Pinehaven Christian Children’s Ranch in western Montana doesn’t deny their use of “tough love” techniques on students. In the past, one house parent would apply pressure to the children’s necks to control their behavior, a practice Pinehaven says is no longer permitted. Several former students and employees say they experienced or witnessed physical and emotional abuse. Preacher Bob Larsson, who’s been the school’s owner for almost 40 years, denies the allegations and tells CNN’s Gary Tuchman that their methods of discipline are not abusive.
Larson introduced several students who are thankful for their time at Pinehaven. Troy Baker said, “Tough love means separating people from drugs and alcohol and bad influences that brought them to pinehaven in the first place.” Curtis Swanson says he never saw an abusive house parent.
Others claim that the abuse went beyond trying to discipline students to include difficult and dangerous construction jobs around the…
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