Former students, staff fire back after abuse allegations at Midw - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Former students, staff fire back after abuse allegations at Midwest Academy

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Tyler McGyghy, a former employee of Midwest Academy says he didn't witness any abuse at the school in the seven years he was there. Tyler McGyghy, a former employee of Midwest Academy says he didn't witness any abuse at the school in the seven years he was there.
KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

Monday night at Ten, we talked with a former student and a former employee of Midwest Academy, who say they witnessed abusive incidents at the school. Tuesday night, another former student and a former employee pushed back. saying it's not true.

"They said nobody was allowed to leave, nobody was allowed to go to the bathroom without an FBI agent," 17-year-old Elizabeth Davis said.

She was eating lunch at Midwest Academy on January 28, when law enforcement raided the Keokuk boarding school, investigating a sexual abuse allegation.

"We were all in the dorms the next day, and the staff basically said you have 24 hours to get out," Davis said.

Since the raid, some former students and staff have come forward, sharing stories of psychological and emotional abuse. Elizabeth says nothing happened in the nearly two years she was there, and a former staff member agrees.

"The accusation of physical and emotional abuse is absolutely false," Tyler McGhyghy said. McGhyghy worked at Midwest Academy for seven years.

"Like in public education, people have bad experiences," he said. "But, it did shock me."

He says he didn't witness any abuse, and the school has extensive protocol to limit individual interaction between adults and minors, specifically to avoid allegations. McGhyghy also says the academy was only affiliated with WWASP, a now defunct national boarding school network, through a contract for educational seminars. That ended in 2007.

"Talking about the kids being manipulative and dishonest, that's probably 80 percent of the reason they're there," McGhyghy said. "They've lied to their parents, they've been dishonest to their parents."

Elizabeth says students also lied to authorities about other incidents.

"Some of the things that the girls were saying, they straight up told me that they were lying," she said. 

She's says she's stunned, especially since she says the school saved her life. "I had issues with drugs, cutting, self-harm, and lots of truancy, and I eventually dropped out of high school," Elizabeth said.

After turning her life around at Midwest Academy, she's most disappointed she won't get to graduate next month, now that the school is closed.
As far as the school's current investigation into alleged sexual abuse, McGhyghy hopes it's not true, but if someone's arrested, he wants that person punished to the full extent of the law.

Since Friday, WGEM has had a standing interview offer with owner Ben Trane to talk about the ongoing investigation.  He has yet to accept an interview. 

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