ALTA Academy

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Elissa, Teressa, and Lamont all attended a private polygamous school run by principal Jeffs. Lamont gives Lisa a tour of the abandoned ALTA Academy, where access was forbidden by outsiders. "It's hard to describe, but we all felt a dark presence walking through the maze of rooms," Lisa says.

Elissa says her education at ALTA Academy was very different from a traditional public school. "They have their basics—mathematics, spelling," she says. "But it's mostly a religious education." The curriculum, designed by Jeffs, had many obvious holes in the lesson plan: History class stopped at the Constitution, no one ever walked on the moon and dinosaurs never existed. "They have their own history, even as far as government history [and] world history," Elissa says. "They teach nothing of evolution."

Lamont says the science books were also doctored so that parts of the human anatomy were covered. "They would just cut little pieces of paper and stick it over the private areas even if there wasn't a private area there just to make a point."
FROM: Forced to Marry at 14: Lisa Ling's Special Report on Polygamy Continues
Published on May 29, 2008