Boarding schools undoubtedly have a unique and intricate vibe that surrounds them. Unlike regular schools, these institutions are a place where pupils and students actually live while also attending classes.
Over the years many research papers have been written on the subject by psychologist and sociologists. The history of the boarding schools dates back to the Victorian Era.
The history of the boarding schools dates back to the Victorian Era. The education that the children received at these institutions centered on the dominant society’s construction of gender norms and ideals at the time and directly reflected the roles and duties that they were to assume when they finished.
And in a way, it can be said that the basic concept of the boarding school establishments exists even in today’s day and age.
Nevertheless, numerous times these institutions, and more importantly, the students have fallen victims of various unlawful conducts.
There are many examples of neglect or other reasons why some boarding schools shut down. In this article, the most direct and crucial examples are given.
1.Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, Florida
Since it was opened, on January 1, 1900, this institution earned a notorious reputation as hell on earth. Originally a reform school for juvenile delinquents the Dozier School for Boys was known for the cruelty and torture committed on the children by the guards. Numerous calls for reform were pushed aside, and the parent’s complaints were simply ignored.
In the 1960s the place was functioning as a boarding school for orphans, kids who were unwanted and who didn’t have anywhere to go. And the horror that the kids endured while where there was unspeakable. Series of rapes, beatings, torture committed by the staff, even a murder were reported, but to no avail. The change of leadership and the promises for improvement didn’t help and the abuse continued.
It’s just recently that the stories of the horrific acts came to light. The kids who were residents during the 1950s and 1960s stepped forward and told their stories publicly. In 2010 the allegations were finally confirmed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State authorities closed the school for good in 2011.
In August of 2014, excavations on the site started. The researchers exhumed 55 sets of human remains and began to identify them based on school records and DNA samples from living relatives. The first to be identified was George Owen Smith, who was 14 when he went missing.
2. Jacob Tome School for Boys
The Jacob Tome School was founded in 1894 and operated as a prep school until 1942 when the US Navy bought the place and turned it into a Naval Training Center. It was considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States.
The school closed in 1984 and despite the community’s efforts to save it, the former boarding school was slowly starting to fall apart. After that vandals and looters nearly decimated the place.
In 1991, the Navy started tearing down the campus buildings, destroying all but about 60. But the most tragic event happened in December 2014, when a fire swamped several of the most prominent buildings. Now, all that is left is was granite and cement.
3. Tanglin Brunei Hostel
Opened in 1958, this boarding house from the small country of Brunei, Singapore once was a home of very promising students. And because at the time, Brunei didn’t have its own formal education system, those that showed the most potential were sent to the boarding school in Tanglin Hill.
But by the 1980s, Brunei established its own educational system, and it no longer became necessary to send students away.
Then the government of Brunei purchased the land and used it as a training ground for government officials.
Today this abandoned boarding school is still a property of the Brunei government and sits on its own, abandoned and almost totally devastated. The campus is quite popular with photographers and explorers.
4. St Joseph’s Industrial School
Before it was turned into a public boarding school the property was owned James and Mary Ellis, a wealthy Quaker couple. It was used as a residence and a school for local children.
But what was once intended to be a safe haven for children, soon turned into a nightmare. When Ellis’s left, the Christian Brothers of the Protestant Irish Church Missions took over. They officially opened on April 1, 1886, and made it into a boarding school. Soon after that, the series of physical and sexual abuse began.
Until the place closed in 1974, it was a home for 2,819 boys. And decades later, the investigations started to take place. By then the boys had grown up to be men and the allegations came to a surface, with evidence of sexual abuse and extreme physical punishments. They recounted being beaten senseless for the slightest offences.
In the 1930s, St Joseph’s Industrial School was the site of one of the first cases of reported sexual abuse in a Catholic institution.
5. Brookfield Agricultural School
The school was situated on High Green on an estate of around 70 acres (280,000 m2) in the Cleveland Hills. Located in Geat Ayton, North Yorkshire, England this privately owned agricultural boarding school was opened in 1836. It was envisioned as a place for children to live and learn and give them a chance at finding some sort of relief from the poverty and hunger that was sweeping across much of the country.
What was first and foremost at the school was Bible study, but it was also a learning facility for practical and academic skills. Boys were taught the basics of farming and of industry, while the girls were taught needlework and sewing skills, and also how to run a farm. By the turn of the century new superintendents joined the school and added even more, classes, like classic literature and science.
But ultimately the school had a short life span as when and financial troubles ultimately forced it to close in 1922. The land was sold to a Quaker farmer and until this day most of the buildings on the property still stand strong.