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Stranger than Fiction: School Used Lap Dance Therapy

When you think of activities to help the emotional growth of teens with behavior troubles or special learning needs, lap dances would probably be the last thing you'd think of.

But that's exactly what the staff at Mount Bachelor Academy came up with, and they forced students to undergo lap dance therapy as a part of their "emotional growth" curriculum. The boarding school was shutdown after students accused the staff of employing this dubious therapy, and a seven-month state investigation has just confirmed the allegations.

According to the report, the school's "Lifesteps" seminars made students take on sexualized roles and perform in front of staff and students. One girl, who had been raped before going to the school, was forced to dress as a French maid and perform a lap dance. (Who thought this was a good idea?!)

Oregon's Department of Human Services says the school poses "a serious danger to child safety." Whenever I hear these horror stories about reform schools, I wonder: did anyone ever check to see if the people allowed to run them for so long needed some reform themselves?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
SKG - that's great about your artwork! Love the new pic too! Keep us updated on how that contect goes. This is horrible and disgusting! How can you expect to help someone heal emotionally and mentally by humiliating them in this fashion. SKG - that Michael Moore piece - did it talk about the judge in Northeastern PA that was taking bribes to send children to juvenile reform schools? He got caught this spring. I remember thinking - wtf? kids who may not have done anything were being sent to these reform schools all because the schools were lining the judge's pockets so he'd send more kids there. Awful!
babyjane3 babyjane3 7 years
Gosh, thats terrible. that could actually cause more damage than heal the situation.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
Anonymous, works most of the time? If it's getting shut down, obviously it's doing more damage than good. As a teacher and normal a*s human being, this is repulsive. You are not allowing children to "heal" or to become rehabilitated by making them do humiliating things in a school setting. That is going to be traumatizing, because stuff like this is not supposed to happen. We need kids to trust their teachers, no matter what kind of school it is. If the kids don't trust you, that says a lot -- especially since they are under your supervision most of their day. I can see how some would think this is a good idea - I mean, hey...some of the girls could have been whores, and they are trying to humiliate them because of what they did, and in turn, the girls learn to be ashamed of their behavior. That is totally wrong, in my opinion and not foolproof. You can actually make these teens afraid of ever doing anything sexual again. I care very much about my students, and would never humiliate them in any way. How you can do this to kids and watch it, is absolutely disgusting.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
I went to another school owned by Aspen Education, and I know some people who had gone to Mount Bachelor (and Sagewalk and dozens of other programs). None of this lap dance business happened, but a lot of the other things mentioned in the article did. I have a ton of thoughts regarding the "troubled teen industry", but to answer Très' question, a lot of the people working at these places ABSOLUTELY need reform, more oversight and more regulation. Like the article touched on, very few people at these places are actual mental health professionals. The vast majority of employees who deal with the students everyday (other than the teachers) are generally in their 20s and have just graduated from college with any major very vaguely related to social work (and in a program I was in very briefly, most of the staff only had a high school education). They are not qualified to be entirely in charge of groups of strong willed teens in a setting that is very isolated. Things can start to go bad so easily, and no one is around to properly monitor the situation. Even if students complain, no one wants to believe them because they are "troubled" and must be lying. I'm glad the state of Oregon investigated this matter, but sadly most of these schools are in Utah, Montana and Idaho, and those states have much fewer regulations over schools like this and frankly don't seem to give a rats ass about making sure that these "horrible troubled teens" are safe.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 7 years
I agree with everyone, that this is really damaging, but what is more shocking is the 75k a year price for this school, and that the district reimburses the parents. Worse, the staff one has one mental health professional on it. I do however, think that the wilderness program is great, despite the death
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
CONGRATULATIONS that is such a great opportunity!!! keep me posted that is so exciting for you
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
lol SKG :) (like the new pic)
cko444 cko444 7 years
OMG...And "Mount Bachelor"...SERIOUSLY???! WORSE than fiction.
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