Carolina Springs Academy/ Seneca Ranch
Carolina Springs Academy was located in the town of Due West, South Carolina. The property on which the school was placed is owned by Narvin Lichfield. The school was founded in 1998, by Lichfield and the original director Richard Byars. In 1999 the South Carolina Department of Social Services found the property to be lacking in several areas of safety, health and ethical provisions. A statement by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported by CAICA.org called for CSA to cease providing services of which they were not licensed to provide. CSA Director Richard Byars refused, saying the compound was a boarding school, not a residential care facility, and didn’t need a license. This report also referred to inappropriate sexual behavior with two females students involving the director Richard Byars. Other female ex-students have reported Richard Byars “hitting on them” and inviting select girls to spend the night at his house. Due to multiple reported “incidents of disciplinary action that may constitute cruel and inhumane punishment” Byars was replaced as director by Peggy Elaine Bell Davis.
In June 2008, a dorm at the facility burned down due to electrical wires in the attic.
In November 2008, a boy ran away from the facility. While it was announced by the school that he was captured by the police, it remains unknown whether or not he returned home or was transferred to Tranquility Bay, which was the normal punishment for such infractions.
In September 2009, the Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse (CAICA) wrote on their webpage that South Carolina’s Department of Social Services, Group Home Licensing had confirmed that Carolina Springs Academy’s license had been revoked. The school was closed and reopened under the name Magnolia Hills Christian school.
In September 2010, there were reports from an animal rights group that the horses on the property were found dead and neglected at the completely abandoned campus. The story was not widely reported in spite of its extremely disturbing nature.
As of 2013, the program has been reopened and currently operates under the name Seneca Ranch, still under the direction of Narvin Lichfield.
Narvin Lichfield is named as a defendant in the Turley lawsuit against WWASP.
Narvin has had a long and checkered history with WWASP. The brother of Robert Litchfield, Narvin appears to have gotten his start with WWASP in 1998 when he opened Carolina Springs Academy, functioning as both owner and Administrator. He then went on to open, concurrently with CSA, The Academy at Dundee Ranch in Costa Rica in (year) . In 2003, Dundee Ranch was shut down by Costa Rican Child welfare authorities due to allegations that children were being held against their will (illegal in Costa Rica) and were being abused. Officials also found 100 of 193 students did not have the required immigration papers. Litchfield was arrested and charged with abuse and violations of international law. He was then ordered by the state of South Carolina to stay away from CSA until the case resolved, which wasn’t completed until 2007. But Narvin kept busy, re-opening Dundee Ranch under the new name Pillars of Hope (or “Pilares de Esparanza”.) POH was billed as facility for 18-22 year-olds, but there are mulitple reports of children under 18 being held there. In 2010, CSA was closed. Narvin vowed to reopen, but backed off that claim when he was arrested by authorities in South Carolina in 2011 after he was pulled over and determined to have been driving on a suspended license and without insurance. He was also served with 3 summonses regarding bad checks written on CSA’s closed checking account totalling about $2,000. Narvin was also named as a defendant in two other lawsuits, namely Lexington Insurance Company vs. Carolina Springs et al., a personal injury suit, and the Turley class action suit.
Randall Hinton was something of a jack-of-all-trades for WWASP. He first staed working for WWASP as a tech at Brightway in 1992. After two years at Brightway he moved to the Cross Creek in 1995, working there for one year. He then served as Assitant Director for Spring Creek in 1996, then took a job in the same role for Tranquility Bayi 1997. After Tranquility Bay, in 1998 he again served as Assistant Director, this time for Carolina Springs, working under Narvin Litchfield. In 2001 Litchfield gave him the job as Director at Academy at Dundee Ranch. Hinton also appears to have spent 3 years working for Teen Help, the marketing arm of WWASP. In 2002, Hinton left WWASP to work in another school, but came back in 2006 in order to serve as Director of Royal Peak/Royal Gorge Academy in Colorado. Ginton was arrested on chrages of child abuse by authorities in 2007 and the school was shut down in 2008. Hinton was convicted in 2007 of one count each of third-degree assault and false imprisonment. He served 25 days in jail and one year of probation. Hinton appears to have left WWASP.
No Care in Carolina, No Hope in Costa Rica – By Mattie Smith
Testimony of a Graduate of Carolina Springs Academy – By Danny Prior
Carolina Springs Academy – A Mother’s Story
Parents and Teen Tour Carolina Springs Academy – By Lauren Friedlieb
Carolina Springs Academy – Survivor Testimony – Anonymous
Carolina Springs Academy/ Dundee Ranch Academy – Patrick Putman