DECLARATION UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY
PURSUANT TO 28 USCA 1746
I PHILIP E. DIPAOLO 5th, declare
and state as follows:
1. I am 16 years old and
capable of testifying to the statements made in this Declaration.
2. I was sent to Carolina
Springs Academy (ďCSAĒ) February 2004 through May 2004 because my
grandparents could not make me behave and I was doing bad in school
with my grades and behavior.
3. Upper level kids (levels
4 and 5) were allowed to supervise and discipline lower level kids
(levels 1 through 4) during my entire stay at CSA except for 2 weeks
when most of the upper level kids were demoted to lower level status
when they were caught smoking cigarettes. Because the program could
not operate without the help of the upper level kids, they were
promoted back up to upper level status within two weeks.
4. Upper level status kids
were allowed to:
A. Talk to one
another and to lower level kids without permission;
C. Supervise and
discipline lower level kids;
D. Participate in
activities that lower level kids were not allowed to participate in;
E. Sit on
F. Ride horses;
Deliver/inflict punishment on lower level kids;
H. Antagonize and
snitch on lower level kids to get them into trouble to gain more
points in order to retain their upper level status;
in physical abuse on lower level kids in OP;
unsupervised contact with upper level girls;
K. Get seconds
L. Use the
bathroom without permission.
5. While I was at CSA, I
personally experienced and witnessed that lower level kids, meaning
under level 4:
A. Were supervised and disciplined by upper level kids;
B. Had to ask staff or upper level kids for permission to
talk to or look at other lower level kids;
C. Received Code 3 Infractions by staff and upper level kids
for talking to one another without permission;
D. Were forced to
write thousands of words on worksheets as punishment;
E. Were forced
to spend the majority of our day sitting on the hard, cold, tile
floor in our dorm, reading or listening to inspirational tapes or
F. Had to look at the floor while we listened to tapes and
we were never allowed to talk to or look at one another without
G. If staff or upper level kids did let us talk, they
listened to and monitored everything we said;
H. Had to ask upper level kids or staff for
permission to talk;
I. Had to ask upper level kids or staff for permission to
use the bathroom;
J. Were sent to OP by staff and upper level kids even when
their behavior did not warrant being sent to OP.
6. On most days we got up at
6:00 a.m., got dressed, made our beds, and cleaned our area; during
this time either staff or upper level kids supervised us. Once they
approved that our areas were clean, we were allowed to go to
breakfast. If they did not approve we missed breakfast. We sat on a
hard, cold, tile floor in our dorm reading and listening to
inspirational tapes for hours every day. During that time we were
not allowed to look at or talk to one another. We were forced to
look at the floor when we listened to tapes; we went outside to PE
for about 50 minutes; we showered; again we sat on the dorm floor
listening to tapes; then we went to bed. During the times we were in
school, eating, and sitting on the floor, which was most of the
time, we were not allowed to talk, look at one another, or move
around at will. When we went to bed we were not allowed to talk.
7. CSA claims to provide fun
activities for kids. I personally never saw anyone ride a horse. I
never saw the fishing hole. I never went to water slides. I never
went bowling, to church away from the facility, swimming, boating,
hiking, or to the movies. The only fun time we had was when we went
outside for PE, and we only got to do that if everyone was good. On
Sundays we watched movies. When I first got there Sundays were good
because they let us watch newer run movies. But within three weeks
they started taking the good movies away. For the rest of the time
that I was there we had to watch three old-run movies over and over,
and educational videos.
8. CSA advertised that they
had horseback riding for the kids, but the only kids who got to ride
were upper level kids and then they had to pay to ride the horses.
They got to go out in the morning after breakfast. I never
personally saw them ride a horse.
9. New kids tried to run
away sometimes so CSA uses that as the excuse not to let people talk
to one another. One kid did run away and got to a larger city. He
called his mom to let her know how horrible the conditions were
there and for her to come and get him. Instead, she had believed
everything the staff members said and she had him returned to
Carolina Springs. When he got back they put him in OP and for a
couple of hours. He was blue from the cold when they brought him
back from OP. He was then threatened that he would be sent to
Jamaica if he tried to run away again. Staff told us Carolina
Springs was like a 5 star hotel compared to Jamaica.
12. We had PE after dinner
several days a week. The only time lower level kids were able to
talk to one another was when we were playing basketball during PE.
There were too many people for staff or upper level children to
control what everyone said. If kids were caught talking to one
another by staff or upper level kids, they would break it up
immediately and get very suspicious. If they caught us talking, we
got a category 3 Violation which was a major rule violation, losing
points and writing worksheets.
14. At bedtime there is
always a staff member or upper level kid in the room watching the
kids sleep. They sit on a couch and can see all of the beds. They
leave a light on all night long. They had fans with one light bulb
turned on which made it hard to sleep. Sometimes I had to put the
pillow over my head. They told the kids it was a safety hazard so
they can see if a kid tries to run away.
15. Upper level kids look
for kids breaking the rules and then snitch on them.
16. One kid was involved in
a confrontation with staff and he had to go OP (observation
placement.) Sometimes in OP they used restraints where they held
kids down. The OP building is a small skinny building next to the
boysí dorm and near the basketball hoop. The other small room out
there is the worksheet room where kids had to write thousands of
words as punishment. The reason he was sent to OP was because they
said he was having a bad attitude and that he was being defiant. He
was out there for an hour and a half to two hours. We didnít hear
the guys scream, just the girls, but when he came out his eyes were
bloodshot and red and his nose was bleeding. He looked like he had
just come back from a bad fight. I believe he had bruises on his
arms as well. When kids get sent to OP they are usually out there
for an hour or more with upper level kids or with staff giving them
their punishment. I found that staff would get upper level kids to
be mean to lower level kids.
17. When someone attempts
suicide they are brought back down to level 1 and lose all of their
levels and points. I didnít hear of any guys trying to kill
themselves while I was there but girls did. Staff would let us know
they tried to kill themselves but they would never tell us what
their names were. Sometimes upper level kids would hear what
happened from other upper level kids or from staff and then would
spread it around so we could find out.
18. Once boys reach upper
levels they are allowed to meet with the girls. The girls would tell
them what was going on like suicide attempts. The guys would then
tell lower level guys. The upper level boys were able to see the
upper level girls once or twice a week. The only time lower level
kids got to see girls was at church and seminars.
19. Basically we went to
school for a few hours a day but it was not really like school.
Basically, you got a few textbooks, some workbooks, and you were on
your own doing independent study. There were tutors there but you
had to sign up to talk to them. Most of the time they were not
available to talk to you and you were lucky to get 10 minutes a week
20. Upper level kids have a
different bedroom and they have more privileges. They are allowed to
sit on the couch and sleep in their own separate bedroom downstairs.
They were able to supervise the lower level kids. Upper level boys
were able to get away with things for the first month and a half
that I was there. Then they got into trouble and all of them got
dropped. They hired new staff members. All three rooms became equal
instead of having the downstairs at upper status. Once they all got
dropped for smoking a cigarette and Earl got sent to Jamaica they
lost their upper level status. Activities for upper level boys with
upper level girls Ė watched movies, went to church nearby, got to
have food, play basketball, fun things like that. 15 kids were
downstairs at night supervising themselves. Some were upstairs
supervising kids when staff was out of the room.
21. Some of the kids come from
rich families and they have lots of material things. They take
everything away from them and make them earn things back. They had
lock boxes, their own personal boxes with food, and personal
belongings. When they were dropped they lost their boxes and lost
their shoelaces. You could not have shoe laces until level 3 because
they thought you couldnít run as fast. If you were a run threat they
would take all your clothes away. They made you strip down to your
boxers and had someone watch you all night. They took your shoes and
youíd have to walk around barefooted. The floor was dirty even
though we cleaned it every day. We had to sit on the dirty floor
every day because there was mud and dirt on it.
22. OP is a small building
with an air conditioner that they never turn on. There are two
little booths to sit in. They made kids stay out there until they
felt you were ready to come back. One kid was sent out to OP for
sitting on a couch. He was punished for ďrefusingĒ and then when the
upper level kids were trying to get him to get up he put his hand
up. They thought he was getting physical so they physically drug him
out to OP. He said they made fun of him while he was out there and
antagonizing him (the upper levels.) They mentally were messing with
his head to try to get him to do something wrong so they could
physically harm him. I didnít feel he did anything to deserve the
treatment he got.
23. I heard girls screaming
out at the OP room all the time. The girls dorm was far from OP and
they could also hear the girls screaming. When you were in OP had to
look straight forward, hands folded, eyes looking forward and if you
move they put their knee in your back or hurt you in other ways.
24. One boy, Anthony Earl, had
been at Carolina Springs for years and was sent to Jamaica. We were
told his mother wanted him sent there.
25. There was a boy, Darren
Lamaster, who was sent to Carolina Springs because he had molested
children. They put him in a room full of kids. After a while, he was
dropped for doing something wrong and was sent back to jail.
26. The only extracurricular
activity at Carolina Springs was a chorus group. The chorus teacher,
Mr. Roger Mullikin, was weird but seemed nice enough. He took kids
off site to places like rest homes.
27. When parents came to tour
the facility we were told by staff to lie to them and to tell them
that we were having a good time and that the program was helping us.
Most of the parents who toured the facility never left their child
there. The only ones who did were my grandparents and another boy
who went to military school. He told his parents how bad the program
was and they believed him.
28. I never made level 2 the
whole time I was there so I was always level 1 and never had any
privileges. The reason I could not make it to level 2 was that I
couldnít follow the many rules. You had to earn points to reach
upper level status. Every time I would get enough points to almost
reach level 2 something would happen and I would lose points so that
I could never achieve level 2. They took points away just for
talking and the smallest things. I finally lost enthusiasm. The
school was moved to a two-sided trailer and the old school building
was turned into a girls' dorm because there were so many new girls
coming from the overseas programs that were being shut down because
of child abuse. Every week they got more kids and there were about
140 girls when I left. The classroom was very crammed packed with
kids because of the kids that were coming from the overseas
29. Carolina Springs felt like
an institution instead of a school or program to help kids. In the
dorm you could only hang up one or two small pictures on the wall by
your bed but thatís it. The room was very overcrowded and the beds
were very close together because there were too many kids for the
size of the buildings. The floor area was open and all the beds are
pushed up against the wall. You have to sit all day on the floor on
the hard tile. It was really cold. I had to go help bring a bed into
their bedroom once and it was really crowded and they were very
close together. Brochures made Carolina Springs look like it was a
great place. There was no fishing in the pond that I ever saw. The
library was very small and I never even went to the other buildings.
All we were allowed to do was go to the cafeteria to eat, the
classroom, our dorm room, and outside for PE three times a week if
we were lucky. And of course you went to OP if you got in trouble.
But they never took us on walks or to do anything fun. Most parents
donít come to visit before they send their son or daughter there.
One time a lady did come to visit and she withdrew her daughter
30. The only fun thing we did
was when we got to play basketball and once in a while when we got
to watch a movie. Towards the end we only had three movies left that
they would make us watch over and over again. Indiana Jones, Gone in
60 Seconds, and I canít recall the third one.
22. I was always cold at night
and it was freezing in the morning. You got only the blanket you
brought when you came. Even though they knew we were cold they would
run the air conditioners all the time in our dorm so we were
constantly cold. The air conditioner was kind you could turn off at
the wall but staff wouldnít let us. They had their nice sweaters and
pants and we were in our shorts and t-shirts.
23. As far as laundry, if
something wasnít clean we still had to wear it. During school we
wore kakis. Then after school they made us change into sweatsuits
and if they were not clean they made us wear dirty ones that were
sweaty from PE. We always had to wear green. We did our own laundry
and we did our own cleaning. There was only one washing machine that
was working and only two dryers. They had two kitchen staff ladies
who came three days on, four days off and rotated. They had a cook
and the food was almost always bad. We were never allowed behind the
counter in the kitchen because they didnít want us eating more than
they wanted us to. We were hungry most of the time. The food was
very unhealthy and full of grease. The girls were all fat from the
unhealthy and fatty food. The girls were not allowed to go back to
seconds, but boys who were upper levels could go back for 2nd
23. I am going to discuss some
of the different staff members and what I remember about them:
A. Mr. Shawn is a church guy and preaches. I did not see him
B. Ms. Monica came and gave people pill, mostly
for ADD and ADHD. Then she would just leave.
C. Mr. Ron was OK
but he was never there to talk to.
D. Ms. Alisha was
not nice. Every time I saw her she was yelling at someone. I didnít
personally know her but from what I saw she looked very mean. She
never smiled just yelling at the kids.
E. Mr. Dan was
not very nice but at least he did not lie to your parents.
F. Mr. Ken lied
to parents and was mean. He would not talk to you, or he would leave
in the middle of the conversation. He lied to us about things our
parents said. He would mentally mess with our heads by telling us
lies. He lied to my grandparents and tried to convince them that I
was involved in drugs, which was not true. He told my grandparents
that I would soon be writing them hate letters, which I never did.
He kept trying to make me sound like I was a much worse kid than I
am and luckily for me my grandmother didnít fall for it.
G. Mr. Chris is
an old firefighter. He was mean and you could tell that he loved to
take people out to OP because he would do anything he could to push
our buttons so that we would be sent there. He would try to get you
as many corrections as he could. He would try to make you mad by
making fun of you in order to get you into trouble. He threatened
people to hurt them all the time but I never personally saw him do
that. I never did see what happened in the OP room so I donít know
if he did or did not hurt them physically.
H. Mr. Tony was
the one who took the kid out and gave him a bloody nose. His wife
was the director. He teased kids and picked on them and then
constantly told them that they were going to go to Jamaica if they
did anything wrong. He told us that the plane that took kids to
Jamaica had rainbows on it. He played a lot of mind games with
people. He was an old military guy and talked about old things he
used to do in the military. He told us that he would use those
things on us. It was obvious by his actions that he hated kids. He
was always trying to get us in trouble and he made fun of us all the
time, saying how stupid we were for being there in the first place.
Sometimes his three-year old daughter came to Carolina Springs and
he would not even want to take care of her. He would yell for his
wife to come get her. They brought her there once or twice a week.
I. Mr. Roger is
the chorus teacher. He seems like a strange person but I never saw
him do anything mean.
J. Mr. Billy was another OP
guy. He told us stories about taking kids to Jamaica. He told us
that one kid who was handcuffed while they were in a plane actually
flipped out of the plane to try to escape. Mr. Billly was one of the
people who escorted kids to Jamaica. When he was gone for a few days
or more we knew he had taken someone to Jamaica. While I was there I
remember four kids in three months being taken to Jamaica. None of
them ever came back. There were girls who went too but I am not sure
K. Ms. Sarah and Ms. Ros were teachers. They never stood up
and taught. You had to sign up for help. If you put your name on the
list you might not get to see someone for a day or two. We had books
and we had to take tests. We had to basically teach ourselves.
Mr. Ron Cooley
L. Mr. Cooley was the male staff advisor who lived
in the huge house behind the facility. He is the one who decides if
kids are going to be sent to Jamaica with Ms. Elaine. The only times
we ever saw him was when the group was acting up as a whole. He
would come and talk to the group only when there was something big
going on, so I rarely ever saw him.
M. Mr. Rich was mean too. He was good friends with Mr.
Cooley. He would go tell Mr. Cooley that you were a bad kid if he
got mad and Mr. Cooley would threaten to send kids to Jamaica. I
felt the Jamaica threat was real because I saw kids go there.
N. Mr. Rosco slammed a guy to the ground. The kid called him
a cuss word so he got up, picked up the kid, threw him on the
ground, and slammed him. He would restrain kids any way possible,
even in front of the other kids.
O. Mr. Kenny was a really big guy. One time he picked me up
by my arm and restrained me, ripping my shirt. The reason he did
this was because I had been talking to Mr. Ken. Right in the middle
of our conversation, Mr. Ken just got up and walked away. I started
to follow him to finish my sentence, and Mr. Kenny came up to me and
told me to stop. I kept walking towards Mr. Kenny and that is when
Mr. Ken grabbed me and ripped my shirt, and then he retrained me by
bear hugging me. He jerked me towards him and squeezed me hard.
P. Mr. Brown was
a school teacher and the principal. He would send kids out of school
all the time and sent kids out to OP. I donít think he really knew
what happened in OP.
Q. Most of the
night staff were not too bad. But Mr. Tony was awful. He sent people
to OP all the time and would talk to his wife, Ms. Elaine, telling
her bad things about us. Then they would threaten and would actually
send kids to Jamaica. Mr. Tony liked to push my buttons. He knew I
liked to shower at night for a couple of reasons. First, I liked
being clean when I went to bed, and second, it was really hard to
try to take a shower in the morning in time to get things done and
get to breakfast on time. So he would tell me I couldnít take a
shower at night sometimes just to make me mad. Not for anything bad
I did but just to be mean. Then there were times when he would not
let me go to the bathroom when I needed to. Every single night that
he was there was a miserable night. Sometimes, he worked every
night, sometimes every other night. He threatened me constantly
about getting sent to Jamaica and told me that he was going to talk
to his wife and get me sent away because he couldnít deal with me
any more. I hadnít done anything more than try to defend myself a
little, never physically. When I was first there I didnít do
anything wrong at all. Finally I got so frustrated by the way they
were treating me that I told Mr. Tony that he looked like Hitler and
Mario. That really made him mad. Luckily my grandparents came and
got me in the next two weeks because I felt like I was going to be
the next person sent to Jamaica.
24. I was so glad when my
grandparents came and got me out of there. I was sitting in school
on a Friday in September 2004 when Mr. Kenny came and told me I had
to see Ms. Elaine. He walked me to the office and didnít say much to
me. I saw my grandparents and I started crying. I didnít know what
to say and all I could do was cry. I felt a huge weight was lifted
off my shoulders. It felt like everything was done and I was
leaving. It was the happiest moment of my time there. I could not
stop talking to my grandparents about what happened at the program.
They (the people in the program) lied to me and to my grandparents.
25. Now I go to a college that
has a place for high school students and I really like it. There is
no screaming and there should never be screaming.
This statement may
be provided to the courts and legitimate government officials.
I declare under
penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California, that
the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed on January 4, 2005.