"My feeling is that the majority of kids who talk about suicide,
they're not suicidal," Strawn said. "What they are is manipulative."
Yet die they do. I sometimes wonder what would I do? What would I do if I was imprisoned in a camp which demanded total obesience to a bunch of abusive rednecks? Fight? Refuse to eat?
Remember these youngsters have not been convicted of anything.
"When most children first arrive they find it difficult to believe that they have no alternative but to submit. In shock, frightened and angry, many simply refuse to obey. This is when they discover the alternative. Guards take them (if necessary by force) to a small bare room and make them (again by force if necessary) lie flat on their face, arms by their sides, on the tiled floor. Watched by a guard, they must remain lying face down, forbidden to speak or move a muscle except for 10 minutes every hour, when they may sit up and stretch before resuming the position. Modest meals are brought to them, and at night they sleep on the floor of the corridor outside under electric light and the gaze of a guard. At dawn they resume the position.
"This is known officially as being 'in OP' - Observation Placement - and more casually as 'lying on your face'. Any level student can be sent to OP, and it automatically demotes them to level 1 and zero points. Every 24 hours, students in OP are reviewed by staff, and only sincere and unconditional contrition will earn their release. If they are unrepentant? 'Well, they get another 24 hours.'
"One boy told me he'd spent six months in OP.
I didn't think this could be true, but it transpired this was not even exceptional. 'Oh no,' says Kay. 'The record is actually held by a female.' On and off, she spent 18 months lying on her face."
Metafilter discussion here.
Some people have infinite capacity to be cruel. They latch on to children, and other helpless people, to exercise their desire to abuse. I am literally shaking as I type this.