Darrington Academy

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Darrington Academy

Darrington Academy in Blue Ridge Georgia was opened by Dace Goulding and Richard Darrington in 2004, the same year Casa By The Sea was raided and shut down. Darrington’s history is checkered with accounts of illegal workers, escapes, odd “fear factor” games where children were challenged to eat repulsive/ spoiled food, and investigations by the authorities. Due to reports of Darringtons affiliation with WWASP via verious sources on the internet, Rich Darrington asked Dace Goulding to become a silent partner in Darrington Academy and sent out a rebuttal to parents to attempt to dissuade their concerns. Many accounts of abuse and maltreatment by survivors lead to an investigation by the Fannin County Police Department. In 2009, the facility was closed and Rich Darrington was arrested for assault and battery on 2 students in his care.

According to the Blue Ridge News Observer, Darrington was arrested in May by Fannin County sheriff’s investigators for allegedly slamming a 17-year-old student on the floor, causing a tooth to fall out, and pushing a 16-year-old juvenile into a wall. Darrington paid $6,000 bail and was released from jail. He relocated to Nevada, though the charges are still pending.


Dace Goulding

Owner of Casa By The Sea and co-owner of High Impact. First worked for Paradise Cove in Samoa. After CBS was closed in 2004 Goulding along with an old High School buddy Rich Darrington, opened another program called Darrington Academy in Blue Ridge Georgia. Darrington Academy was closed and criminal charges were pressed against Rich Darrington, for assault and battery of a minor. At some point he was working in a public school, but currently Goulding reports to be coaching Little League ”Back in St. George”, which is only about 20 miles away from the Cross Creek Property in La Verkin.


Richard Darrington

Richard Darrington partnered with Dace Goulding, an old school buddy, to open Darrington Academy in 2004, the same year Casa By The Sea closed. In May 2009 and charged with battery on two students at the school. When Darrington Academy closed, he moved to Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and got a job as the dean at a private school. His license to teach was subsequently suspended by the state of Nevada in relation to his pending charges in Georgia.


Survivor Testimony

Testimony from Surveys:

Survivor Testimony – Zachary Bland

Survivor Testimony – Laetitia Ray Moreno

Survivor Testimony – Anonymous

Survivor Testimony – Courtney Hall


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19 Responses to “Darrington Academy”

  1. Jack ingram Says:

    I’m Jack Ingram I went to Harrington and was later sent to tranquility bay in Jamaica and I know what me and the other kids went threw and are going threw no one should send their kid to any wwasp program fuck them all stay strong feel free to contact me if you need to talk or need info at ingram12121990@yahoo.com


  2. Zeke Rodriguez Says:

    I am Zeke Rodriguez i went to Darrington until it closed and the Gouldings were okay guys..


    • Bill Boyles Says:

      If it was so great and they were such great guys, why was it closed TWICE and why was Richard Darrington ARRESTED and CONVICTED for his actions at Darrington Academy?


  3. India Says:

    I was a graduate of darrington academy and i must say it was not NEARLY as horrible as this website has made it out to be. Yes, it was very tough, but like most kids who attended the school, i needed tough. we were NEVER forced to eat spoiled food and mr. Darrington NEVER abused a child. There were a few things with which I did not necessarily agree, but that was one of the main lessons that Darrington Academy tried to teach us: You don’t always have to like or control the situations that you’re in, but you CAN control how you handle them. The school was for troubled youth, meaning that most of us had a LOT of problem with authority. a lot of us would say anything to try to get out of there; trying to manipulate our parents like we had done in the past because it was indeed extremely strict and we didn’t like that. what i think (and am almost certain) happened was that one kid told his or her parents the “horrible” mistreatment we were subject to, and these parents, as they had been in the past gave in to their kid’s bitching. I was an undisciplined, spoiled-rotten, insecure teenager going in, and I came out with confidence, self-worth, independence, and accountability that came from the character-building program of Darrington Academy. These accusations are outrageous, I was NOT brain-washed or abused, but disciplined and challenged. We were NEVER forced to do anything, but given a choice to take responsibility for our actions and get out of there or continue to be a bratty, selfish little kid and sit there longer than necessary. This is an outrage. It’s been 8 years and I still feel this way. and it saddens and angers me that discipline is now seen by our pussy society as abuse. and I MUST clarify that the philosophy of the school was NOT based on ANY physical abuse. NOT ONE STAFF MEMBER, ESPECIALLY MR. DARRINGTON EVER WAS THE KIND OF PERSON TO HURT A CHILD. I truly believe that Dace and he were genuinely devoted to helping kids succeed. what happen to them was a tragedy and was fueled by sheer ignorance


    • WWASP Survivors Says:

      Really? Because…
      “A grand jury in Georgia has indicted a former Whittell High School administrator [Richard Darrington] on felony charges of aggravated battery, invasion of privacy, and four counts of first degree cruelty to children. ”



      • Rachel Says:

        I went to Darrington (India was in my ‘family’ actually). Fortunately for India, she didn’t see the bad sides of Dace, Rich, or any of the staff really. I did. I was in Richard’s office almost every week. I wasn’t a trouble maker, I did what I was told…and then some. I tried really working the program and doing it the “right” way, but it wasn’t enough. I had to fake it to make it till the end. And at the end, I was supposed to graduate (3 months after I turned 18), but they were money hungry and wouldn’t let me graduate…that’s when my parents finally saw the light and came and got me. I’ve been diagnosed PTSD due to my time there. I was on a vegetarian diet because I didn’t eat pork. I was forced to eat the nastiest things. If I puked, I got in trouble…and I can go on and on with these types of stories.
        Point is, not everyone who went there knew what bad shit was happening. I do not doubt at all that Rich put his hands on a kid..because he did it to me. Get that man angry enough…well refer to court documents.
        I’m glad it’s closed. 10 years ago today I was there, and had been there for a few months. I was there for 1.5 years….and though yes I learned some things; I’m still recovering. I’ve gone years without thinking about that place. But then it just takes one song, one smell, on word to bring me back.


    • Logan Says:

      Never forced to do anything? If we didn’t break down and cry with some sob story of abuse we couldn’t move forward. There are children that never advanced/got out for 3-4+ years because of these programs. There are children who never committed a crime that were locked up for longer periods than rapists and pedophiles. Do you really think that’s justice?


  4. Bill Boyles Says:

    I think the most telling part of some of these comments is how some people still feel the need to or compulsively use “MR.” or “MS.”, even after all these years, even as adults themselves.
    Me myself? I say plain old Jade, Jason, Brian, Dwayne, or whatever…unless I’m using something like “that abusive douche” or “that fucking idiot” instead.


  5. Bill Boyles Says:

    Dace Goulding was a sadistic abusive asshole in Samoa, he was a sadistic abusive asshole in Mexico, and I can’t imagine the school he opened in Georgia was any different. And the majority of the stories from kids who went there, as well as the criminal charges filed, support that theory.
    Desert Hills Middle School ought to fire his ass.


  6. DAP Says:

    My previous comment was deleted so I’ll say his, I’m in contact with the school he’s at, working on it, I’ve also contacted a lawyer to handle it with the school district, and I’m nearby may just make a visit


  7. Bill Boyles Says:

    your previous post wasn’t deleted. you just posted it on another thread. you can find it here:




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  9. Briana M Says:

    My parents sent me to DA when I was 14 years old, I graduated the six step program a little before my 16th birthday. DA was not meant to help kids, aside from that one therapist NO ONE there was a licensed medical health professional. I saw young girls gets tackled and restrained by fully grown men. I saw young girls get dragged into an isolation room without food and perhaps even water for days simply because they did not wish to speak to anyone.

    I was never hurt because I complied. I told the staff, my parents, and even the seminar facilitators what they wanted to hear. In the seminars when I spoke of my moms suicide they told me it was not only my fault but that I was hiding something “bigger”. As if my mother taking her life after struggling with mental health issues when I was 8 years old wasn’t a good enough reason to be depressed and suicidal myself.

    I had to make up a story about being raped in order to advance through the seminars. I had to stand up in front of a room of 40 strangers and fabricate a story about being attacked and assaulted just to get through the seminar. They then made me tell my parents about it and to this day they still believe it happened.

    The school did not help me in any way, shape, or form. If anything it made the relationship between me and my family worse. After I graduated the program my parents insisted on having a point and levels based program at home as well. I was a 16 year old girl and couldn’t even talk unsupervised on the phone to my brother. I could go outside by myself. I lost five points and lost levels for leaving a towel on the floor or walking to the park. Mind you I never did any hard drugs and wasn’t involved in a gang. I was just a very sad and scared girl who felt completely isolated and unsupported.

    I was not surprised to see the school got shut down as Darrington would frequently beat the students. It mostly happened on the guys side of the school as the girls were more complacent. The food they fed us absolutely did not meet our nutritional needs, most gained about 40 lbs or more because all we ate was unhealthy meals from cans. I understand parents were probably desperate when they sent their kids to DA but taking one look at the school in person you would see it was NOT an adequate treatment facility.

    Why wasn’t it a red flag when parents were signing away their kids to a facility that said under no circumstances could they be held liable for their death? why was it not worrisome when you received edited letters from your children and couldn’t call them or see them?

    I am now almost 24 years old and I still have nightmares about the seminars and what they made us do. They brainwashed us to blame ourselves for everything we did in our life. If you were abused they would ask what choices you made to earn that abuse. If you were raped what choices did you make to deserve it?

    It makes my skin crawl when I remember a facilitator asking a young girl to describe how her uncle touched her sexually in full detail and forced her to say she secretly LIKED it and wanted it. She was SEVEN YEARS OLD when this happened to her.

    Anyone who can in any way defend this horrid and sad excuse for an educational or treatment facility should be ashamed.


  10. G Says:

    I hope my dad burns in hell for putting me there. Some people really don’t understand what some kids went through. The staff like the person who managed my mail with my parents were some sneaky scamming mother fuckers. And the way the “restrained” kids was disgusting. Fuck every single person who worked here and at red river. I genuinely hope u all have a terrible fucking lives. Please.


  11. ignacio pacheco Says:

    yea man i went to darrington or what ever tha hell you speel it no one can forget me the only italian kid who couldn’t speek english but fuck everyone one there especialy the staff only mr.pepper (R.I.P) was the only real one

    i mean at the end of the day it wasnt it that fucking bad suck a dick grow a pair and keep on going with life meet some great people and i meet some people who i hope they die from cancer wile there mothere gets rape but what can i do


  12. ignacio pacheco Says:

    i speek like that cause i have alot of anger in a way towards that program so much abuse and so lack of rules couldn’t even look left wile eating or you loose points without out being told and i even seen someone get slamed and brought to to detention for the night etc and so much more


  13. Michelle Says:

    My daughter was there but we got her out…does anyone know her or how she was treated? Her name is Toni Freeland and she was in the Hera Family


  14. Logan Says:

    I was there for about 19 months myself. Graduated the program. And still think regularly how alone I was while there and how there was no such thing as help for someone who didn’t have rights based on their age. I remember people being zip tied and left on mattresses for hours/days because they tried to run and escape. I remember kids being dragged by their ankles into intervention. I remember there was a hole in the wall in the worksheets room where a kid’s body had been smashed into it. No parent will ever understand what kids went through in that place. Thank you to everyone who helps spread this awareness. I witnessed several spiritual events/demonic possession while there and I thank the Lord for the mercy he has shown me. May he have mercy on the souls of Dace and Darrington. God help them all…


  15. Logan Says:

    There were even moments when, as an upper level, you earned the privilege to leave the grounds and got to work on Dace or Darrington’s house for them! That’s right. If you were lucky enough you were graced with the opportunity of legal child labor… for free!


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