Miracle Meadows, a Seventh Day Adventist-sponsored boarding school in West Virginia, was recently closed due to allegations of student abuse by at least one of its employees, Timothy Arrington, and on charges of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, child neglect resulting in an injury, and failure to report by the school’s founder, Susan Gayle Clark.
The school was a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that billed itself as an “alternative boarding school … designed to meet the unique needs of elementary through secondary boys and girls with at-risk behaviors.”
Arrington, a 36 year-old resident of Salem, WV and a custodian of the school, was in court last week for a hearing based on charges of how he restrained students. According to a WADR news report, Arrington is accused of “handcuffing a student to a tree for hours without providing food, placing handcuffs on a student while placing them in an isolation or “quarantine” room as punishment for fighting with another student, handcuffing another student in quarantine without clothes for allegedly not changing his story to fit Arrington’s narrative to remove legal involvement in an investigation of sexual misconduct between students[,] and handcuffing a student in quarantine overnight. He is also accused of choking students in two of the four incidents.”
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Clark, who co-founded Miracle Meadows in the late 1980s with her husband, is also facing charges associated with child abuse for her role associated with the charges pertaining to Arrington.
According to WDTV News, the school is in the process of being sold. There was no information as to whether the SDA church would still be a sponsor, or what their comments are regarding the treatment of children in one of their sponsored facilities.
Arrington and Clark are both expected to have their cases heard by the Harrison County Grand Jury in May.
A major question that was not addressed in either of the news reports is: “if true, why did the custodian of the school have the authority to handcuff, starve, strip and choke different students on separate occasions?” Charges against the school’s co-founder, if true, would suggest a pervasive culture of abuse and concealment. As we have seen from other similar situations, such environments often result in the abuse of many children who are unable to come forward about what they suffered as a result of the effects of the trauma.
If you have information regarding abuse at a Seventh Day Adventist-sponsored school and want to speak with someone confidentially, please contact us at 1-888-407-0224 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.