CLARKSBURG, W. Va. – Arrest warrants were issued and executed for the two individuals at the heart of the allegations of child abuse against a religious boarding school in Harrison County.

“Mrs. [Susan Gayle] Clark was arrested and arraigned on charges of failure to report, two counts, obstruction of a law enforcement officer, one count, and two felony counts of child neglect resulting in injury,” Joe Shaffer, Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney said. “Mr. [Timothy Aaron] Arrington was arraigned on three felony counts of child abuse creating risk of bodily injury.”

The execution of warrants against the executive director and and also an employee of the Miracle Meadows School in Salem by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department went without incident.

“These individuals were not picked up in handcuffs and brought in by police, these individuals were given the opportunity to present themselves at the Magistrate Court’s Office today,” Shaffer said.

The charges against Founder and Executive Director Clark stem from the original investigation after Arrington was arrested a week ago and also from her subsequent actions in response.

“She obstructed law enforcement’s investigation and the court’s order when she was known to have children at her home in Ritchie County, completely ignoring a court order not to do so,” Shaffer said. “Also, Clark failed to report instances of child abuse and neglect.”

One such failure allegedly includes not reporting sexual abuse committed by one student toward another to the proper authorities. Also, she allegedly failed to report neglect and abuse Arrington is charged with.

“Allegations against Mr. Arrington are that he utilized punishment against individuals by restraining them with handcuffs, in one incidence where the individuals wrists were found to have been bleeding as a result of handcuffs,” Shaffer said.

According to Shaffer, Clark was admitted to bail in the amount of $26,000 and Arrington was admitted to bail in the amount of $45,000.

The investigation is ongoing as more evidence will have to be examined and more interviews will be conducted.

The children found in the custody of Clark after the DHHR turned them over to their parents against the court order are once again in the custody of the DHHR.

“We have not heard any good reason as to why these children were returned back to Mrs. Clark, these 8 of the 19 children that were taken,” Shaffer said. “We don’t know why their parents did that and it’s part of the ongoing investigation.”

On Tuesday, the state Department of Education essentially shut the school down but sending a letter revoking the “exemption (k)” status, which prevents other education provisions from being applicable, except for those respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization as long as test scores are filed once a year.

Earlier this week, the board for Miracle Meadows School, which is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventists, voted to file a lawsuit against the DHHR, claiming the investigation is being handled improperly for a facility classified as a parochial alternative school.

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Comments

  • John

    It's interesting the comments that some of you are posting....Ccoller it's interesting what you remember. I personally remember you smacking a staff in the face and he literally and physically turned the other chick only for you to smack him on the next side. And what did you do? Made fun of the fact that you hit a staff and he turned the other chick. There are many other stories like that. How about the philipino staff that got a brain concuction from a female student? How about the other staff who got her hair pulled out from the root? What about that other staff who got her ankle sprained from trying to catch some runaways? Or the other male staff who got his nose broken? Many staff leave the school with wounds. Yet they all continue to pray and support the school. And still the all support the school's mission. You would never hear them complaining about this. It's sad that the students who demanded the most help and were invested in the most, are the ones that seem to be posting the most negative comments. But this should never surprise us. The reward sought should never be an earthly one.

  • John

    It's interesting the comments that some of you are posting....Ccoller it's interesting what you remember. I personally remember you smacking a staff in the first and he literally and physically turned the other chick and you smacked him on the next side. And what did you do? Made fun of the fact that you hit a staff and he turned the other chick. There are many other stories like that. How about the philipino staff that got a brain concuction from a female student? How about the other staff who got her hair pulled out from the root? What about that other staff who got her ankle sprained from trying to catch some runaways? Or the other male staff who got his nose broken? And they all continue to pray and support the school. And still the all support the school's mission. You would never hear them complaining about this. It's sad that the students who demanded the most help and were invested in the most, are the ones that seem to be posting the most negative comments. But this should never surprise us. The reward sought should never be an earthly one.

  • Ccoller

    As Nate said. I was there for 4 yeas and abuse was rampit. No one heard our crys and no one could help us. Our parents believed we were liars and couldn't see such a "bennificial" school abuse us, but it happened and there is nothing that will ever numb what we went through in the early days of adult hood.

  • Mahlon

    It is my understanding that DHS has been after MM for years but as hard as they try, they can not find legitement facts.

  • Jay

    This is not the only SDA issue in the country. Check out how this convicted child molester was hired by church officials to run a YOUTH program.

    http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-men-suing-over-sex-abuse-say-they-want-seventh-day-adventist-church-to-change/

  • T

    I was once a student at MS back in 1998 to 1999 if u feel that this is horrible then you have no idea as to what it w as really like being a student there. Locked u up in a room eating cold food using the bathroom in a bucket other abuse, neglected by our so called parent and staff. However I used my time there was and lifetime experience that could never be forgotten.

  • Ex staff

    Miracle Meadows is the last stop before serious lifetime institutionalization in prisons and psych hospitals. It tries not to take kids who are just brats because it wants to help disturbed kids.

    In that situation things will happen. Three fires have been stated by students. One burnt a barn. One burnt the boy's dorm. One melted ugly black spots into fire proof carpet and smoke stained the walls in the caf. I remember the whole school gathering to pray for the firebug who burnt the dorm. The kid who tried to burn the caf was welcomed back after he did his time.
    Staff take being assaulted as part of the job.

    Gayle was not always a great leader, but she did have a heart to save the kids and no kid didn't deserve a chance. The staff who oversaw discipline were also the ones who were up with kids with nightmares and nursing the sick. They may have been cranky and tired, but if they didn't have a heart for kids they couldn't stay. The pay was too low and the hours too long.

    Kids that were too far gone for anyone else to have any hope for them were welcome at MMS. They found friends there who didn't judge them and let them be themselves. If you were swearing and spitting at a staff member in the morning, you may be playing basketball together in the evening because it was over and you could move on.

    It wasn't perfect by a long shot, but the problem was more too much idealism than a sadistic plan to enslave children.

  • Anomomous

    I was also a student at mms and as much as many of the students including my self didn't like it there... That school was quite benificial to me.. Had it not been for ms Clark and the other staff members there I would not be the young woman I am today. They encourage me and gave me the tools I needed to stay strong and to accomplish my goals. I am now closer than ever to my family and I owe all my thanks to ms Clark. I do not believe for one seccond any of these allegations that have been made..

  • Staff

    I believe that she acts in her best interest even though it may be misguided. She was ready to step down and let someone else run the school. I was a student and a staff and while being there as a student wasn't ideal, it kept me out of trouble and encouraged me to get at least a Portion of my life together. Either way many of the children would have ended up in jail without MMS and those that did would tell you MMS was better. Parents take their children to Gayle because they cannot handle them and from experience they most likely returned them to her due to the unruly nature of some of the students.

  • Nate

    I was a student there, and I can say the torment and psychological abuse was devastating to me as a child. Everything seamed to be for the glory of Gayle Clark and her husband Bill. Being forced to work just to be fed, on the school farm or their supposedly own property. I guess putting someone in a cage is some sort of therepy. If you deprive someone enough you can obtain miracles! .... I hope everything comes to light. whether they call it justifiable or to keep getting money from a distraught parent. I think this shameless greedy scheme needs to stop and someone held accountable...

  • pditty

    what about the associate pastor who worked at MM as a chaplain several years ago who was charged with sexual abuse and now resides in maryland and works as a youth pastor, how is that possible?

  • NM

    I was here as a student for 2 1/2 years and suffered a lot of abuse. My parents were told I was lying. Finally my parents realized what was really going on and pulled me out. I went through many years of therapy after I was here. All of these stories about what happened now are bringing up so many painful memories. I'm so glad the truth about what happens here is finally coming out.

  • Dumb Liberals

    The "Root of all Evil is Money" and I'll bet there were a bunch of greedy folks, both implicated and not, that pocketed a bunch of government money at the expense of kids, all under the cover of blind state officials that were all of a sudden enlightened. They was cured! It's a miracle!

    Maybe the investigation needs to take a wild twist and some state and local guardians should be indicted. I'm sure that DHHR and the DoEd have lily white hands in this too. Right!!!!!!!!

    • x

      MMS does not take state money. It is supported by tuition and donations.

  • MJ

    When I was a staff at Miracle Meadows, there was no such thing happening. Please pray that this all gets sorted out so that the school can continue to do the good job that it has been doing.

  • MK

    Their web site (in part) says they accept students who are defiant, sneak around, have poor social skills, use drugs/alcohol and are irresponsible & undisciplined ... in other words, every kid who ever went to high school. I also find it interesting they seem proud of their acceptance (and retention) of violent students.