My name is Maggie and I wanted to give you all some insight as to why and how I started my journey to Victory Christian Academy.
I was 16 and out of control. I never really did any real drugs, except weed. I constantly ran away from home, ditched school and stole a car once. I was also fighting at school. My parents had already put me through a psychiatric facility for up to a year when I was 14 and 15. At the time of my capture I was a runaway living with my boyfriend; he was 19 at the time. My parents were waiting for me to come back to school so they could take me to VCA.
I started my day. It was June 8th 1990. I was found playing craps at the flagpole. I was taken into the office, were later my father showed up to take me home (that is what I thought). He asked me if I wanted to go and see my mom before we were to make a delivery for the small family business that my parents started in 1983. My father tried talking to me and telling me things that I wanted to hear like they were going to get me a car and pay for me to have my own place. I should have known then that that was a lie.
We turned onto a dirt road (something in my mind was telling me to jump from the car and run). We pulled up to the large gate; it was a Friday around 1pm. There were girls outside running at the time. I did not know what they were doing but I noticed they were dressed like nerds. My dad got out the car and asked me to come in with him. I told him that I did not want to so I stayed in the car. Five minutes later a little white man with some glasses thicker than a wall said, “Come on in here, girl." I got out the car and went into a small office. I will never forget this day. I sat there and the man said told me his name was Pastor Palmer but that everyone called him Brother P. He continued to tell me that I would be required to stay with them in this facility for a period of one year. I started to cry. I turned to my father and said "I can't believe you lied to me." Pastor Palmer said, “And how many times did you lie to your parents, girl?"
One minute later a large woman later to be known as Ms. Connie came in to the door. Brother P continued to tell me about the school. I told him that I was not going to be staying there and that there was nothing they could do about it. He started to laugh. A second later Ms. Virginia came in the room and told me it was time for me to get ready to meet the other girls. She grabbed me by my hair, and she and Ms. Connie and dragged me to a bathroom that had a shower. She told me to go in the bathroom stall and take off my clothes. They were laughing in the background and she called me a little bitch. I was so angry! I took a shower and they gave me some of the ugly clothes the other girls had on; dorm clothes and big underwear that looked they were not even clean. I was told to follow behind a girl by the name of Mercedes, she would be my buddy and show me the RULES. I think they paired me with her because I was black. Thinking that when the staff were not around she could tell what was really going on in this Church. I thought damn for Christians or Godly people they were not so nice at all.
They next took me to the school room and I was told to read a Bible for the time being. I told them that I could not read. So I guess my dad was still there and he of course told them that I was lying. They came back and told me to read so I said no. Then again Ms. Virginia came and pulled me by the hair and took me to the Get Right Room. They pulled my clothes off and pushed me in the room. They blasted tapes of preaching. I will never forget. It was called the Ever Dying Fire. I could hear them outside of the room with the small peek hole laughing at me. The school was full so when I was finally let out of the cold cell with the light on the ceiling and no carpet, plywood walls, I was told to sleep on the floor. We were not allowed to look out the windows. I cried myself to sleep for the first couple of months. I thought the worst of it was over but was I ever wrong.
They read my letters to my parents in front of the whole school of girls and staff. I was put on detention was told to face the corner (called the chicken coop) I wrote 1000 lines a day "I will learn to obey the rules." There were others in detention. One girl rebelled by pulling her hair out. She was going bald on top. Another girl was only 12 and they treated her like crap. Ms. Virginia used to pick on her the most. I thought of running away very often. But it was unlikely because of the walls and secluded area.
I remember the Raps they used to have. This was a way girls could vent there anger onto newer girls who were not doing as well as expected. In this rap they accused girls of being gay. It was humiliating. Ms. Virginia was always head of the group. She said you better not have an attitude girl, saying this pointing her finger in my face. I hated the school on my first visit. I fought my parents to come back. They overpowered me and held me down in the car. I was put back on buddy after my visit. I still have nightmares about the school and wake up drenched in sweat.