State Dept. of Human Services orders emergency removal of all students from Glen Mills reform school

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services ordered an emergency removal of all children currently remaining at the Glen Mills School in Delaware County, the agency announced Monday.

Under this order, all children residing at the school will be removed and relocated as soon as this can be safely accomplished.

The DHS’ Office of Children, Youth, and Families will work with counties, states, and judicial systems with children at Glen Mills entities to provide for the safe removal and relocation of these students as quickly as possible.

As of Monday, there were 64 students from 21 Pennsylvania counties and 43 students from other states on-site at Glen Mills, according to DHS. Staff members from the OCYF staff will be working with students’ states and counties to ensure appropriate relocation — either at their home, or at another placement as close to home as possible, the DHS says.

OCYF staff will maintain a presence onsite at Glen Mills during the time the children are removed to continue to monitor conditions and ensure student safety, according to the DHS.

Under this order, no new admissions may occur.

“As the investigation into allegations raised in recent reporting continues, we must do what is necessary to ensure that no more children are at risk of physical and emotional harm,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “This removal is one step of an on-going process, and DHS is committed to seeing this investigation through to ensure that any individual responsible for endangering the welfare of children and coercing silence can be held responsible.

“As this investigation continues, it is important that we understand the full scope of incidents and mistreatment that occurred at this school. I encourage any former students or their families, Glen Mills staff, or anyone else to share their story.”

An investigation in February by the Philadelphia Inquirer uncovered several allegations of abuse of students by staff members at the reform school — the oldest of its kind in the United States.

Individuals looking to report potential emotional or physical abuse, mistreatment, intimidation, or coercion should contact Pennsylvania’s ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. All reports made to ChildLine are forwarded to appropriate investigating entities.

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