PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The nation’s oldest reform school had its licenses revoked Monday amid an investigation into allegations of child abuse at the suburban Philadelphia campus, and a spokeswoman said the school will appeal.
The decision follows an investigation published this year by The Philadelphia Inquirer that detailed decades of alleged abuse and cover-ups at the 193-year-old Glen Mills Schools.
The Department of Human Services announced that all 14 licenses issued to Glen Mills were revoked “following documented instances of abuse against former students of the residential school.” No students remained Monday after the state last month ordered their removal.
“In the past 18 months alone, Glen Mills Schools has been formally visited, inspected and reviewed more than 150 times by different outside entities, including numerous states and counties,” Glen Mills spokeswoman Aimee Tysarczyk said in an emailed statement. “The issues PA DHS inspectors discovered were trivial and they found no signs of long-standing physical abuse, per their own documentation. We are stunned that PA DHS is taking this action based on media reports as opposed to looking at the results of their own inspections.”
The school has 10 days to appeal the license revocation.
The Inquirer investigation published in February described a culture of physical abuse at the school and alleged that school leaders turned a blind eye to beatings and failed to vet or train counselors.
The allegations included severe beatings for students who made minor infractions, a staffer breaking a boy’s jaw after the student made a joke about his sister, and other boys getting choked for running away. Broken bones, serious bruises and threats warning students not to talk were detailed.