The girls at Connecticut's Avon High School were learning more than just Spanish in their Spanish classes, according to a lawsuit filed by one family. The parents, identified only as John and Jane Doe, say their older daughters—now ages 22 and 19—started acting differently while attending the school, becoming "secretive," "reclusive," and "distant"; having "fantasies of suicidal ideation and martyrdom"; speaking in a strange language; and gathering at Wellesley College in Massachusetts with other girls to perform religious "whirling dervish" dances through the night. The Does attest that three Spanish teachers and a guidance counselor at the high school indoctrinated their daughters into a cult that "celebrates death," Courthouse News reports.
They say their second daughter began to change, as her older sister had, when she had the same Spanish teacher, and that all three teachers and the counselor encouraged her to join her sister at Wellesley so they could all get together there. The teachers also tried to indoctrinate the Does' now-16-year-old daughter into their "coven," the lawsuit states, but she was able to "break free," NBC Connecticut reports, and that's when her parents realized what was going on. Not so much for the elder sisters: They've had almost no contact with their family since July, and the lawsuit says they reported their parents as abusive in order to be allowed to stay at Wellesley over the summer. The college is also named in the suit, along with the teachers, the counselor, and Avon Public Schools. (They're not the only teachers to make headlines for an unusual reason this week.)