Thayer learning center:

survivors’ stories


The following messages were sent to me from Bob and Christina.  They detail rape, sexual abuse, slave labor, filthy and neglectful conditions, abusive physical punishment, malnutrition (poor food conditions), lack of appropriate medical care, week-long isolation as punishment (defined by the United Nations Treaty on Human Rights as Torture), and a “level system” that begins with “bootcamp” and ends when you go home, with levels such as “junior staff” in between. They detail that staff are not even college graduates and are barely older than the kids being treated.  Please read on...




Bob would like for anyone who was friends with him at Thayer who reads this to contact him and would also like to be contacted by anyone in regards to filing a joint lawsuit against Thayer.  You may contact “Bob” at


Yeah, you can post my messages.  I remember like July 2, kids tried to run away and they got put in isolation staring in the corner standing up 4 a long long time then once in a while they got to sit in a chair. Sometimes we would sneak to talk to them but sometimes we didn’t because the sergeant was looking but anyways after they got out of isolation (it was a week) (the only thing they did when the got out of a corner was take a shower or go to eat which they stared in a corner too)for a week straight they had to crawl in the sand for an hour(during physical training) and had to do 100 push ups every  hour.  Anyways our showers in bootcamp are only 1 minute and the girls are 3 minutes.(this might of changed I been gone from there (4 about 4 months) and when we become residents which is after bootcamp(usually 90 days)we get 3 minute showers but sometimes some people take showers longer so we only get a minute and if we go over our bed time in showers we get fined.  Getting fined means if you go over a certain limit you go back to bootcamp.  I remember there was this kid who really had no friends(you must have friends if you wanna be successful in the program you depend on them) and he got fined 600 dollars(we only get 130 a month) which meant he’d be back in bootcamp for a month.  What he did was sometimes he would be singing while we were supposed to be in line at attention(staying still heads straight forward) and anyways the sergeants like whose singing and everyones like BAREKMAN.  So he gets fined a 100 dollars. 


Anyways then later when were supposed to be cleaning our room up hes laying on his bed and the sergeant screams at him and fines him (only like 10 dollars cause thats what sargent can do only) anyways in his shift notes the sergeant writes that and young Barekman(13) gets to see the director and she gives him a 100 dollar fine for disrespecting her and another 100 for the sergeant. Anyways then a new resident (who ran away in July) starts playfully hitting Barekman so Barekman pushes Slade(whose dad owns a real estate thing in New Mexico and is a millionare) and I fall down trying to get somebody fined (everyone wants to get Barekman down in bootcamp cause he’s so annoying)and slade gets 75 dollars and Barekman gets 125( I think). Then a couple days later Barekman in school he starts piecing back a letter that junior staff Morris(a girl)(junior staff is the next step to home, more privileges you can walk around freely and you work with the sergeants) tore up and I tell the 12 year old Hayes who snitches about everything and he tells drill sergeant Bundy and Barekman gets 300$ fine. 


Anyways we used to have good food back in the summer(the cooks are 4 girls who dress up like the Amish) now 4 breakfast about 6 times a week we have wheat cereal.  I talked to a former sergeant like last month at (who left and the Bundy’s started harassing him) and he said the wheat we were eating was the raw wheat the Bundy’s found when the bought the place.(Willa Bundy says she has 30 years of experience yet she is only 40)the only thing they add to the wheat is fruit.  Also we get muffins most of the time which ARE SO GOOD and we mix up with milk and it tastes so good.  I remember one week this one kid who loves to eat (he isn’t fat though) put in his letter to his mom there not giving us enough food and we got muffins taken away 4 a week.  Anyways kids who can do better athletically get treated better and when they mess up bad they don’t get treated as bad as the rest.  We don’t get to watch TV or listen to radio all we get is classical music.  Before I left I heard they were getting a playstation 2 and cable tv but I don’t know, you would probably have to pay for it which not many would have the money.  I would like to contact some of the former students that were there and some that are probably still there, I know there names and some of there parents name and where they live but I don’t now how to get in touch, maybe you can help. 


Anyways in August some kid named Stephen C. faked a heart attack during the night and the security took him up to the classroom he jumped out the window and ran through the night got away for about 20 miles asking directions along the way and then he got caught a few hours after we woke up.  Then he wouldn’t do any exercises or anything so he got supposedly sent to Mexico where you sleep on a hill so you wake up with a headache. Anyways the night before I went home, all the residents and junior staff went to the park to play basketball and we got to eat stuff at the park anyways we went again later that night and we were honored for work at the park(like months before I came other kids laid down concrete which I think the Bundy’s were being paid by the people to do it) and anyways we got even more food and it was good.  The next morning I left and never got to say goodbye (the security guard woke me up and told me to get everything and come with him. They say you don’t get to say goodbye because they don’t want to take your mind off but they know your gone so it does(I think its so the parents can’t join up together for a lawsuit) and give them your number so you can talk (they ask you if you have anybody’s phone number but they usually check but they were in a hurry with me so they didn’t).


Anyways I read the contract in the booklet they send and the first pages are pure lies it says the things the kids might say in there letters and why but what we say in them are true.  Also in the contract it says the parents shall pay for hair cuts which they shave our heads bald in bootcamp and in residency on a family visit you either go to a barber or get it cut by another student.  Also in the contract I THINK (too many big words 4 me to understand) they are not liable for the staffs actions(they hire college students as sergeants and I don’t think they do background checks.  I remember in bootcamp( I never peed my pants though) lots of kids do but some were scared to tell the sergeants so they changed clothes real quick and put the others in there bin so it smelled real bad, also back then BAREKMAN used to pee his pants a lot and one time before we were going to sleep they let him take a quick shower also.  I remember when this 17 year old Mike S. came he passed out from running and then he started punching and fighting the sergeant then he got knocked out and the sergeant punched something into his chest and there’s a big old red mark which was there to the day he left (9/11 his birthday) and he probably still has it.  Anyways he got isolation watching and listening to "motivational tapes" and we got a "party"(exercise in the middle of the nite) which lasted an hour and we had to go to sleep in our sweaty clothes.  In bootcamp they have us listening to motivational tape(10 highly successful habits of mother nature or something like that) and on Sundays we watch G rated movies so I guess you can say we are being brainwashed into being "kids". 


Anyways most of this probably has changed since they got a SERGEANT MAJOR (a very high rank in air force)(he can speak 30 languages)(he probably went to college)(he’s real big 220 pounds 6 feet(I once went to the doctor because of recurring allergies as a resident and he drove us and other kids that were sick and he told me his weight and stuff he’s real cool)(I think the allergies were because of Missouri in bootcamp we sleep in an old auditorium basement and we sleep in sleeping bags and we clean everything but dust and bugs keep coming back, I remember when a bat came through the window it went in and it got caught in the fans and we saw it get chopped up.  Anyways in residency we sleep on bunk beds and the air is real nice but sometimes well we use a lot of cleaning stuff and sometimes there’s kids drinking bleach and spraying others cause I got sprayed in the eyes and it hurts and other kids doing stuff to get high let me remind you. There’s usually only 1 sergeant and 20 kids.  I remember we were playing a "game" where we were putting each other in headlocks and I passed out for about a second and it felt weird we did this 4 a 10 minute period while the sergeant was around) anyways back to sergeant major anyways I hear that he was bringing chairs when we listen to tapes in bootcamp because we usually in bootcamp listen to tapes on our rolled up sleeping bags and he was gonna have bootcamp playing volleyball and stuff.  Now when I was leaving they were setting up another "gym" which might be for bootcamp or to play basketball (the only sport we played is football in residency) and the gym was supposed to be finished by Dec 1st. 


Also we, the residents, were picking weeds out of the ball field(they used to play baseball back in June but they let it weed up) and anyways it hurt our hands cause we weren’t wearing gloves and if we’d stop to take a break we’d get fined.  In bootcamp we’d have smoke sessions and we’d all talk about which one was the hardest.  I remember we were having one in July, it was REAL HOT and we were doing bear crawls(on all 4s running through the grass) there and back and then every 10 minutes we’d switch and the other squad would run on the track, and this lasted 4 about 2 hours and I’d say we ran 4 miles and we only got 3 water breaks through the whole thing.  Also everybody got boils on our backs legs and other stuff from the spiders there and we hardly got medical attention (I still have the BUMP of a spider bite boil on my back).  I’ve been typing for an hour and I’m very tired so I might of forgot some.




Christina invites those who were friends with her at Thayer to e-mail her at  Here is her story:


Hi my name is Christina.  I saw your website and wanted to contact you.  I was a victim at Thayer Learning Center.  I’d like you to post my story on your website to warn and help parents.  There are many irresponsible and horrible acts, and there is so many I can only write a few.


First of all we live in poor conditions, insects everywhere, dust, among other things.  It is pure filth, mainly because we clean the rooms ourselves.  We do eat good food though but have to do alot of hard hard work.  We basically clean all around and exercise excessively all day.  There are some crooked and some cool/helpful sergeants.  I do not believe they run background checks on these guys or they are really military sergeants, just regular people.  There was about 2-3 male sergeants that forced us to perform oral sex on them daily (a few girls not all) and 1 raped us.  I now have an STD.  I left when I turned 18.  For no reason no lawyer will believe me or think my case has a chance.  I’m on meds daily to treat my STD and am just looking for compensation to help my grief/suffering/pain.  I’d also like to spread the word about how bad this place is.  The reason they don’t let you talk to your kids in bootcamp is because its so bad.  I never got to be a "resident" but one came down to bootcamp because she gave a sergeant the middle finger after the sergeant was yelling at her for not getting a spot off the wall.  She was down in bootcamp for a month.  Now I think she’s still there and she’s still there til she passes the 9th grade.  Also I once heard a sergeant over in the males(which were not allowed to see/speak too) "dorm" say what’s up numbnuts, and I heard an "ooh".  I think this was because a sergeant kicked a male cadet in the testicles.  One sergeant groped our breasts all the time with the owner watching.  The sergeant was still there until the day I left.  When I first got there, I was forced in the "sandpit" to run and do pushups and "sound off"(scream yes sir) and do jumping jacks until I passed out.  I’m glad I left Thayer alive.  The reason I was there was because I was framed at school with a packet of marijuana in my locker.  The principal (who I believe does business with Thayer) quickly recommended Ii be sent to Thayer.  My parents sent me there.  Please parents don’t send your kids there.





(Webmaster Note: It is not unreasonable for Christina to believe that there was a conspiracy on the part of Thayer and her principal.  These programs offer referral fees to psychiatrists, principals, parents, psychologists, and anyone else who successfully refers a child to their programs.  The referral fees can be up into the thousands.  It’s a sick cycle of abuse and greed.  Don’t send your child to one of these programs.  The authorities are in it to make money, not to help your child.  Be responsible and love your children enough to protect them from harm.)