Help Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Survivors find community and healing by funding this special event

Help Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Survivors find community and healing by funding this special event

For more than 50 years, the disadvantaged children under the care of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch suffered severe physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The Child-Friendly Faith Project is organizing a reunion for survivors and their loved ones so they can find community, support and healing.

The reunion, which will take place on Aug. 31, in Amarillo, Texas, will offer survivors a chance to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Many need our help paying for travel and accommodation expenses. To make sure all survivors have emotional support, the CFFP has arranged for a local therapist who specializes in childhood trauma to be on call.

Yes, I want to help Boys Ranch survivors!

Boys Ranch, as most people call it, is a privately funded facility begun in 1939 by Cal Farley, a professional wrestler and tire salesman who had no training in child development. Since then, the institution (which currently has a budget of $48 million) has sought donations from the community by marketing itself as a place that meets children’s needs.

What really was going on was ongoing, systemic, and severe physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. To make matters worse, last year, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch dedicated a dorm building to Lamont Waldrip, a man who many survivors say brutally beat children and oversaw the abusive system as superintendent for many years until he retired in 1997.
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Warning to Texas Parents: This might be a really bad time to enroll your child in a faith-based private school

Warning to Texas Parents: This might be a really bad time to enroll your child in a faith-based private school

 

Will your child be attending a private, faith-based school in Texas this fall? In light of a recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court, you may want to rethink that plan.

 

The Texas Supreme Court made a decision this past week that could adversely affect the lives of thousands of children across the state. In the John Doe vs. Episcopal School of Dallas case, the justices refused to consider a harmful ruling issued by a lower appellate court. The ruling allows a faith-based school to avoid civil liability for harming a child in its care. In other words, Texas parents may have just lost their right to sue a faith-based school their children are enrolled in, even if those children were abused by school staff.

The case involves a child who was expelled from the Episcopal School of Dallas for allegedly smoking marijuana off campus. Since the expulsion was in violation of the contract between the school and parents, the father sued ESD for breach of contract, fraud, and other claims. ESD filed a motion claiming that, under the First Amendment,  it was immune from being sued and sought special review in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Dallas. (The trial court rejected ESD’s argument.) The appeals court agreed with ESD’s claim that the father had no right to take the school to court. It’s reasoning came down to one simple truism: ESD claimed to be a “faith-based” institution. Read More »

Will Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch help those it traumatized as children?

Will Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch help those it traumatized as children?

 

Boys Ranch has a program that provides assistance to alumni. But it’s not working well for those who were abused while growing up there.

 

It’s been six months since the news broke that Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch was not the place it purported itself to be.

The nearly 80-year-old institution has long claimed that it does a great job caring for children. It portrays its founder, professional wrestler Cal Farley, as a man who was forward-thinking and compassionate toward children. The privately funded, residential facility—whose 2016-17 annual report shows revenues exceeding $48 million—takes in children often left by parents who can’t or don’t want to care for them.

According to Boys Ranch’s website, “We hold true to the values set over seven decades, and still we prepare young people to become responsible citizens.”

But last December, an article that appeared in The Guardian made public that such “preparation” often included extreme physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that spanned 40 years or more. Boys Ranch admitted that the abuses had, indeed, taken place and offered a weak apology.

It’s unclear how many children were victimized. According to Boys Ranch, about 12,000 young people have lived at the campus in its 78-year history. A Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch Survivors Facebook group that was made public a year ago has grown to 75 members. Read More »

Advocating for Survivors of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

Advocating for Survivors of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

 

“A sense of safety is vital to a child’s ability to reach his or her full potential.”

— Website of Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch

 

 

The Child-Friendly Faith Project has been advocating for men who grew up at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch from the 1960s through the 1990s. The privately funded, residential facility is located outside of Amarillo and houses boys whose parents or guardians can’t, or won’t, take care of them.

The men, as child residents at Cal Farley’s, suffered ongoing physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. After leaving the ranch, many men lack skills needed to find work. They have struggled with addiction or gotten into trouble with the law. Others have committed suicide. Read More »