First Person Accounts


Everyone's perspective is legitimate when commenting on Shimber Beris. Many students experienced stress during their time with the school. Some of this was due to emotional baggage they brought with them from home and some was due, at Dr. Burden's direction, to attitudes of the staff, which resulted in conflicts. Some students were in fact treated better than others due to a more compliant attitude and some students simply enjoyed the time they spent at the school for personal reasons.

The directors of this project wish to encourage all whose lives were impacted by Shimber Beris to share the memories and feelings about their experiences regardless of how frustrating or benign they might be. There are no inappropriate or incorrect attitudes. We are actively soliciting oral histories and would like to meet with anyone who is seriously willing to discuss Shimber Beris. Every participant will be afforded whatever degree of anonymity or privacy they desire.

It is a fact that during the operation of the school there were reports of students who felt they were told what they were thinking, what they should be thinking and how their thoughts might impact those around them. There is no longer any need for judgment of how anyone experienced their interactions with the Burden's or the school.

During the life of the school it is an unfortunate reality that David Burden took it upon himself to accept students with profound behavioral and psychiatric problems despite his being wholly inexperienced and unknowledgeable about how to care for such people. The man who started his life studying drugless therapies and chiropractic resorted to the use of incarceration and medication for those whose realities he couldn't understand or take the time to learn. This was a rather unspiritual side to the direction the school had taken by the time it closed.

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