It all began at 3am in the the month of December 2001. My lights in my bedroom were turned on by 2 bounty hunters sent from lucedale mississippi hired by the owner (Herman fountain). I was thrown off my bed and handcuffed and my ankles were shackled and I was walked out to my front door of my parents house with my mom and dad standing there with a suitcase tell8ng me I'm going to a new school. I was then carried to the back of the bounty hunters vehicle. I had no idea what the heck was going on at all. I thought to myself "well I'm not being kidnapped cause my parents watched me get taken away. So our first stop was SeaTac airport. I tried to make a run for it by crawling under the bathroom stalls. I did get away but only made it to the parking garage before the security had found me walking around the parking lots looking for a ride home. The hunters then cuffed me again and flew from SeaTac to Los Angeles,Ca. From there to Houston, Texas. To new orleans,, Louisiana. The rented a car to drive the rest of the way to lucedale,Ms blind folded. Arriving there to bethel boys academy at about 4am. Someone let us in the gate and was escorted up stairs
Hi I am Todd I was a student from agape home for boys I was with them from Stockton California to Othello Washington. I was starved on salad for punishment knocked out by staff member Brian clemensen slammed into walls and verbally abused I even had a back breaker performed on me by a student who was instructed by Brian Clemensen . I need legal advice and help .I four other voices that want to be heard please anyone help one voice has started a go fund me page to combat any fees .
I was 12 years old I was sexually abused on multiple occasions by 3 different staff members "MARK TODD AND DAVE" Every attempt to report it to other staff was just ignored and joked about and other victim shaming as such. Any attempt to defend myself against being MOLESTED was met with brutal force. Heritage liked to employee WASHED UP PRO AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS AND OTHER ATHLETES. So grown men weighing 250 to 300 or more pounds vs a 90 pound child had always the same outcome. many of the staff also being "armature body builders" so steroid abuse was obvious. none of the staff had any actual schooling or real qualification's to be staff there pizza delivery boys would be more qualified.
When I first arrived they took my bags and all my belongings claiming they need to search my things and because they "never got around to it" I spent the first week and a half wearing the same clothes. When I finally did get my belongings they "lost" one of my bags and I qoute "We need to find out the value of the belongings and then restitution me for it" In other words I have to pay for my things that they lost!!!!
I was there for 2 months before they finally let me use the "laundry room" and then never let me go back to get my clothes until a week later "AGAIN SPENT A WEEK IN THE SAME CLOTHES WHICH WAS A MCDONALDS TSHIRT PROMOTING THE FLINTSTONES AND A PAIR SHORTS!" and by the time i could get my clothes most of them were stolen after 3 months there NONE of the clothes i was wearing were the clothes i brought there and what clothes i did have were tattered holy would have been thrown away by other students and given to me! I was forced to take medication that i was allergic to which caused me to be sleepy of course if i fell asleep during there joke of a school classes i was punished for something that i couldn't control EVEN THOUGH I HAD THE RIGHT TO REFUSE THE MEDICATION THEY WOULD LOCK ME IN A ROOM NOT MUCH BIGGER THAN A CLOSET AND RATION MY FOOD STARVING ME UNTIL I COMPLIED.
Being 12 years old when I arrived I would have been going into 7th grade. The education that I received was closer to what you would expect in 3rd or 4th grade and was no use whatsoever when going back to a regular public school the "teachers" (and I use that term very loosely) were just regular staff that almost zero credentials for teaching or even tutoring and would just follow a nonsense curriculum from outdated textbooks that were donated. Since heritage kept some delusion of being a school they used semesters and periods but because they didn't use ieps or kept track or pay actual attention classes were assigned almost with the randomness of picking names out of a hat. So having the same "teacher" and class over and over is garenteed unless the teacher decides to change from a different textbook. And since I was only 12 being put in classes with 16 17 year old. I can only surmise school wasn't for education but to just keep us busy since I took the same class 3 times read the same book took the same test.
Another example of this being "I WAS 12 YEARS OLD AND WAS MAINLY SENT THERE DUE TO BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS IN SCHOOL AND NEVER UPTO THAT POINT HAD NEVER TOUCHED AN ILLEGAL SUBSTANCE OR SMOKED A CIGARETTE TOUCHED A DROP OF ALCOHOL DID ANY DRUG BESIDES WHAT WAS PRESCRIBED TO ME AND OBVIOUSLY THE DRUG SCREEN BY URINE AND BLOOD TEST WOULD CONFIRM THAT" I still was placed in "drug and alcohol class" it wasn't for any type of prevention this class for the students with a actual drug and alcohol problem some of them being drug dealers and they were also confused why I was in that class and the so called staff/teacher couldn't care less and didn't do anything to correct such an obvious big mistake BUT INSTEAD FAILED ME THE FIRST WEEK IN FOR NOT PARTICIPATING. And this after school "hours" On a Friday when heritage did a rare (once in 3 months maybe) study hall where they forced students that were failing one class to "study" in the cafeteria for 2 hours AGAIN I want to point out the point of this place was to "TREAT TROUBLED KIDS MANY OF WHICH HAVE LEARNING DISABILITIES" and Punish them for not learning!!!! because the teachers are not even qualified to work at a daycare And homework for a drug class would be what exactly? I could go into more detail of how insanely idiotic this is ! When I went back into public school I was behind even for special education standards!
The "legal child abuse" they claim to hide behind in the state of Utah is an outright lie and its mostly just covered up by other staff members and ignored entirely since 6-7 staff members word against one child BUT THE REALITY IS what they are doing is CHILD ABUSE its outright Brutal assault on children as young as 12. The staff try to SUGARCOAT this to parents and CLAIM that are preventing students from being a harm to themselves and others BUT THE TRUTH IS 99% of all psychical altercations are started by the staff. Many of the staff seem to think they are professional wrestlers on tv. Grown adults threatening kids of what they can get away with. And when the staff DO HAVE A PSYCHICAL ALTERCATION WITH A STUDENT THEY HAVE AS MANY AS 10 OTHER STAFF JUMP OF THE CHILD TO HOLD THEM DOWN! Many of the staff if not all of them seem to ONLY LIVE FOR THAT MOMENT TO TACKLE A CHILD TO THE GROUND SO THEY CAN GET HANDSY WITH THEM AND GO UN-NOTICED. In fact some of the staff act "DISAPPOINTED" that didn't get there in time and got to miss out on the abuse and assault! Because of the over zealous staff, students will have injuries like BROKEN BONES
and don't get medical attention for days sometimes weeks. I personally have permanent spinal injuries from when i was BODY SLAMMED into a flight of stairs and the only medical attention I saw WAS A FROM A NURSE THAT WASN'T EVEN A NURSE since the "nurses" at heritage are just staff members that give out medication and have no medical training past a CPR class.
And to add insult to injury literally students are taken to the CRISIS UNIT which is just a basement under the nurses station. with 6 couches facing the same direction YOUR NOT ALLOWED TO TALK AT ALL and the staff spend all day INSULTING YOU calling students names making stuff up just an outright verbal and emotional assault AND IF YOU "TALK BACK" and try to defend yourself in anyway they punish you further. And students are sent to the crisis unit for very trivial reasons. Staff are supposed to be train professionals but are just spoiled brats that send students to crisis "JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE IN A BAD MOOD"!!!
Some students are in crisis for a minimum of a few days others can be down in that hole for weeks and months. I personally was down there for over 4 months after I escaped from one the staff that was MOLESTING ME to add insult to injury the wife of my molester worked in the crisis unit and refused to acknowledge that her husband HAD A THING FOR LITTLE BOYS! And even though there was 3 other staff members all of them would turn a blind eye and let this woman do whatever she pleased and attack me DAILY FOR MONTHS!
Not to mention another staff member TODD who is the sickest of these molesters "WOULDN'T LET ME USE THE BATHROOM UNLESS HE GOT TO WATCH!!!" and there is no excuse or explanation of "for the child's safety" for him to do this since he was the only one THAT WANTED TO WATCH KIDS USE THE BATHROOM.
OH the food there was nothing wrong with the food it wasnd bad but it wasnt 5 star dining BUT the cafiteria staff didnt exactly follow any health codes so finding hairs and getting sick from the food was very common And you wasn't exactly allowed to be sick at this place they still force to you to comply AND ONE THE MANY COST CUTTING CRAP THEY LIKED TO PULL is only having two meals on weekends! by calling breakfast "BRUNCH" they figured they can get away from serving lunch and very small portion for dinner also on the weekends is when staff had the bigger power trips and forcing students to spend all day saturday and sunday "MAJOR CLEANING". All that was is another "TACTIC" to keep kids busy and not treating and ignoring why kids are even in this place!
AND what ever "Story" or biography on Jerry Spanos is a complete lie and total bull
Jerry spanos was never there! There was a better chance of bigfoot showing up and handing out ice cream than there was seeing Jerry spanos at heritage. He never walked through he never talked or had ANY interactions with the students!
All the pictures and videos showing him are likley STAGED he probably avoided the place and the students to have "Plausable deniability" of the abuse of done by his staff!
This is not even a fraction of what I had to endure at this living hell.
When I was finally free from this place I was so far behind in school it was impossible to catch up and because of the abuse I endured at heritage and the mental health problems I had before going to Heritage were far from being treated and only made worst from this place I spent years decades now Absolutely terrified of trying to get any professional help. Because I never wanted to ever end up back in this hell or anyplace like it.
My son was at North springs behavioral health center for 10months..A nightmare, my son was instigated by peers && staff on a daily basis. Staff would yell at my child while on phone and I'd have to scream in phone for them to back off. My child was told by Rogers a staff member that he couldn't be on his team because he didn't like my son..the staff instigated my child and made him stay longer knowing his weakness..drs put him on diabetic meds and made him gain 60lbs with stretch mark from head to toe..and also put my son in a hold for 22 mins that made him not hardly be able to breath and made his eyes turn purple and made him poop hisself.. what kind of place gets away with this.
Oh let me start from the top with this place. In all honesty, I cannot begin to fathom where I should begin. Let me start with my experience going thru the program. To protect my privacy, I will not name specifics in regards to timing of my dates. I was one of the lucky ones in terms of having knowledge beforehand that I was going. When your parent or legal guardian enrolls you, the admissions counselor tells them to not inform your child of when or where they are going. They have these little deceptive services they use and the rest of the students called them "goons" They came to your house in the middle of the night and literally forced you to pack your things and to get in the car with them to go to Trails Carolina. I was lucky enough not to go thru this, but everyone else in my squad did. I could tell that Trails did not like that I knew ahead of time because they called my parents and told them that I had contacted them for more information. I have documentation supporting that in case it is disputed for any reason in a response.
What was supposed to be a therapeutic experience has left me with nothing but sheer PTSD for the past years following my graduation from the program. Nightmares ensued and still ensue now even years after. The minute I walked into my first day and I was dropped off, I was sent to a room where they made me strip out of my clothes while someone watched, and change into some kind of uniform. A green t shirt and a red hoodie and these quick dry pants and some hiking shoes. I was there for a little over two months during the winter season. In the North Carolina mountains it can get below 0 degrees with the wind chill at night. This place is anything but therapeutic. Let me tell you the menu of food we had to eat. By the way, they told us when we could eat. Yes. There were times when we were not allowed to eat. Mondays breakfast was oats which we made using a pot filled with water from the creek which was boiled. Mondays lunch? Oh the same with every lunch. One tortilla with honey. Thats it. Everyday for almost 80 days. Dinner on Monday was rice and beans. They portioned the meals into a green cup that everyone had. You had to eat at least half a cup and a maximum of 2.5 cups which you told the person making it before. We carried the food around everywhere with us. Tuesdays dinner was called mush. What is mush? It's literally everything that you didnt use from the week put into one pot and served .This included sometimes noodles, peanut butter, garlic, and whatever else wasnt used because Wednesday was resupply and we were not allowed to keep any food. Each week each person got a bag of food that was called a "p-bag" inside was a ziploc bag of raisins, mixed nuts, 1 jar of peanut butter, 6 oranges, and apricots. If we didnt eat it all we couldnt keep it. Heres the funny thing my first day, I came in on a Monday, so the next day was the last day, I got my p-bag and I had a full jar of peanut butter and all the rest of the kids were mad. So after I turned in my food bag for the night, the staff opened my jar of peanut butter and scooped out half of it to make it "fair" So Trails has 5 different stages of the program. The first is called Trailhead, then Waypoint, then Legend, then Barron which is the red book then navigator then guide. I never made it to navigator thank god. Honestly, and I'm not going to lie, I learned nothing during those 70 days, I learned after I left that my parents almost had to hire a lawyer to get me home because the therapist assigned to me, Todd Green would not let me leave. He said that I wasn't ready. I was there for a minor reason compared the rest were there for drug trafficking offenses, and he had the audacity to suggest to my parents that I not return home but instead be sent across the country to a therapeutic boarding school. He suggested that I was doing horribly to my parents. My parents were being told that I was doing horribly. He set me up while I was there to try and get me to relapse into my old behaviors so that he could tell my parents that I needed to be sent away. I will repeat this again. I have PTSD still from this. I tried repressing it for a long time but I face it now still. I will never forget collecting sticks from the woods in the freezing cold rain and my hands almost frostbitten and if I stopped I would have gotten reported in the blue books that they kept a log in. Once again, I will repeat that I cheated my way thru the program because I didnt think I would ever get out. We had to bust a coal which means create a spark that turned into a fire using a bowdrill. This was really stupid because the whole program was centered around busting a coal or you couldnt go home. I signed several activities as complete my self so I could go home because they would not let me leave. The therapist Todd Green would sit with me and eat his outside food in front of me while we talked and it was so obvious that he was getting some sick amusement out of this. This man is a criminal and I hope he has his license revoked because he sure as hell deserves it. I learned nothing from the program, only that people in this world who are supposed to be there to help you are just as messed up. The staff was so oblivious to everything. They were trained to ignore us and to be firm with everyone. I did some digging after I left and contacted the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and they sent me the Statement of Deficiency reports for the past 5 years. Each year they have been cited for the same things and they never improve. IT IS ILLEGAL TO ADMINISTER MEDICATION TO A MINOR THAT THEY ARE NOT PRESCRIBED TO. Everyday they gave us this pill that they called Trails Candy, they said it was a vitamin but they would not ever disclose what it actually was because as they said it was none of our business. They checked under our tongue each time we took it to make sure we didn't spit it out. That is illegal according to the state of North Carolina. In addition, sanitary conditions would certainly fail a health department audit including the fact that we sometimes went without showers for 3 weeks, and to rinse our cup of food we had to dump water in it and drink it. I used my hoodie sleeve to wipe it out for 3 months and dumped the rest in the leu which we dug ourselves. By the time I graduated my hoodie sleeve was covered in mold from food which was disgusting. Wednesdays dinner was plain quinoa. yes plain quinoa.... I couldnt eat like that so on Wednesdays I snuck into the p bag and stuffed a tortilla into my pocket and dumped the quinoa in the lou. Gross. Inhumane!! We used all the sausage, and butter and cheese for mac night, but in the summer, they dont give the kids any of that so i feel so bad!!! I spent my nights in tears because I did not know when I was going to leave. I cheated the program because I have ADD and that completely and utterly destsroyed me in every way to the point where my PTSD still affects my sleep. I cannot go camping anymore, I cannot go hiking anymore. I cannot be around the smell of a campfire anymore. This was not supposed to happen. We had these backpacks that were already so crammed. My sleeping bag zipper ripped off my first week and it was winter. Below zero temps in the mountains. I asked if I could have another one, they said no and the staff, his name was Sean threw me a thing of dental floss and said sew it up. Brutal. I asked for a new spoon each week because I could not stand the unsanitary conditions. I will be following up with Laura Callis who provided me with the reports. Trails does not want you to see them. They had a student die in their custody and they tried to take down the news reports because it was hurting their business. They made us dump our bags and search thru everything and then said pack it back up. I cried for the first time in 8 years when I saw my parents at the end not of joy but of horror because they told me they had to fight to bring me home because the program would not let me leave. They didnt want me to go but my parents by the grace of god wanted to bring me home so they finally did. I got into a normal high school the following Fall. It took so many months of getting the therapist to write a report that was accurate as he tried writing me a recommendation letter that suggested that I needed a therapeutic boarding school. My parents had to force him to change the letter or face legal action. The fact that the program lied to my parents about my progress in an effort to keep me there was either out of sheer malice or just to get more money. I'm not sure which one. I know they didn't like the fact that I knew ahead of time because I had a cellphone up until the moment they took it away posting on the internet about where I was incase anything happened. I pretty much signed off on alot of activities myself that I didn't want to do. I used someone elses materials to bust all of my coals. While 2 of the students were at testing I went into his kit and busted 3 which was reported into the blue journal which boosted my progress. When I heard I was going home I was so happy because I cannot tell you how traumatized this experience left me. The mental abuse suffering thru was not therapeutic. It did not help me in any way, if anything it made it worse. I wanted to expose them for so long but with these places its always the corporation against the person who was actually there. I am not crazy, I am not psychotic, I have ADD and the reason I was sent there was not drug related, it was because I was impulsive. I did not injure anyone, I did not commit a crime like the rest of the people in my group did. My parents told me they had a retreat where all the parents of the students met and talked about their kids and how my mom cried and turned to my dad and said "what have we sent our son to?" All these students were here for offenses like drug trafficking, and larceny, stealing cars, and it didnt compare to the trivial thing I did. There are stories that I could tell all day about the things that went on and how they would sound unbelievable but they are so true. I got in contact with one of the people who was in the program with me, and he told me he relapsed and was living on his own. I still have all of my journals and other things from the program where I wrote each day the things that I did. Oh and toothbrushes? If you didn't have a toothbrush you had to use your finger to brush your teeth :)
This place is a mess do not send your child here. I promise you it will be a nightmare.