Victory Forge Military Academy is the same as Southeastern Military Academy

In December 2009, Weierman decided to change the name for Victory Forge to Southeastern Military Academy. Nothing about the school has changed, except the name. Even their website is the same (save for a new URL).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Victory Forge - Private abuse still abuse

This is a very apt headline. Just because someone is abused in private or in a private facility, does the government not have any rights to moderate this behavior? All those who want to help us contact legislators to close these loopholes and make facilities like Victory Forge accountable and punishable, please contact us (in confidence).

Here is an article from The Palm Beach Post.

I won't mean help for Victory Forge Military Academy cadets yet, but the Florida Department of Children and Families is looking for ways to close legal loopholes and give DCF the authority to offer more protection to children who are abused in private schools.

Detailed records DCF released about the Port St. Lucie school show that while students were subjected to "bizarre" punishments, shackled and choked, neither the agency nor the Treasure Coast State Attorney's Office had sufficient evidence or authority to act. The agency only recommended that parents remove students from the academy, and prosecutors chose not to file criminal charges. That parents signed release forms approving the school's use of shackles on runaways further complicates matters.

"I've got serious concerns about (Victory Forge)," Assistant DCF Secretary George Sheldon said. "I can't understand if a parent does something to a child that would cause us to remove the child from home, how can the parent contract out that right? And how can a facility avoid state licensure by putting itself in a certain category? I find it incredible we have no authority. We may need legislation to close the loophole." DCF attorneys are reviewing the situation at the state level, he said, and then will begin discussions with state legislators.

Victory Forge's methods became a public matter two months ago, when a runaway cadet was found shackled. The story sparked an investigation of the boot-camp-style school's practices. Before the investigation was complete, DCF urged parents to remove their sons because of the severity of the allegations, and all 17 students left. Both DCF and Port St. Lucie police investigated Victory Forge.

DCF spokesmen said the agency was unable to determine the severity of the alleged choking incident because no medical review was done immediately after it occurred. "With no bruising, no broken bones and no video," Mr. Sheldon said, law enforcement has little to go on. But a student's chance of getting a medical review in such a situation seem remote at best.
"Parents are the kids' only recourse," Mr. Sheldon admits, adding that under existing laws the state can't step in to save an abused child who is in this type of private school. Since the parents opted out of their responsibility in the Victory Forge case, the state must find a way to assert its responsibility to protect children.


Mike said...

Victory Forge was mis-represented as a Christian based military style school and boot camp for troubled teens. They represent themselves as accredited and approved by several Christian based associations. THEY ARE NOT!!! The school was not accredited and the teachers are not certified. My son was injured severely when he was there in 2004. When I contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families, I was told of several cases of abuse and injuries sustained by several boys there. When the boys are injured, they are told they are lying and sustain more abuse. There is a difference between abuse and discipline and I feel this school doesn't know the difference!!

I contacted the Law office of Laurie Goldstein 772-286-8605 and found out that there are SEVERAL lawsuits against The Weirman family (the people that operate it) and the school. TERRIBLE CASES OF TORTURE AND STARVATION!!!

If your child has been there, contact me and I'll tell you more.

The worst part is that the school is politically connected and continues to stay in business to this day! The veterans are still suporting this abuse of the boys there.

We need to let the people of South Florida know about what is going on!!

Tomball, Texas

VF Parents said...

Interesting post. Please provide us, in private, your contact information so that we can get additional information from you.

Anonymous said...

I checked up on the previous comment and according to a contact in the legal relm. Laurie Goldstien settled with Victory Forge and their insurance. The settlement was very small and two of her cases never made it past the interview stage. The poster should get his facts straight. We need to not listen to every poster because that will take us off the task at hand.