Midwest Academy in Iowa sounds like a house of hell and torture. Now under investigation by the FBI for what former students call “isolation boxes”, where punishment was meeted out, sometime for days, to straighten wayward up teens up. Now released from this prison, students are speaking out.
Six former students of the Midwest Academy in Keokuk, Iowa describe the isolation chamber which was like prison cells. The rooms in which the students were kept for punishment used to be filled with sounds of students screaming and motivational recordings piped in through the speakers. All of this was under the close watch of surveillance cameras, they said.
The school was able to go undetected for quite a long time, as it was privately funded and did not require a license to operate.
The school was a privately funded school that was being run without state ordered placements. The school didn’t require a license to operate and was otherwise unregulated. “It flew under the radar,” said Drake University professor Jerry Foxhoven, an Iowa juvenile law expert. He said that he had never heard about the program before, according to ABC News.
Twenty-year-old Sarah Wilson was placed in isolation on her very first day because she would not remove her belly button ring. She said, Sarah Wilson, 20, of Rock Island Illinois said she decided she would never return to that hell of a place after she was placed in an isolation chamber on her first day for refusing to take out a belly button ring. “I knew I would lose my mind in there.”
Another student Lauren Snyder, 17, of Springfield, Missouri, remembers begging to get out of the isolation chamber the previous year. This agitated the employee and prompted him to turn the audio recordings up so loud that the speakers blew out and were making a screeching noise.
“It was complete hell,” says Snyder. She recalls that she was so frustrated that she eventually attempted suicide by tying a sock around her neck. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital the next day for her attempt.
“That is the worst I’ve ever been treated,” says Shaun McCarthy, 19, of Avoca, Iowa, who says he was lucky to be placed in isolation chamber only twice during his stay. “It’s not humane,” he says.
How rebellious does one's child have to be, to send them to such a hellish school? It seems that these parents did not do their due diligence to make certain that place where they were entrusting the lives of their children was what it claimed to be. Perhaps the kids were “wayward” because their parents failed at their job, evident they failed in their research of Midwest Academy.