This is a  staff list for Thayer Learning Center in Kidder, MO 

(Reportedly Closed--No Longer Operating as Thayer Learning Center)

(a.k.a.  TLC--Teen Life Skills Center )


(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)


We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at Thayer Learning Center.  For information on your rights and how to take action, visit  If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Thayer Learning Center, you have the right to take action. 


If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Thayer Learning Center, please contact if you remember the long-term employees and from which years.  This will help!   Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.



Please don’t place your loved one in Thayer Learning Center/TLC and rescue them if they are there now. 




Additional Information
Willa Bundy President/CEO Also founder.  See the Close Thayer Learning Center Website now!
NO OTHER NAMES NO OTHER TITLES There is no additional information on staff at this location at this time.*
*(Thayer Learning Center/TLC, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices.  Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience.  Thank you for your help.)
Survivor & Family Reports, News Articles, etc.:

Ex-employees sue boot camp accused of abuse--June 3rd, 2008--Five former employees of a northwest Missouri boot camp where a child died in 2004 have sued for alleged malicious prosecution.


The workers had been sued by Thayer Learning Center in a case that eventually was dropped. In that lawsuit, Thayer alleged that the ex-employees made false statements and false allegations to law-enforcement officials and others about activities at the camp.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, the former employees allege that Thayer sued them to keep them and others quiet, describing the lawsuit against them as an attempt “to keep the truth about their facility secret.”

The workers’ lawsuit also accuses Thayer of suing them “to hide from the appropriate authorities and parents the fact that … the usual methods used by (Thayer) did indeed and actually constitute child abuse.”

The case filed in Caldwell County Circuit Court names Thayer Learning Center and the facility’s owner, Willa Bundy, as defendants.

Bundy and an attorney for the center did not return phone calls Monday and Tuesday.

Allegations of child abuse at Thayer — about 50 miles northeast of Kansas City in Kidder — came to light after Roberto Reyes, 15, died in November 2004, less than two weeks after enrolling.

No charges were filed in connection with Roberto’s death, but the FBI recently conducted a preliminary investigation and sent its findings to the U.S. Department of Justice. Officials there are reviewing the case.

Thayer officials have said that allegations of abuse were “ludicrous and false.”

In its 2003 lawsuit, Thayer alleged that the workers made false statements to third parties about the center “physically abusing and harming its students” and accused them of violating written contracts by contacting parents, government agencies and law-enforcement officials to discuss specific students and school operations.

Those contacts, Thayer alleged, forced the school to “have to continually … deny these false allegations” and caused the loss of potential students. Thayer dropped its lawsuit last month.

In their lawsuit, the ex-employees said contractual agreements could not be used to prevent individuals from reporting abuse. They accuse Thayer of “covering up the fact that they had an unqualified and unsupervised staff engaging in child abuse.”

Phil Elberg, a New Jersey attorney representing the plaintiffs, alleged by phone that Thayer’s 2003 lawsuit “was clearly intended to scare people into shutting up.”

The plaintiffs did not specify a dollar amount but alleged that the center’s “outrageous” behavior “showed an evil motive” and therefore entitles them to exemplary damages in addition to actual damages, attorneys’ fees and “such other relief as the court deems just and proper.”

Elberg said the plaintiffs — Nanette Burge and Candessa Williams of Gallatin, Mo.; Linda Glenn and Janet Traylor of Hamilton, Mo., and Regina Burge of Jamesport, Mo. — would not comment.  (Unable to locate story at time for archiving.  Source:  Date: June 3, 2008)

Teen boot camp hearing targets Missouri agency--April 24th, 2008--WASHINGTON | In a hearing designed to expose deceptive marketing practices in the residential treatment industry for troubled teens, a northwest Missouri referral agency was singled out Thursday on Capitol Hill.

The hearing, held before a House committee, included testimony of examples of cruelty and neglect used by officials at boot camps and residential treatment centers.

It highlighted what Greg Kutz called “deceptive and other questionable” marketing tactics by some referral agencies. Kutz, who is leading an investigation into youth residential programs for the federal Government Accountability Office, specifically named Parent Help of Gallatin, Mo., as one of them.

For example: Despite online descriptions that say Parent Help workers will “look at your special situation and help you select the best school for your teen,” all three GAO investigators who called Parent Help with fictitious stories about their children were referred to Thayer Learning Center.

Parent Help is owned by John Bundy, while Thayer is owned by his wife, Willa Bundy.

“They didn’t disclose that to us as parents,” Kutz testified.

Thayer Learning Center, where Roberto Reyes of California died at age 15 in November 2004 after his parents were referred to the school through Parent Help, is located about 50 miles northeast of Kansas City in Kidder. Parent Help is less than 15 miles from there.

Officials at Thayer and attorneys for Thayer didn’t return calls from The Star on Thursday.

The GAO found that among the more questionable practices were false promises of tax incentives and insurance reimbursements. Monthly charges ranged from $2,800 to $13,000, Kutz said.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source:  Date: April 24, 2008)

Teen ‘boot camps’ get congressional scrutiny--October 10th, 2007--WASHINGTON | The death of 15-year-old Roberto Reyes at a “boot camp” for troubled  teenagers in rural Missouri three years ago drew the attention of Congress on Wednesday.  Thousands of teenagers have possibly been abused and many have died as a result at similar residential disciplinary treatment programs, a federal investigation has found.  The report by the Government Accountability Office addressed problems at several disciplinary programs across the country. Concerns included withholding food, drink and medical care, as well as reckless practices by untrained staff. Its findings, that more than 1,600 employees at treatment centers in 33 states had been linked to incidents of abuse in 2005 alone, were the subject of a House hearing Wednesday.  The GAO echoed some of the findings of a 2005 Kansas City Star investigation, which uncovered several alleged instances of abuse at the Thayer Learning Center in Kidder, Mo., north of Kansas City. The owners have denied any wrongdoing.  The focus of the hearing was also on parents, forever haunted by choices they’d give anything to take back.  “His mother and I will never escape our decision to send our gifted 16-year-old son to his death,” testified Bob Bacon of Arizona, whose son, Aaron, died at a Utah wilderness therapy camp. “We were conned by their fraudulent claims and will go to our graves regretting our gullibility.”  The GAO said that during three weeks in 1994 when Aaron was constantly forced to hike, he complained of severe abdominal pain, lost 20 percent of his body weight and lost control of his bodily functions. He received no medical care.  It also found little oversight. Some states license the centers. Others, such as Missouri, don’t.  “These allegations range from neglect to torture, a word that I don’t use lightly,” said Democratic Rep. George Miller of California, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: Date: October 10, 2007)

TLC does not make it's program details or enrollment materials available to the public.


 Last Updated: October 18th, 2010

Return to or top of page