ABM Ministries, Inc. is behavior modification facility located in Missouri .
It is suspected to be a revised version of Mountain Park Academy. This is based on:
- 1) That the parent handbook is an almost exact copy of the handbook used in the past.
- 2) That many of the staff members are the same.
They refer to their boarding school with the name Lighthouse Christian Academy (LCA).
Communication with home
The parents and approved family members can write letters to the detained teenager. The facility recommends one letter per week. Letter are being read by the staff, but they claim that they are not censored and parents should expect complaints about living standards and food.
Photos of the family sent to the detained teenager has to meet some standards, so the family are recommended to dress speical and formally in every picture sent to their relative.
From the parent manual :
Photographs that are sent to the student must meet LCA dress and appearance standards. Women must be modestly dressed. Tops and blouses must cover cleavage and have sleeves. Make-up must be minimal. Jewelry must be small and understated. Men must be dressed modestly in long pants and shirts. It is best that photos be limited to those of the family, which would include family pets.
After a period of 3 three weeks the detained teenager can have censored and time-limited phone calls with the family every 2 weeks, but school activities can make that period longer. The calls are timed. Only 10 minute are allowed. Birthsday calls are only allowed to be 1 minute. If the detained student has received a visit he or she will have to wait two weeks before the next phonecall.
If the detained teenagers complain about the facility or abuse, the parents are instructed to hang up.
The facility uses the Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) workbook curriculum provided by School of Tomorrow . School of Tomorrow requries that just one person in an entire school be "certified" to use the curriculum. This certification is NOT from any state agency. It is issued by School of Tomorrow. This enables schools to use the curriculum without having any certified teachers by the State.
On page 15 in the handbook it is stated that the State of Missouri does not accept the diplomas from the facility.
According to the parent handbook, the most used discipline meassure is verbal guidance.
However loss of entertainment privileges such as movies, special treats or seconds of treats, free time, and freedom of campus movement is mentioned in the parent handbook.
The detained teenagers may be required to sit in a designated location upon a chair designated as the "baby chair." The writing of lines referencing the offense may also be administered.
Dealing with more serious problems
Minor discipline problems that occur in the Learning Center are handled by the Learning Center Supervisor. (The staff member guarding the room).
Other problems are referred to the administration, which may impose some form of discipline or corrective action.
A certain sentence in the parent handbook raises concern:
Before enrolling a student, parents are expected to sign a statement indicating that they have read, understand and agree to have their child governed by all policies, rules and regulations of the academy and to have corporal discipline administered to their child in accordance to those rules.