Sarah Wilson, 20, of Rock Island Illinois said she decided she would never return to that hell of a place after she was placed in an isolation chamber on her first day for refusing to take out a belly button ring. "I knew I would lose my mind in there," said Wilson.
Some parents are even grateful to the school in their belief that the program saved their children's lives.
The school was a privately funded school that was being run without state ordered placements. The school didn't require a license to operate and was otherwise unregulated. "It flew under the radar," said Drake University professor Jerry Foxhoven, an Iowa juvenile law expert. He said that he had never heard about the program before, according to ABC News.
Another student Lauren Snyder, 17, of Springfield, Missouri, remembers begging to get out of the isolation chamber the previous year. This agitated the employee and prompted him to turn the audio recordings up so loud that the speakers blew out and were making a screeching noise.
"It was complete hell," says Snyder. She recalls that she was so frustrated that she eventually attempted suicide by tying a sock around her neck. She was sent to a psychiatric hospital the next day for her attempt.
"That is the worst I've ever been treated," says Shaun McCarthy, 19, of Avoca, Iowa, who says he was lucky to be placed in isolation chamber only twice during his stay. "It's not humane," he says.
Foxhoven says that the long-term isolation can be very emotionally shattering for the young minds. The isolation can cause exacerbating mental illnesses and cause lasting effects that may include post-traumatic stress disorder.
[Photo By Omar Havana/Getty Images]