An “out the box” school gained attention last year after multiple viral clips showed a crowd of cheering people in celebration upon hearing the news that several of their underprivileged black students received acceptance letters from Harvard and other Ivy Leagues schools.

But according to a bombshell New York Times investigation, there may be a sordid story behind the viral Harvard acceptance videos.

The small town Louisiana school, T.M. Landry, is accused of cutting corners and falsifying transcripts and student accomplishments all to get students into elite colleges.

Watch the Harvard college acceptance video that quickly went viral in 2017:

Several former students told the Times they were not sufficiently prepared for the rigors of Ivy League academics once they arrived.


In addition, students accused the school of fostering “a culture of fear with physical and emotional abuse.” Letarchia Lewis, who took her daughter out of T.M. Landry, told the Times:

“It was complete fraud. It definitely was fraud.”

She continued:

“I saw the videos and I wanted exactly what I saw in the videos for my children. I wanted that for them and that was very motivating, and very inspirational.

And when we went to the school to tour the school, he (Michael) gave us the impression that, that was exactly what we were going to get.”

Times reporter Katie Benner who wrote the article with Erica Green, interviewed 46 parents, current and former students, and teachers and many used the word “cult” to describe the small rural school ran by teacher and former salesman, Michael Landry, and his wife, Tracey Landry, a nurse.


One parent told the publication:

“That dream you see on television, all those videos, it’s really a nightmare.”

The Landry’s are accused of forcing students “to kneel on rice, rocks and hot pavement, and were choked, yelled at and berated.” Michael denied allegations of physical abuse that included, hitting students, choking, and slamming them into desks by telling the Times, “Oh, I yell a lot.”


KLFY reports, T.M. Landry’s administration is expected to make an official statement on the recent allegations of fraud and abuse.

As of now, no statement has been issued.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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One Reply to “Parents of Louisiana School Known for Sending Black Students to Elite Colleges are Calling it a Sham”

  • John 2 years ago

    Sounds like a fraud to me or is it the New Affirmative Action? On the other hand, if true, the program shows there’s not much of a need for qualified teachers or for the students to participate in the other school and community activities that we’ve been led to believe are so dear to the hearts and minds of the Admission Team.

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