Authorities close abusive school--Children "just starving to death"
The Associated Press, April 29, 1999

McRae, Ga.-- A facility catering to children with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder was shut Wednesday after Telfair County authorities said they found evidence of neglect and abuse.

Children between the ages of 8 and 16 were ``just starving to death'' at Blue Ridge Military Academy, located in a vacant motel off U.S. 441 about 10 miles south of McRae, said Sheriff David T. Williams.

Charges are pending against several individuals and warrants were expected to be issued today for their arrests.

Deputies found poor sanitary conditions and fire, building-code and health violations, Williams said.

He said all but one of the children, who were given hamburgers and french fries after they were found, told Georgia Bureau Investigation agents of physical abuse. The one child who didn't was a student used as an assistant.

Authorities say proper medical attention was not provided. Two children injured in some form were not taken to a hospital until after GBI and sheriff's agents arrived at the school and demanded it, Williams said.

The military academy also has operated under the name ``Bunker Hill'' and described itself in pamphlets as a ``fabulous facility with swimming pools and lakes but it wasn't true,'' Williams said. Parents paid $500 a week per child to attend Blue Ridge.

The academy moved into the motel about six weeks ago and imposed military-style discipline on the children, he said.

The sheriff's department had received complaints about abuse and neglect at the facility for the last week.

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