On-demand: Now Return Us to Normal

On-demand: Now Return Us to Normal

Filmmaker Leslie Koren and her fellow classmates confront the trauma brought on by their years at a behavior modification boarding school.

Watch On-Demand

 About The Film: 

At 16-years-old, Leslie was struck by severe clinical depression. Overnight, a seemingly socially active and healthy teenager became someone who was unable to function. It was then that Leslie’s parents sent her to Oakley School, an isolated free form boarding program for “problem youth” near Park City, Utah. For Leslie, this was a voluntary choice, one that emerged from her parent’s feelings of overwhelmingness and skepticism of institutional options; however, most of her classmates were there against their will. 

Twelve years after Oakley, Leslie experiences a post-traumatic attack as buried memories flood to the surface. She starts asking questions for which there most likely will be no answers, attempting to connect the dots of her disjointed memories. Speaking with her parents, former classmates, and school staff who all have their own versions of the story, Leslie questions how such treatment of youth could be justified, let alone within a supposedly educational setting.

This film is part of Student Mental Health Matters, a WXXI and NYS public media stations initiaitive addressing mental health issues among teens. Working in collaboration WXXI and NYS public broadcasters kick off this effort with a focused week of programming Saturday, September 23 through Sunday, October 1 and coverage all year long.