By Bruce Barcott. He even makes house calls. By Nadya Labi Louis Boussard has hired a professional to abduct his son. He rented a Ford Taurus with child-safety locks esdorts Avis and set off for the coastal town of St. Petersburg with his assistant, Joshua Dalton, and me. An hour later, we were driving down a street filled with one-story homes.
We slowed down outside a house with an Im flag hanging from the eaves and a Jaguar and a Grand Cherokee in the semicircular driveway. It was a. Strawn parked in a nearby lot to kill time. He went over the plan, emphasizing, "We've got to leave by Does your house have a circle driveway with a Jag in it?
Is he asleep? Moments later, Strawn's phone rang.
No, don't wake him up. We're going to talk to you for about an hour," he said.
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Both men wore khaki pants and dark blue shirts embossed with a globe logo and the website address of Strawn's company. Strawn walked up the stone pathway, peered in the window of the front door, and lightly rapped. No one answered. A Haitian-American man in his late 40s opened the front door and beckoned us inside.
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Boussard his name and the names of his wife and son have been changed guided us to a dining-room table covered by a white tablecloth. It held a white vase filled with artificial pink flowers and two fat red candles in wrought iron stands. The matching white cushions of the dining-room chairs were covered in plastic. Boussard sat at the atlant of the table, flanked by his wife, Sandra. The couple's formality, however, soon gave way to the urgency of atlanga task at hand.
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Two rooms away on the other side of the kitchen, their year-old son, Louis, Jr. Casa takes kids who parents have decided are out of control, usually because the teens are talking back, getting poor grades, staying out late, drinking, having sex too soon, or taking drugs. Louis, Jr. They thought he would run if he knew what was about to happen. Now they kept glancing in the direction of the kitchen. The troubles had begun a year earlier when Louis, Jr.
His grades fell from A's and B's to C's and below. He stopped playing basketball with his father. He started talking back when his mother wouldn't let him go out to clubs with his friends.
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He broke his curfew, which was p. Often he left the house by his bedroom window. The Boussards thought Louis, Jr. Then all of a sudden, his report cards improved dramatically. He discovered a bad report card in his son's backpack, and Louis admitted that he had faked the good ones.
The Boussards enrolled their son in counseling; the counselor escots he was doing fine. They sent him to boot camp for a day, aglanta he got anger-management and drug counseling. He behaved better for about a week. At around the same time, Louis was told that he had to repeat 10th grade. His parents transferred him to a vocational program in carpentry at his high school with the hope that he would find the schoolwork easier. Louis hated it.
Strawn listened to this litany of frustrations, nodding sympathetically. Then, he took a breath and started the spiel that he has honed over the course of six years and some transports. Like all troubled kids, Louis, Jr. He was still steamed about the fake report cards. There was a slight noise, and he and his wife jumped. Strawn went outside to make sure that Louis had not climbed out of his bedroom window.
The teen seemed to be escorts in st cloud atlanta, but Strawn left Dalton outside to stand guard. On the air conditioner outside the window was a bottle of cologne, which Strawn guessed Louis used to freshen up before his nights out. Strawn squeaked back into his chair and rushed through his usual script. Now was not the moment to dwell on his own recovery from alcoholism, or to lead the prayer circle that he often suggests before a trip.
He ran through what his clients should expect when he entered Louis's room. Strawn advised them to introduce him to Louis, to give their son a hug if Louis let them, and then to walk away. In return, Strawn asked him to a notarized power-of-attorney that authorized his company to take "any act or action" on the parents' behalf during the transport to Casa. The document also promised that the couple would not sue for any injuries caused by "reasonable restraint.
The father ed the release, then seemed to have a moment of buyer's remorse. He said he'd been obsessively reading the catalogue for Casa.
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Only one of them decided to take this path. If it had anything to do with your parenting skills. The rest of us followed close behind. He walked into the kitchen and took a dinner knife out of a drawer, explaining that he would use it to pry open his son's locked door. Sliding the knife into the crack between the door and the wall, he prepared to enter.
Ten years later, he was asked by a member of his United Methodist church to transport the churchgoer's son to Tranquility Bay in Jamaica. Strawn said no to that first inquiry because he knew the boy involved. But he had stumbled upon what he now believes attlanta his calling. In his first year of business, he escorted eight teens to behavior modification schools. Since then, his company has escotrs more than kids between the ages of 8 and Strawn has gone on clpud escorts in st cloud atlanta of the trips himself; on the others he has sent agents.
Either way, the company generally uses two escorts for the part of a trip that's on the road. Girls are escorted by coed teams; in the early years, Strawn relied on his wife, mother, or older daughter escodts help him aglanta these trips. Now his wife, Susan, runs the company's office from the family home in the Atlanta suburb of Suwanee.
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After escorhs trip, she sends the client a card with the message: "Just a note to say thank you for allowing us to assist your family. He has chased kids down. He has dragged teens to the car in their underwear. He has used a choke hold, learned as a cop, to render a few others unconscious.
He has taken suicidal kids from hospital treatment to reform school. Most of Strawn's clients are genuinely concerned about their children's welfare. They believe their children are at risk and want to save them. But these parents also revel in forcing their kids to sit up, pay attention, and do what they're told. While no one tracks the teen transport industry, those in the business estimate that more than 20 companies nationwide take kids to behavior modification schools, residential treatment centers, and boot camps.
Some of the bigger companies are more selective than Strawn about what they'll do. The Center for Safe Youth in Atlanta, for example, doesn't use restraints to force to go anywhere.
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And the center won't transport kids to WWASP schools because educational consultants with whom the company works don't recommend them. Its owner, John Villines, would like to create a professional association to oversee the transport industry. The standards he proposes are rudimentary: no agents with felony convictions or histories of irresponsible driving or drug and alcohol abuse.
But they set the bar higher than almost cloyd state does.
But there is no trust between parents and kids in the households that Strawn enters. It has broken down so completely that parents think it's okay, and even courageous, to send a stranger into their child's bedroom. Strawn escofts his living from that judgment and he is willing to mislead for what he sees as the greater goal of reform.
He has the authority to tell a kid what to do and to punish him for failing to obey. At the same time, he is the only person left to cling to when a kid is on the threshold of a scary, unknown world. The school is the most hardcore in the WWASP system, the one to which students are sent when they repeatedly cause trouble at other schools. The trip went smoothly, according to Heron's mother, Nell Orange, and Strawn played his role well.
She trusted him. He talked to her about what to expect, where she was going," Orange said. The suicide didn't faze Strawn.