PAHRUMP (FOX5) -- Last week, students came forward and said they had broken bones and were refused medical care at a rural Nevada school.
Investigators arrested a teacher for child abuse. Doctors then found teens with skin rashes linked to high levels of arsenic in the water.
No one from Northwest Academy will talk on camera.
The school’s attorney sent a statement on Tuesday saying, “Northwest Academy has been applauded by former students and their parents for the caliber of service that it provides.”
One woman who used to work at the school said she has a different memory.
“They were slamming them throwing them pushing them against walls, kicking them.”
She didn't want to be identified but she said the teens were treated like prisoners and now she wants to see the school shut down.
She worked mostly as a "dorm parent" in 2017. She said her job was to watch the students to make sure they behaved.
“I would have rather worked in a jail than helped out there. ... If a student was in trouble they weren’t provided food.”
Nye County Sheriff's Office investigators found high levels of arsenic in the school’s water supply.
This woman said she saw where the water came from.
“It came from a pond on the facility that was dirty and gross.”
She said the abuse fueled the troubled teens to act out more.
“To watch them all harm themselves and do all these things that were life threatening and nothing was being done about it - I couldn’t do that anymore.”
She went to the administration but she sid the administration was part of the problem.
“They were telling them that suicide is an option.”
Records show the owner of the school, Marcel Chappuis, lives at a house on the property. No one answered the door Tuesday night.
Investigators arrested teacher Caleb Hill for child abuse abuse last week. Students complained Hill picked them up and throw them to the ground. Hill admitted to deputies he got physical with the kids.
Nye County Jail records confirmed he bonded out last week. He didn't answer the door at his home on Tuesday.
“Some of these kids just had a little behavior issues nothing too major. Or some of them even had their parents just dump them there because they didn’t want them to come home. But they needed people who actually cared for them and not people who just used them as a paycheck,” the former employee said.
An attorney for Northwest Academy said in statement, “We ask that the public not rush to judgment as we are confident that the investigative process will reveal that northwest academy’s goal is to provide a safe and productive environment for its students.”
The sheriff's office couldn’t say how many students were abused or if the school will face charges for the arsenic in the water.