Investigation Finds No Oversight, Questionable Methods at High School Leadership Retreats

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According to an investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle, residential retreats aimed at developing leadership and empathy in high school students are using questionable methods such as asking participants to reenact racist behavior, shout degrading slurs at one another and divulge family trauma. While some students say the camp experiences are transformative, the investigation finds the teaching methods suspect, unethical and possibly harmful. A San Jose judge has now called for the Bay Area programs to be suspended. Chronicle investigator Karen de Sá joins us to discuss what she uncovered when attending two retreats in Santa Cruz County and what happens next for these camps.


Karen de Sá, investigative reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Mike Polisso, went to leadership camp as a high school student