Students ordered removed as probe into violence at reform school deepens
State officials Monday ordered the remaining students at a Delaware County reform school removed immediately as a probe into decades of allegations of violence and abuse against students at the Glen Mills School deepened.
Glen Mills, the nation’s oldest school for delinquent boys, once housed more than 600 youth, aged 14-19, on its sprawling 800-acre campus outside of Philadelphia
Monday’s order barred future admissions, as the investigation continues.
As of April 2018, 413 boys from around the country were enrolled at the residential facility. Monday, 64 students remained at Glen Mills — 43 from eight other states and 21 from Pennsylvania, including one from Allegheny County.
Founded in 1826 as the Philadelphia House of Refuge, Glen Mills, a private-nonprofit facility, banners its program as being based on a Balanced and Restorative Justice model.
Juvenile courts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere began removing teens from Glen Mills earlier this year after a Philadelphia Inquirer investigation detailed allegations students there had been beaten, mistreated and silenced through intimidation for years.
School officials consistently denied those allegations.
Officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services’ Office of Children, Youth and Families previously notified counties, states and judicial systems with children at Glen Mills of Monday’s pending emergency order and offered to work with them to relocate the students as quickly as possible.
Teresa Miller, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, said the latest move was an effort to “ensure that no more children are at risk of physical and emotional harm.”
“This removal is one step of an ongoing process, and DHS is committed to seeing this investigation through to ensure that any individual responsible for endangering the welfare of children and coercing silence can be held responsible. As this investigation continues, it is important that we understand the full scope of incidents and mistreatment that occurred at this school. I encourage any former students or their families, Glen Mills staff, or anyone else to share their story,” Miller said in a statement announcing the emergency relocation order.
Individuals looking to report potential emotional or physical abuse, mistreatment, intimidation or coercion should contact Pennsylvania’s ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313.
Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .