I attended the Hyde School – Woodstock campus (which is now shut down) but their other campuses are still functioning and furthering the abuse.
While I was at Hyde, we were deprived of food and sleep. We were put in rooms with the windows locked at full capacity with the heating turned up as interrogation tactics at times. I have been made to do army crawls and other physical drills as a means of punishment in all seasons, for hours on end at times.
I was sent to the woods to live on my own for 2-3 weeks at a time in the middle of Eustis Maine in which Hyde owned during a blizzard as a punishment. My food during that time and any time in the woods consisted of a handful of only trail mix aka gorp. My ration was only allowed to be as much as my own two hands could hold – and my hands are very small which meant I couldn’t hold as much as someone with bigger hands. I got a smaller ration each time. This rationing of gorp was supposed to last us for most of each week that we were there.
Hot chocolate was supposedly a reward for good behavior, but during a blizzard, it didn’t stay hot very long. I was instructed to sleep with my thermos near my body to keep it warm with my body heat and that was all. I was made to figure out how to establish my own shelter with only two giant tarps and some stakes for the ground. During the day for “character development and leadership building,” we had to pack our backpacks with logs of woods and walk for near 2-3 miles back to the main camping yurt where the instructors would stay in, for their firewood. At night we were walked 1.5 miles in different directions one by one away from one another, and every night that would be our designated spot to set up camp. We were left to sleep by ourselves every night alone in the middle of the wilderness. It was absolutely one of the most terrifying times of my life to be alone in the woods during those nights.
There were many cases of sexual abuse and assaults that happened at Woodstock before, during, and after my stay. When I left in 2008, a man named Larry was sexually assaulting females that attended Woodstock. After being taken to court for it, he was given free room and board and continued eating meals with us in the dining hall for years after this lawsuit was filed. Many females were forced to eat with the same man who had assaulted them. I was sexually assaulted by my boyfriend at the time. He was also accused of raping one of my friends there.
Teachers would hit children. I was locked in rooms for hours on end without food, kept in isolation while being expected to write out/admit to every and any indiscretion or “ethics broken” and snitch on other kids that I knew had broken any rules or ethics as well. If we didn’t write down anything, we wouldn’t be allowed to leave. I have fallen asleep and spent nights in the interrogation rooms they’d put me in numerous times simply because I would notwrite anything down.