Glen Mills Schools wants to reopen with a new name following decades of abuse allegations

Pennsylvania shuttered the nation’s oldest reformatory school in Delaware County after decades of abuse allegations came to light. Now, it appears to be attempting to reopen.

The exterior of the Glen Mills Schools

The Glen Mills Schools is seen, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Glen Mills, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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The Glen Mills Schools appears to be trying to reopen its doors under a new name and nonprofit, the Clock Tower Schools.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) shut down the all-boys institution in Delaware County two years ago, following an investigation into decades of abuse allegations and subsequent cover-ups at the nation’s oldest reformatory school.

DHS also revoked the Glen Mills Schools’ 14 licenses, and the facility soon went from receiving students from across the country to receiving none.

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Despite having no students, the Glen Mills Schools have continued some operations. In the summer of 2019, just three months after its closure, the Glen Mills Schools hired its first Black executive director. Meanwhile, the school has been the subject of several lawsuits stemming from the abuse allegations.

In July, the Clock Tower Schools registered as a nonprofit with the same principal address as the original Glen Mills Schools, as first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jeff Jubelirer, a spokesperson for Clock Tower Schools, insists this isn’t the same Glen Mills Schools reopening.

“The Clock Tower Schools, a new nonprofit entity established in July 2021, applied for a license with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to provide critically-needed care and education for minors committed by order of the courts. We look forward to hearing from DHS,” Jubelirer said in an interview with WHYY News.

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However, the operator who answers calls to the previous phone number for the Glen Mills Schools directs to Jubelirer. The two entities also share the same address.

In a statement, DHS spokesperson Ali Fogarty confirmed the agency had received an application for licensure from the Clock Tower Schools in mid-September. She said the department would review the application, conduct a site visit, and perform “additional investigation if necessary to determine suitability.”

There is currently no timeline for a decision.

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