June 10, 2004
About 4 years ago I attended Cross
Creek Manor in the town of LaVerkin, Utah. I am 20 years old now,
and doing very well. I live on my own, have a full time job as a
waitress, and a great relationship with my parents. However, I
attribute none of my success to Cross Creek.
I was sent to Cross Creek for abusing
drugs and failing some high school classes. My parents had told me
we were going on "vacation"; it was about two weeks before my sweet
16th birthday. After we had been in the car for about 2 hours, my
mom finally admitted they were taking me to a "school".
How bad could it be?
When I arrived, the heavy door was
locked behind me and all my belongings taken away. The staff was
rude and tough, and I knew right away that this wasn't just a
My experience at Cross Creek was
extremely depressing, lonely, and intense for someone my age. I saw
and heard things that haunt me to this day. I saw one of my good
friends trying to jump over the balcony, screaming that she wanted
to die. There was never a day I did not cry, or see someone else
Many girls were "cutters", and would
find anything sharp enough to slice their wrists. When they did so,
when they were "bad", they were thrown in the isolation rooms.
The worst part was how alone I felt.
None of the staff seemed to truly care about us. It was their job,
and we were treated like prisoners.
When I tell my friends that have been to Juvenile Hall about it,
they say Cross Creek Manor sounds worse!
Everybody I attended school with was
afraid of the head man at Cross Creek. He would get in your face,
and scream obscenities at us. Every new girl got it as their
welcome. It was so demeaning, I don't know how they honestly think
the treatment there helps.
My mom knows that Cross Creek was not
the right place for me, now. I had to go through my experiences
myself and learn that way. I don't know how to possibly explain how
horrible I think that place is,
I try to block it out of my mind.
I would never, ever recommend for any
parent to rely on Cross Creek to "save" their kid, and I feel sorry
for any and every kid in there.
If you would like to contact me, my
name is Stephanie and I am at