After an extensive internet campaign by anonymous advocates, believed to be alumni of the school, the controversial and allegedly abusive Elan School is set to close in April 2011.
The Sun Journal reported that the Elan School owner blames the school's closure on down enrollment which caused financial problems for the school. The paper reported that the school also blames an internet campaign against the school, which alleges abusive and unethical treatment practices. After a quick internet search, it seems that the Elan school is facing what many other facilities in the Troubled Teen Industry are facing, alumni who are speaking up about outdated practices that would be considered to many as abusive.
The Sun Journal reported that "The Web campaign alleges the school engaged in punitive tactics, like isolating students for long periods of time, requiring students to scream at other students as part of the disciplinary program, and limiting student contact with parents."
It seems like the Troubled Teen Industry has committed wrongs over a period of time which are creeping up on them one by one. Two other major alumni campaigns that have alleged abusive conditions at boarding schools is The Utah Boys Ranch Network, better known as Mormon Gulag, and The Family Foundation School Truth Campaign.
A quick google search revealed the following anti-Elan School internet campaigns (these are all on the first page of Google):
Below is the ARTICLE that was released by The Sun Journal
POLAND – The controversial Elan School will close next week.
The private for-profit boarding school for troubled teens has been forced to close, according to owner and Executive Director Sharon Terry of Casco, due to “declining enrollment and resulting financial difficulties.”
The school was opened in 1970 by psychiatrist Dr. Gerald Davidson and businessman Joseph Ricci.
Terry, who is Ricci’s widow, points to an ongoing Internet campaign on the site Reddit.comlaunched by an unknown person, who goes by name "Gzasmyhero," as the cause for much of the school’s current financial distress.
The Web campaign alleges the school engaged in punitive tactics, like isolating students for long periods of time, requiring students to scream at other students as part of the disciplinary program, and limiting student contact with parents.
“The school has been the target of harsh and false attacks spread over the Internet with the avowed purpose of forcing the school to close,” Terry said. And, despite several recent investigations conducted by the Maine Department of Education that Terry said have vindicated the school, “the school has, unfortunately, been unable to survive the damage.”
On March 1, Elan received a renewed academic accreditation and therapeutic certification from the National Independent Private Schools Association that is set to expire in June 2014. The school is also a member in good standing of the Maryland-based National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs.
Perhaps the school's most notorious student was Michael C. Skakel, nephew of Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel Skakel Kennedy.
Skakel was convicted in 2002 of the murder in 1975 of 15-year-old Martha Moxley. Both lived in an exclusive section of Greenwich, Conn., and she was found beaten to death with a golf club.
While always a suspect in the Moxley murder, Skakel wasn't arrested until years later when two of his former classmates at the Elan school testified that he had confessed to them while at the school.
Elan classmate Gregory Coleman testified that Skakel bragged, "I'm going to get away with murder. I'm a Kennedy."
Skakel had been sent to the school in 1978 after a drunken driving conviction, and he was there two years.
Skakel is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in Connecticut, and is eligible for parole in 2013.