students, decided to take his life. The image of him jumping off that balcony will never NEVER leave my mind.

I am haunted each and ever day by memories of torture, neglect, and abuse from that school. If parents “punished” their children only some of the ways as this institution did, the children would be in protective services immediately. The idea of helping troubled teens is great but the practices and methods used by The Family Foundation School are unjust, immoral, and inhuman.

There were many staff members at that school that truly cared for helping students. Others, the ones with power, enjoyed inflicting pain, emotional, mental, and physical, on students that they did not like. These staff members included but are not limited to Mike Ducey, Robin Ducey, Mike Losicco, Rita Argiros. No human should have to go through the hell that I and many of my fellow peers experienced while attending that institution.

Jonathan Bowen