Glen Mills Schools Abuse Allegations: Who’s Affected?
Are you a former student of the Glen Mills Schools who suffered from abuse while at the school? You may be able to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation.
On June 15, 2020, an official report was released by a Pennsylvania state auditor declaring that the Glen Mills Schools, a youth detention center for juvenile delinquents, violated state abuse laws.
According to Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s audit report, the Glen Mills Schools “failed to comply with the Child Protective Services Law and also lacked policies and training related to reporting abuse, all of which put the safety and well-being of students at risk,” said DePasquale.
“If abuse is even suspected to have occurred, the law requires staff to report it immediately,” DePasquale said.
The performance audit period ran from July 1, 2017 to March 11, 2020.
The Glen Mills School scandal erupted over the treatment of its students after the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article in February 2019 alleging decades of abuse against students.
Since then, the school’s former director, nearly all of its staff, and all of its students have left the 193-year-old school. Students were removed under an emergency order from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, and 14 of the school’s licenses have been revoked.
In response, the school has been hit with a number of individual and class-action lawsuits. Hundreds of former students have come forward with allegations of sexual assault, rape, physical abuse, and cover-ups of that abuse at the old institution.
If you were a student at the Glen Mills Schools in Pennsylvania and suffered from abuse at the hands of teachers, counselors, or other staff during your time there, you may be able to join this Glen Mills Schools abuse lawsuit investigation.
See if you qualify by filling out the form on this page.
What is the Glen Mills School?
The Glen Mills Schools, a privately run nonprofit youth detention center, is located near Glen Mills in Thornbury Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and is the oldest existing school of its kind in the U.S.
Boys between ages 12 and 21 are sent to the center, which is supposed to offer a “customized, world-class education” with its “tradition of excellence since 1826,” according to the school website.
According to the school’s website, it was founded in 1826 and was originally named the Philadelphia House of Refuge whose mission was to “continuously [provide] services to troubled youth.”
The school has reportedly had another, darker tradition for decades, according to a growing number of men and boys who are former students of the school now speaking out: routine abuse of students.
What is the Glen Mills Schools Abuse Investigation?
In February 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article about students at the Glen Mills Schools (which it refers to as having a reputation as “the Harvard of reform schools”) suffering from decades of abuse at the hands of the school’s own employees.
This sparked the Glen Mills School scandal, along with additional state scrutiny and revocation of its licenses. In addition, the school now faces a slew of lawsuits, along with an audit from the state auditor.
The auditor’s team covered the period from July 1, 2017 through March 11, 2020. Notably, this is just a small portion of the school’s history as well as a fraction of the period during which students have alleged abuse. The report includes three major findings:
- In some instances, Glen Mills failed to obtain proper clearances for its staff, contractors, and volunteers
- The school did not ensure that certain individuals at the school who came in contact with children actually received the required child abuse prevention/reporting training
- The avenues for students to report abuse were available, but may not have been adequately communicated
Outlined in the report, auditors found that some employees did not have proper background checks, some employees had background checks that listed offenses but the school kept them on anyway, without the required justification forms.
Furthermore, the audit makes 35 recommendations for the school’s reform, which it notes that school management has agreed to implement. While Glen Mills has reportedly begun addressing many of the issues noted in the report, the school has pushed back against certain findings, arguing that inadequate background checks were not evidence that students were potentially put in harm’s way. In response, the auditor noted that even a single inadequate vetting could increase the risk of harm against students.
How Many Cases of Glen Mills School Abuse Have Been Reported?
Hundreds of former students have reported suffering from abuse at the hands of teachers, counselors, and other staff at the Glen Mills school.
Claims of abuse range from broken bones to choking to sexual assault. Many of these claims have led to litigation.
One Glen Mills School lawsuit filed in a Pennsylvania federal court claims that Glen Mills Schools “have for a long period of time assaulted, mistreated, and otherwise abused children and young adults who were committed to that facility as a result of adjudications in juvenile courts, or who were otherwise at risk and placed there for treatment and educational purposes.” The complaint continues to state that school abuse “has occurred on a routine and systematic basis.”
As a center that is meant to offer refuge and aid to at-risk students, the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania writes that the School has “shown a reckless disregard and deliberate indifference to the widespread violations of [Plaintiffs’] rights, despite being aware for decades of the conduct . . . including the physical assaults and abuse, and the corresponding lack of protection for Plaintiffs and the children residing at the School.”
Other lawsuits echo the “culture of violence” and allegations of abuse against Glen Mills School, and students and alumni are coming forward with their testimonies in search for justice.
Glen Mills School Scandal: Did the School Cover Up the Abuse?
According to a growing number of claims, the Glen Mills School actively covered up the abuse against its students for years.
The February 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer report noted that “serious violence is both an everyday occurrence and an open secret at Glen Mills, and has been for decades.”
Internal documents, court records, incident reports, and dozens of interviews with students, staff, and more indicate that the school’s leadership ignored abuse within the school’s walls and also failing to properly vet or train the school counselors, the Inquirer said.
Another concerning commonality between cases of abuse is that when families tried to report, the school staff would leverage the school’s prestige against them, saying that if students complain, they’ll be transferred to a state-run facility “with boys who are mentally ill or have committed sex offenses,” the Inquirer reported.
Staffers reportedly threatened boys with longer sentences, or even hid students until the evidence of abuse (bruises, etc.) disappeared.
Read more: Did Glen Mills School Cover Up Child Abuse?
What are the Long Term Effects of Abuse?
Abuse can have a number of long-term effects, both physical and psychological.
Beyond the initial injuries, physical abuse can lead to long-term problems like diabetes, lung disease, malnutrition, high blood pressure, brain damage, and more.
Long-term psychological consequences can include poor mental and emotional health, difficulty with attachment and social skills, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Have any Glen Mills School Lawsuits Been Filed?
So far, hundreds of former students at the school have filed lawsuits against it over allegations of rape, physical abuse, and cover-ups. Indeed, nearly 800 men and boys have already begun pursuing litigation over abuse they allege occurred during their time at Glen Mills, filing individual and class action lawsuits.
What Damages Can You Claim from a Glen Mills School Lawsuit?
There are a number of damages that survivors of abuse at Glen Mills can claim, including physical, emotional, and mental damages. The effects of child abuse, unfortunately, can last for years or even an entire lifetime. Survivors deserve compensation, and also to have their pain acknowledged. Glen Mills School lawsuits have been filed over violations of the Constitution, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and more.
Join a Glen Mills Schools Abuse Lawsuit Investigation
School abuse and violations of state abuse laws are not to be tolerated and can cause long-term trauma, both physically and mentally, for victims especially of younger ages.
If you are a former student of the Glen Mills Schools and were abused during your time there by a teacher, counselor, or other staff member, seek justice and more by joining this Glen Mills Schools Abuse Lawsuit Investigation.
The qualified attorneys that work with Top Class Actions are highly experienced in filing both class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits, and can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Fill out the form on this page to see if you qualify.
Join a Free Glen Mills Schools Abuse Lawsuit Investigation
If you qualify, an attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your potential case at no charge to you.
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