Marvens Petion paints a bleak picture of his time living with Mike Woodbury, CEO and basketball director of The Nation Christian Academy in Port St. Lucie.
A profanity-laced recording of Woodbury speaking to a group of student-athletes, including Petion, at his home on Oct. 17 was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday night and quickly went viral.
“It’s a struggle everyday,” Petion wrote in a message. “We don’t eat sometimes and he doesn’t care either. But me and my teammates, we always make the best out of it laughing and go to sleep, wake up the next day and work.”
Petion, an international student from Haiti, moved in with Woodbury and his family in December. Petion had been at two previous prep schools in the United States that have closed.
Woodbury said he treated Petion like a son, but did so with tough love.
“He was a lost soul and I thought I could save him,” Woodbury said. “I attempted to do everything in my power to save him. As much of an (expletive) as I am, vulgar, I have a heart, and I think I can save every kid on this planet. I attempt to do so with tough love. It’s not always the way people would expect it. It’s not politically correct, but it is who I am and I’m true to that.”
Petion said Woodbury could be verbally abusive, including calling him a racial epithet. Petion also said Woodbury threated to cancel the student’s I-20 form, which international students must have to attend school in the United States.
Woodbury threatened to have Petion deported during the 3-minute, 27-second audio recording.
“Take your broke (expletive) — I’ll say it again — your broke (expletive) — back to the (expletive) garage,” Woodbury said. “I don’t want to hear (expletive) from you. Bottom line. The next thing I hear from you, get the (expletive) out. Just walk the (expletive) out. I don’t give a (expletive). I control the transcripts. I control where you go next. It could be back to Haiti mother (expletive). That’s how easy it is for me.”