"My Trusty Gavel" by Brian Turner / CC BY 2.0

Ex-Students at Seventh-day Adventist School Settle Abuse Claims for $52 Million

Nov 19, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

Miracle Meadows School, a Seventh-day Adventist-run alternative school in Salem, West Virginia, made headlines for all the wrong reasons back in 2014. The year-round school encouraged parents to send kids there if they were dishonest, defiant, or experiencing “spiritual disinterest.” And many parents did, in part because the staff members were said to have a “divine commission to live as examples of God’s high calling, inspiring the students to follow their lead in responsible Christian living.”

It all came crashing down that year when we found out the school’s leader, Susan Gayle Clarkhad surrendered on charges of child neglect resulting in injury on top of three other misdemeanors. The school’s custodian was also charged with child abuse.

Their crimes are horrific but still worth pointing out: In one instance, the custodian tightly handcuffed a 14-year-old student because he suspected him of “sexual misconduct” and kept him overnight in a “quarantine room.” His wrists were bloody the next day. Clark knew about incidents like this but did nothing to prevent the abuse.

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