Last Friday I outed myself as a reform school girl in an interview with Raw Story. They were interested in Escuela Caribe, because in January Kidnapped for Christ, a documentary about Escuela Caribe, will premiere at Sundance.
Until now, most of my friends didn’t know I went to reform school. It’s awkward to share, and shameful, because if you say you went to reform school, people assume you did something wrong. Assumptions are more loaded if you are a girl. So different from the reality- I was a normal teen born into a dysfunctional evangelical family. When things got bad, I became my family’s identified patient and got shipped.
I think the whole shaming sensation (which I would image the majority of we alumni- of any program- not just Escuela Caribe-feel) is why programs like these, which have been on the rise since the 70’s with Syanon, have been allowed to abuse kids unchecked.
The reactions to the Raw Story piece, which has been distributed widely, have been positive. My friends, once they got past the surprise, have been incredibly supportive. People I don’t even know have been outraged, which is validating for all of us alumni, not just me. I’m hoping that this outrage, banked by Kidnapped for Christ and eventually Unreformed, translates into legislation to protect kids from being sent to these programs. Also thrilling- people are interested in reading Unreformed.