Officials at T.M. Landry College Prep have acknowledged a Friday New York Times story that leveled several allegations against the Breaux Bridge school.
On Nov. 19, the school posted a video on its official Facebook page about reporters from the New York Times visiting the campus. The video shows a room filled with several students discussing their experiences with the school.
In the comments, some noted that when the story was published Friday morning, it was critical of T.M. Landry. The allegations include falsified college applications and physical abuse.
In response to one of the comments, administrators for the school's official page wrote "Thanks...the truth will come out!!"
Beyond that, the leaders of the school, Mike and Tracey Landry, have not yet issued any formal comments on the Times story.
Also on Friday, the Diocese of Lafayette issued a statement confirming it has no involvement with T.M. Landry College Prep.
The diocese confirmed that it donated a building on East Landry Street in Opelousas to the school on Nov. 14, 2018. The building had been vacant since April after the diocese transferred a women's shelter there to Lafayette.
"The Diocese has no interest, by ownership or otherwise, in the T.M. Landry Prep Foundation and is not affiliated with it in any way," the statement said.
The statement added that the donation was made "prior to these allegations being made public."
The Times story alleges that T.M. Landry College Prep, a private school in Breaux Bridge, has been beset by numerous problems, including embellished college applications and physical abuse.
The school has garnered national attention in recent years for its track record of sending students to Ivy League schools. Many of these students reportedly come from difficult childhoods and backgrounds. Videos of them being accepted to universities such as Harvard and Yale have gone viral, generating millions of online views and attention from celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres.
However, the Times said in its story that some of those applications were falsified. One student told the paper he was told to exaggerate his father's absence from his life in his application to New York University.
Click here to read the New York Times' full story on T.M. Landry College Prep.
The story also alleged that Mike Landry, who co-founded the school with his wife Tracey, physically abused some students. Landry said he considers himself a "drill sergeant" but that he has eased up on physical punishment.
Other family members said they became concerned after determining their children or grandchildren who attended T.M. Landry Prep were not receiving a quality education. One parent said his child was found to be two grade levels behind. A grandmother said she was worried when her grandchild could barely write legibly after an extended period at the school.
T.M. Landry is a private school that does not receive state funding and thus is not subjected to assessments and evaluations the state gives to traditional public and charter schools. Accredited private schools also must meet certain standards.
In a visit last year, Mike and Tracey Landry acknowledged the school has unconventional methods. There is no defined structure to the school day, and some students are there until late at night. Often, students teach each other.
The school is located in an industrial building in Breaux Bridge. Earlier this year, the Landrys said they planned to move to a large vacant space in the Northgate Mall in Lafayette. The move has not yet taken place. A school employee said this week that the move is slated for sometime in 2019.