Pennsylvania reform school to lay off about 250 amid abuse allegations |

Pennsylvania reform school to lay off about 250 amid abuse allegations

Associated Press
Glen Mills Schools in Glen Mills, Pa., is the oldest reform school in the United States.

PHILADELPHIA — The oldest reform school in the country has announced plans to lay off about 250 staff members at the Pennsylvania campus amid multiple state probes into allegations of child abuse.

Glen Mills Schools spokeswoman Aimee Tysarczyk said the school and its board of managers made what she called “the difficult decision” to begin layoffs. She said 80 people from various departments were notified Tuesday and more layoffs are to continue this week.

The statement said many had “tirelessly served the school for decades” and lauded their commitment to Glen Mills’ mission and “helping to pave the way to a new path in life for countless young men.”

State officials last week ordered an “emergency removal” of all children after an investigation by The Philadelphia Inquirer detailed decades of alleged abuse and cover-ups at the Delaware County campus about 25 miles west of Philadelphia.

Gov. Tom Wolf ordered a review of allegations of abuse last month. Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller urged any former students, families or staff with information to come forward so officials can “understand the full scope of incidents and mistreatment that occurred at this school.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer investigation published last month described a culture of physical abuse at the school and alleged that school leaders turned a blind eye to beatings and failed to vet or train counselors. In the last five years, at least 13 staffers at Glen Mills have been fired and dozens more have been retrained or reprimanded over assaults on 15 students at the school, the newspaper reported.

Glen Mills, established in 1826 as the Philadelphia House of Refuge, said it took the allegations very seriously and had “zero-tolerance for violent behaviors against students.” The school noted it is regulated and licensed each year, and staff deals with extremely challenging young people and are trained in handling potentially violent behaviors.

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.