"We're extremely relieved to have these boys back in safe hands," said school director Jay Kay. Yes, their return is something we can all celebrate.
Except, well, it isn't.
Tranquility Bay isn't an overseas school so much as it is a brainwashing center for "troubled" teens. The teens didn't "get lost" in the confusion, they ran away and hid.
"We have learned through other students that the boys had planned this run-away for some time," Kay said in the press release. That's not the surprise; the surprise is that they were able to keep it secret and pull it off.
As disturbing as this story is, as disturbing as the whitewash of the incident is ... we can still take heart in the fact that, even in the face of such extreme mental pressures, at least some kids can retain the wits and the will to get away.
An Associated Press article on the recapture names the boys and says that they face expulsion for running away. I don't want to romanticize the teens' defiance by presenting that option as an unqualifiedly good thing -- they're still going to return to the States traumatized and with an even more shattered relationship with the parents who sent them away, and quite possibly will end up on the wrong side of the law instead of as productive members of the fringe. But anything that chips away at the veneer of Tranquility Bay, anything that might get it shut down the same way its predecessors were, really can't be anything other than good on balance.