Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Former students sue Diamond Ranch Academy

Former students have sued Diamond Ranch Academy near Hurricane in Utah.

In their complaint they call the facility a private prison.

Their claim supports the numerous statements made by former students on various website and in blogs.

Statements the facility has sought to silence by suing a number of the people who have helped the former students to tell their side of the treatment approach they experienced during their stay at Diamond Ranch Academy.

I feel that it is important to learn what the student’s state even when they are not satisfied with their treatment. In a world where crime among minors have dropped and the new generation acquires the highest grades and have become the most sober youth maybe ever, there should be space to offer those who struggle the best possible treatment.

Lately the experts in Denmark have become worried because the soberness and none acting out among teenagers we have experienced the last 5 years seems to have resulted in a massive epidemic of depression. Especially female teenagers struggle to maintain the strait A’s hiding their identity and wishes for the future behind success with their studies.

At some point some of the reach out before they turn to suicide attempts? Should they then be sent to a place where they are punished because they asked for help? Should they be disconnected from the entire world for a week, a month or more depending of their progress in a program?

No of course not. The time for programs and group homes where the teenagers live a sheltered life shunned from the rest of the world should be over.

In Denmark the parliament researched the outcome of residential treatment centers in 1999 and discovered that those who have been in them did poorer compared to teenagers who lived in neglect at home dealing sexual abuse and addictions. They did not pass exams with the same quality in curriculum compared to public school. They didn’t end up going to universities. Maybe just stood in the waiting list for a cell in prisons.

Most important: The Danish government discovered that some firms milked the system promising cure and better life while they just warehoused the children in internal schools. One of the firms even had their own education for teachers which were not recognized by the rest of the world but did qualify them for jobs inside this firm. The “Tvind”-law was passed.

Improvements over night were not achieved but the path was decided. Some years ago the authorities cracked down on a number of group homes. Oversight became tighter. Treatment became individualized. Today it is normal that the teenagers have their own room and cell-phone on them outside school. For the counselors the cell-phones have become a tool. Runaways forget to turn their phone off and the counselors just have to call the social worker back home and alert the police who then return the teenagers to a talk with the social worker so it can be decided why the teenager ran.

Each and every incident of the use of restraint has to be reported to a central agency and the social services back home. It has resulted in better training of employees. It has forced the social workers to validate the placement better so the teenagers are sent to places suiting their needs. It has reduced the number of restraint cases to almost none and no death has occurred the last years.

Of course there are teenagers who have committed crimes. Denmark has lockdown treatment centers functioning as jails. If you have teenagers who commit violence the society needs protection from them. But the real effort is to separate punishment from treatment. An addict doesn’t need punishment to stop. An addict deserves an analyze where both the addict and the counselors can learn the source of the addiction. Why did it start? What kind of individualized treatment should be used? Should there be a treatment at all or should the teenager move far away to an isolated place as a kind of time out to allow the teenagers to mature in a place where drugs are harder in this way reducing the drug-use until the teenager mature?

Diamond Ranch Academy – despite their rework of their program some years ago – represents a treatment approach of the past. It was a time where the teenagers and their problems were forced to adapt to a system which they could be kept in until they either adapted or was broken down to a point of not-living waiting to return to the real world so they could continue their previous lives.

As many other treatment programs started at the same time using the same types of methods with variations they have a massive problem with former students starting to tell how they felt. They didn’t cut their clients tongues out during the treatment so their entire business plan is going to fail at some point.

They can fight it. They have tried. However it is just a question of time before their time is over. Maybe this lawsuit is the start of the end.


Monday, December 1, 2014

New book about Camp Tracey

Wayne Francis teaches literature and composition at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He’s currently working on a book detailing the history of Camp Tracey, a fundamentalist children’s home recently shut down by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

For this purpose a website has been created. Former detainees of Camp Tracey can go there and report their testimony.

To learn what Camp Tracey is about here is a copy of the contents of Fornits Wiki. Fornits Wiki is in the process of an upgrade to a newer version of MediaWiki and cannot be read right now.

Camp Tracey is a summer camp in Florida, which use behavior modification
It was founded in 1982 by Wilford McCormick.
In 2007 they claimed that they could detain 40 teenagers

Program structure

The program consists of elements of physical education, prayers, schooling in Christian Values and chores backed by use of corporal punishment.

In the news
  • In 1987 a Baker County grand jury investigated Camp Tracey after years of physical abuse allegations by children and parents. The grand jury issued a presentment criticizing the camp for excessive corporal punishment and the use of ropes and handcuffs to restrain children at the camp, near Glen St. Mary. Grand jurors also criticized education and health care at the camp and said it would consider criminal charges if changes weren't made. However, no charges were filed.
  • In 2003 a man sued the program for sexual abuse done by two staff members.
    Several others incidents are named in these articles.
  • As of July 2008 a investigation done by the Department of Children and Families is pending.

If you have been forced to attend Camp Tracey, please contact the author using the website. All this torment inflicted on teenagers must be stopped and legislation is needed. This book could prove a difference.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Heartlight Ministries in the media again

Once again Heartlight Ministries is in the spotlight.

Back in 2009 people fought to get a 16 year old boy named Nathan released from the facility. While the facility is not a lockdown facility it is located in a remote area and escape is difficult.

Early 2013 two teenagers ran from the facility but they were returned soon after. A little research into Facebook shows that the girl was released not so long after, so maybe the emotional damage inflicted was so little that she has a chance to move on in life. The boy had to wear an orange jumpsuit just as in prison but is also back in MS again.

Now there is a new case and it is worrying.

The recent "Agnes of God" case from River View Christian Academy (formerly Julian Youth Academy) shows that restricted Christian boarding schools don't equip teenagers and young adults to the modern world. People end up getting hurt or emotional damaged so they cannot participate in the activities surrounding colleges and other educational institutions like universities.

When one of your families members are in dangerous of being sent away or has been sent please reach out and offer housing for the teenager involved. All too often the banishment is the result of an advice made by an educational consultant who lives of referral fees from the boarding schools and wilderness programs teenagers are sent to rather than the need of the teenager. Of course the parents desperate in need of help pay the educational consultant too but it is the referral fees which are the core of the consultants business.

Your reaching out can make the difference for a family member!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Once again relatives fight for the freedom of a family member

This time it is a girl being hold at Elevations RTC - previous known as Island View Treatment center in Syracuse, Utah.

Her testimony is needed back home in a domestic case. However by holding her locked up this so-called treatment center the outcome of this case could be impacted by the so-called therapy enforced upon her.

Above a video from the girl can be seen:

It looks like the Free Chandra case years ago where family member successfully got a girl released so she could move on as a graphic designer.

It is not the only case where children are held hostage in treatment cases where their testimonies is needed in their home state.

What Elevations RTC is doing is not treatment. It is juridical work done for the father. Should juridical work be done disguised as treatment?

We say no.

Please support this girl so she can be released and move on in life.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Diamond Ranch Academy against the free speech

We believe that former residents at any group home, therapeutic boarding school, boot camp, treatment center and wilderness programs have the right to speak out against their stay if they believe that they were treated in an unjust manner.

That is what a number of former students at Diamond Ranch Academy located near Hurricane in Utah have done.

Human rights organizations like our have aided them to get individual testimonies syndicated because we know that even a large number of individual testimonies cannot be heard in a time where Search Machine Optimizing matters.

Now Diamond Ranch Academy is targeting both former students and the humanitarians who have aided to the syndication process.

We fear that the voices of the former students can be silenced. We fear that the losses of lives which today at Diamond Ranch Academy has been numbered to 2 will rise in the future.

We know that unjust in this area only can be fought with information and knowledge. In Denmark the trial against the group home Solhaven was the result of a 10 years effort of former students to get their side of the story heard. They had to fight both local political interests like creating jobs because Solhaven was by far the largest employer in area. They have to blow the cover co-workers of social workers had put in place to prevent outing of social workers who had neglected their duties when they heard of manual restraints of residents which were not reported in the way the law dictated. They had to find police officers who were not of the gift present list.

It took some years to achieve that. Now there is a trial ongoing.

For them to get heard websites in the United States aided the Danish blogs to be found first when someone searched on the Internet in exchange for Danish site to aid the US sites doing the same.

And that is what we will do right now. We will aid former students from Diamond Ranch Academy to get their statement out. Free speech must never be silenced. In Denmark we fought and won the Cartoon war. We are veterans in taking down people on the Internet. So Diamond Ranch Academy! Please watch out. We will be here, there and everywere battling for the right to free speech among your former students.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Extreme Brat Camp on Channel 4

I feel honored that Secret Prisons for teens was mentioned in the documentary "Extreme Brat Camp" about 22 minutes and 30 seconds into the program.

However some part of me feels that it is too much. I have done as founder of Secret Prisons for Teens is to care as a parent would and should care. Being a father myself to two children who have endured too much hardship in this world I constantly walk around feeling that I have not done enough.

My thoughts go out to the children in the program. Normally I mistrust the child protection services having seen firsthand how self-centered foster-parents can be. Foster parents who believe that they are smarter than doctors, nurses and counselors all together. But the children in this documentary could have benefitted if the system had interfered with the parents decision to hand custody over their own children over to shouting paramilitary people on power-trips.

In this documentary two programs should have center for investigations by the authorities if the social services in these town had cared. The transport service should have been outlawed and the Christian Boarding School, which was listed on Fornits Wiki really seemed as a warehouse for children of none caring parents left without any knowledge about modern teenage life. They cannot document progress but get children returned they have graduated from their program once before.

My children are not at my side right now due to illnesses. However due to the work pushing for reforms their cell phone and Internet contracts have been modified so they can call my all day without having their conversations monitored and cut if they happened to disagree to something at the place they live now. They have the right to complain and be heard. That doesn’t mean that I agree with them. I pay the rent. I make the food. I make the rules in my house and it is respected. Others make the rules where they live and because it is a package deal they have to take the rough with the smooth.

But the rough my children experience is no near what is seen in this documentary. Whenever home is no longer an option the replacement should not be a kind of prison but a place for healing. That is where my children are now. Unfortunately not all children get help. They get punishment instead as the documentary shows. So the fight against abusive residential placements for children continues so other children can get help also.

Once again: I am honored but there are a lot of work left.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Setencing and reaction to the Julian Youth Academy baby murder case

The mother of the baby was sentenced to 25 years to life. She can apply for parole after 25 years. She can also appeal the sentence.

Julian Youth Academy where the mother first was a student and later counselor has changed their name to River View Christian Academy so they can put distance the poor media coverage.

As a commentor to one of the article states there should be reason to look at the kind of therapy which the facility use on the students:

Now where the court has reached their conclusion the time has come to put some focus on this odd boarding school where she graduated from and later returned to work as a counselor.

What kind of double-standards based on a so-called Christian belief was instilled upon her causing her to make these tragic decisions. The school is known for isolating their students from their old peers and it is dangerous in a time where the social network of everyone has become yet more important. This tragedy could have been prevented by allowing more communication.

We all know the movie and play “Agnes of God” which is based on a similar tragedy in the 1970’s. The lessons learned back then were that it takes a secluded and restricted environment to make killing of baby easy without anyone noticing. A heavy part also is religion and denial of social interacting including the sexual part of interacting.

How can the state allow a boarding school to operate with the student not having access to Internet and cell phone outside education periods from day one when we are living in year 2014? It is time to prevent the next tragedy now where the legal system has made its decision in this case.

We must remember that the mother was product of the therapy and morale code inflicted on the girls at the academy. Hopefully the state will follow up on the case with an investigation.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guilty verdict in the Julian Academy infact murder case

The court has returned a guilty verdict in the case where a mummified baby was found dead on the campus belonging to Julian Youth Academy.

Originally the campus housed the infamous Cascade School, later a Christian boarding School existed on the campus for a few years until Julian Youth Academy relocated there some years ago.

The mummified baby belonged to an employee who used to be a student in the program who started to work for the program after her graduation. Taking into consideration that Julian Youth Academy only “enrolls” students by force it could be rather strange that they hire former students when most teenagers who struggle through the rite of passage towards adulthood benefit from talks with people with long life-experience.

But then of course a young adult with partly severed connections to her normal social network of family and friends is cheap labor because remember how we often seek and change work – by using our social network. The sentenced woman had no such network left, so when the school offered a position she of course took it.

Many know of the play by John Pielmeier named Agnes of God. The play based on a similar tragedy like the one at Julian Youth Academy where the court reached the conclusion that the nun was insane when she murdered the child. Can you compare the two cases?

Not exactly! In the case from Julian Youth Academy the mother had access to the free world. She knew what sex was. She was not raped by a priest which was theory in the original case from Rochester in New York. She engaged willingly in a relationship with a boyfriend.

Still she was not living a normal life. She was still under heavy influence by the school and their almost fundamentalist views on life. The normal rite of passage for teenagers involving partying and interests in the bodies of the opposite gender was put aside leaving the young adults poorly prepared for life once they graduated.

Could the baby have survived? Yes if the co-workers might have discovered it. The mother was so ill-prepared to be a mother that it would be a question of time before the baby would be seriously hurt or die as it did in the end.

Why did the mother not turn to the school co-workers? The answer is that it would not only have caused her to be fired. It would have resulted in the end of her life as she knew it. The school had become her life. She would have been as ill-prepared to the life outside as the baby to a world with her as a mother.

Can we learn something from this tragedy? We have to accept as parents that the world has changed since our childhood. Today it must be accepted that the teenagers and young adult party because we as a society don’t offer them the security of a job after only a few years in school. A job created an identity, strong morale and work values. It creates the feeling to belong to something when the teenagers share a beer with co-workers after work.

Here in Europe our biggest problem is not teenagers drinking or teenagers having sex. If only these small problems were the only ones. No, our problem is teenagers joining criminal gangs or traveling down to the Middle East to join the Islamic State in their acts of terrorism. Here the teenagers can find someone who invites them inside as accepted co-workers. As result the local population suffers. Later we will suffer.

There is no need for places like Julian Youth Academy. What are needed are jobs and safe zones for teenagers partying. What is needed is educating kids down to age 10 about sexual relationships. Here in Denmark teenage pregnancies are so much a thing of the past that we as a people is slowly moving forward extinction because the average of a mother giving birth to her first child is close to 30. We Danes are unable to reproduce ourselves because the demands of education and career are given priority over the creation of a family.

Knowledge is power and it saves lives. Had this mother been proper prepared for life instead of having been confined to a Christian boarding school, the baby would have survived; If not as her child then in an adopted family.

The Rochcester tragedy took place 40 years ago. If we should avoid taking about the same in 40 years then stop removing teenagers from our society and inform them instead. Give them jobs and a sense of belonging to something.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Long saga of Family Foundation School coming to an end

Allynwood Academy formerly known as the Family Foundation School has announced that they intend to close their facility early October 2014.

For the many of the former so-called students this news is good news because they will know that no other teenagers will endure the torment they had to go through.

A lot of the now adult victims continue to live with the emotional torment as a heavy luggage pulling them down as they struggle with the daily life.

It has been hard work to get the truth out into the public. While they were forced to remain at the facility their letter were censored. Their phone-calls were monitored as if they were held in a Supermax prison. They had no chance to get the child protection services to intervene. They had to try to survive the emotional damaging environment and for many that meant suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder most likely for the rest of their lives. One boy did not survive. He fell from a balcony to his death. If he intended it or it was an accident has never been fully investigated.

Some years ago the negative press forced the management to rename the facility and change a few details in their policies. However in the end they were unable to prevent their former clients from speaking out the truth about what went on. Even here in Europe the name became equal with emotional abuse.

August 2014 the world will be a better place.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Kidnapped for Christ has been shown on Showtime

This documentary was not meant to expose the school but it meant the end of New Horizons Youth Ministries, which had been operating what was basically an abusive program.

Escuela Caribe did for many years use corporal punishment, isolation, emotional abuse combined with hard labor to deal with the issues of the teenagers which counted normal teenage behavior like partying and consuming alcohol but also punishment of lesbian, gay, bisexual lifestyles.

During the filming the film crew became involved with the teenagers, their family and former students. As result the documentary exposed the cruel nature of the boarding school.

The media exposure created as result of this documentary meant the end to the company which had been involved in these activities since the 1970's.

Today another school management is using the campus trying to distance them from the former management. If they succeed and some actually return with a positive experience is yet to be answered.

The documentary can still be seen Showtime's on-demand services.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

When teenagers run ... what do they run from

Being a parent I know that the most difficult decision you can make doing this job is when you realize that you cannot handle illness that your child has at home.

When the local treatment system fail, when the local school accepts bullying, when your complaints about bullying are met with angry false accusations to the local department of social services then you know that it is time to move your child out of your home. It is not that you try to avoid the responsibility as parent. But you are not a trained 24/7 nurse. You are not a doctor.

When your child need residential treatment, then you have to step aside as a parent with your need to have your relative near to save the child.

Of course the next question as a responsible parent should be: How to I make sure that my child is treated for the illness and for the illness only. I have my level of ethics and morale. I have my customs as an old-school Dane. I know that my children will grow up being an adult in a different world. When I was child there were no Internet, no computer games and Disney show were on one show Christmas Eve. It was OK to be a loner and odd by hanging out in isolation fishing in the nearby river.

Today the society is all about being social, work in groups and drinking a lot of alcohol in short time instead of spreading it out over the week. What equals 21 beers was the recommended quantity per week for a grown man when I was young. Today it is only 14 and to keep the party going the teenagers drinks them one on night staying sober the rest of the week. The teenagers are hammered and it takes days for them to recover which make me think that they lose quality of life. But that is the modern life. Instead of drinking a beer with your co-workers Friday after work learning about what went down with customers and suppliers, communication is emails with initials. Sometime you even don’t learn the name of co-workers before they move on.

So when a child gets lonely and tend to have enough quality in life doing art and just be alone enjoying nature a lot of well-meaning doctors and teachers will help this child to become more mainstream and a social person. Before you know it they suggest residential treatment.

Residential treatment programs are often located far from home. They tend to place themselves in the same area where other kind of businesses can’t function so they can get cheap and low-paid workers. How can you learn what it going on in these remote communities?

I found it difficult but established a network by going there every 14 day. People suddenly knew who I was. More importantly the employees knew that they couldn’t keep anything secret because any suggestion to limit my visitation with my child was met with protest and the possibility of me pulling my child from the treatment facility.

So when I see cases like the one with Gregory Mayer who ran from Discovery Ranch, I ask myself: How did the parents communicate with their son and was the son able to talk to the parents without employees present? I know there are some programs where there no communications with parents for months just after the child is enrolled in the facility.

That is dangerous. Every facility needs rules and guidelines. The parents have to learn and accept anyone of them. They need to know why they exist and why they need to be enforced. If the parents question the rules they must demand a good reason. If they cannot accept the rules, they shouldn’t enroll their child.

I had many talks with the employees at the facility where my child lives. My child has made no attempt to run. My child travels with trains and busses unattended. My child attends a public school near the treatment facility every day. My child has accepted the situation. This is the result of me acting as a responsible parent speaking about issues openly. It is not about demands made by me but open talks where my child has rules applying only to my child on an individual basis based on the illness which is treated.

There are some privileges other children at the facility have which my child doesn’t have. I don’t care. More importantly my child doesn’t care. We both know that it is a question about getting the most out of a situation where the illness has the potential to ruin my child’s life and the treatment plan is more important than any privilege.
I hope that Gregory Mayer makes it home alive. It cannot be fun being on the run and live like a homeless. But once he and his parents are united they should try and find a more local treatment facility where the facility has an open-door policy. Only then the treatment can be a success where both parents, employees and not least the child support a common goal.

I searched the Internet for testimonies which are clearly not false marketing. It doesn’t sound like a nice place I will send my child to. I know what suffering it has for a parent to make such a decision in the first place. I just don’t understand how they can be in business. Just the slightest research should have warned every family not to use this facility.

I send my prayers to Gregory Mayer and his parents. They need it.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

9/11 is still creating victims

9/11 was a tragedy. Of course a lot of people died as result of the attack. Then we had to risk a lot of lives in order to bring the terrorists to justice. The economy took a hit. At my work where we printed tickets to a lot of airlines, jobs were cut. Families lost their income and became homeless or put on welfare.

But there are those victims who were children at the time of the attack. I googled the internet to find stories about the behavior modification industry the other night and found an obituary of a Adam Gibbon.

13 years old and a young teenager heading through the rite of passage towards adulthood, he lost his mother who was at work at the World Trade Center at the time of the attack.

Having lost an important guide in his life and having a father properly having to deal with his own grief too he made some wrong choices.

His family decided to sent him to Second Nature Wilderness program. A couple of goons where hired to drag him out of bed and transport him to the program.

His family did state that the traumatic experience improved his life but was that the truth. Did it just not made him hide the grief in silent making it harder for his family to know how much emotional suffering he had to deal with? We do know that alcohol were a factor in a traffic accident a short time before his death. We do know that both alcohol and drugs where found in his system when he died.

9/11 claimed two victims who weren't at the scene when the attack happended. Christopher Grieves, who was passenger in his car died while he was driving it. He died as result from an illness which properly could have been cured if he had dared to trust a professional instead of trying to self-medicate. But how can you blame him when he was forced to confess all about his past in public by professionals during the wilderness program?

This sad case shows how important it is for the entire family to support those among us who suffers the loss of a relative. Involve local therapy and talks in the home. Otherwise the help ends up being an invasion of privacy and will damage more than it will help.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The world is still dealing with leftovers from the abusive Synanon/CEDU-cult

December 2013 The Daily Mail published a story about an English mother who sent her daughter to a boarding school using CEDU methods. This prove that there still are boarding schools out there which use the methods invented at the Synanon-church and later used at the CEDU schools. The CEDU School closed around 2005 due to a number of lawsuits which would have cleaned the owners out if they hadn't closed the schools before the trials.

However former employees and a number of students who had learned to bully their fellow students during the marathon group therapy sessions formed new boarding schools. Officially they have modernized the methods used at CEDU, but testimonies from a number of students’ show that they still end up hurt emotionally and to some extend a number of them suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

In the article the mother and daughter speaks of starting similar places in Europe. It had been tried and the authorities did shut the schools for good reason. In Europe our treatment methods are more developed. We do know that it is of no use to confront drinkers and even drug users before they are ready. We know that every person who suffers from some kind of abuse will reach a point in their life where they want to change.

I want to challenge that her daughter ever had a problem. We all lose people in our life. We lose parents, we lose friends, we lose co-workers, we lose children, and we have stillborn children. Farewell is a part of life. We learn to live with them when we gather as a family.

I believe that this mother had a problem she should have solved. Because she was a superwoman there was no family who could stand at the side of her daughter. So why then sent the daughter away? BECAUSE THE MOTHER WAS IN DENIAL!!! She neglected her position as a mother.

Teenagers drink. In Denmark where I live the law allows teenager to drink alcohol with the percentage below the safe limit of 16.5 Teenagers who drink are not the problem. Teenagers who don't and chose to stay away from their peer groups in school at the Friday bars in our high schools are the problem. They create alternative groups with alternative rules about morale and law. Before they realize it they have a criminal record.

She shouldn't have sent her daughter to the United States. She should have quit her job and found a local therapist for both her and her daughter so she could learn to parent again.

Normally I don't give a crap for therapist and social workers who speak of us as parents with a need for counseling and therapy. We are not only a result of our upbringing but also by culture, social heritage and our life experience. When you are aged above 30 you don’t need to learn new tricks.

But once in a while you find adults who are so focused on their career that they tend to avoid noticing what life tries to teach them and Nicola Horlick is one such woman. She put her daughter through hell and all she allowed herself to take in was a short list how to command her daughter around life a dog. A blog run by another human rights organization speaks of informing the social services about parents who exile their children abroad. Horlicks children are in need of protection from the social services so they don’t end up being outsourced to boarding school and wilderness boot camps whenever they try to live like normal teenagers do in England.

The school Horlick did choose was Carlbrook. It is one of the remaining schools using the CEDU system. I have made a link below where some of the former Carlbrook students provide testimonies. It is not fun reading and a reason while persons like me should continue to put a stop to such schools.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Diamond Ranch Academy fights back at negative testimonies from former students.

Diamond Ranch Academy has made a website where students make positive statements about their stay at the school. A method previous used by other boarding schools using behavior modification methods several students see as abuse.

So now the question whether Diamond Ranch Academy is abusive or not has turned into a kind of shouting game on the Internet where some students claim that their stay at the boarding school helped them and others that the school created emotional scars which will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Both sides can be right. Maybe there are dysfunctional families out there where the best option for the children was to be removed from their families. Maybe the methods used at the boarding school which normal children would regard as abusive if you look at the things in life the students miss out could be better than parents using drugs – prescription or illegal – parents being alcoholic or even parents having sexual relationships with their children. Children who have been given too much responsibility too early in life being forced to parent their parents need a structured environment where they can learn to be children having other in charge for a while. For such children Diamond Ranch Academy could be a help. Parents who the decision that they need others to be in charge because they have failed could find legitimate help the boarding school and they should not be condemned for doing this. The need of children should be always be prioritized.

Both the real problem with Diamond Ranch Academy that they take everyone who have someone to pay for them. Each child has individualized problems. Having worked monitoring the treatment facilities worldwide for more than 6 years have made me realizes this fact. There is no general approach to every child in the world. Each child at a treatment facility needs some kind of special permission in a special area or more to meet their individual problem. You cannot create a kind of level system every child fits in.

Take education as example. Some children needs being taught in group settings. Other children need to be taught in a structured environment. The ideal version of a treatment facility will have students who start at the local public school from day one; Students who only will live at the treatment facility when school is over.

There are the issues with social media. Children of 2013 need access to their Facebook. Of course guidelines are needed but it can be managed. Parents should be allowed to visit their child with only hours of notice from day one unless the social services in the individual case have decided otherwise. It minimizes the possibility of abuse. A lot of boarding schools function fine with individualized rules.

I know it because I as a parent have a child living at a group home 40 miles from my home due to an illness. I know that I can grab my phone 24/7 and state that I will be there in an hour and the employees will accept it. I can speak with my child unrestricted by phone 3 times per week. The employees know that I will be there if they need me at some kind of activity. This summer my child volunteered selling various items founding activities in the local public school my child attends near the group home. I drove out there and coached my child from distance allowing the employees had more time to take of some of the other children. The group home has its own school but the need of my child was a public school so my child rides 3 miles alone every day on a bicycle instead attending the internal school.

I am not happy that my child had to live outside my home. I was the toughest decision I ever made as a parent. Has every day then been a success? No. There have been days involving confrontation between my child and the employees; Always solved without any kind of manual restraints but still confrontations. In Denmark every single action involving restraints or other kinds of force against children in group homes has to be reported to the authorities. I can read on a website at the local authorities if they have used restraints. It is a criminal offense if the group homes don’t report it. But my happiness has nothing to do whether my child should be at the group home or not. The illness my child suffers from could not be handled at home or in the local school system where I live. The local public school hadn’t the resources or wouldn’t pay for them. The local public school where the group home is located has.

I knew when I made my decision as a parent that I had to support my child so the stay would be a success. My support has aided to a positive result not only for my child but also for children all over Denmark placed in group homes and foster families because I knew that while I properly are well informed about the experiences my child experience many parents don’t know what kind of questions they need to ask and what signs they can observe to protect their children. I know thanks to the lessons made by former students at Diamond Ranch Academy and other facilities.

So I have created a number of whistleblower sites in co-operation with local human right groups. A number of high profile cases have hit the Danish media since January 1 when my child left for the group home. Several group homes have been closed. Some foster families have been fired. A brand new set of legislation has been approved by the Danish parliament. It is not my work. I have only taken the testimonies from former students to the right persons inside the Danish media world. The former students and the journalist are those who need to be thanked.

In the same way people need to listen to former students who had a less pleasant stay at Diamond Ranch Academy. Because Diamond Ranch Academy has not always been the facility with modern football fields and a focus on sport they are today. They started over in Idaho and they were raided by the local authorities. Then they moved to Utah. When they started in Utah they were not a facility employing professional licensed counselors because the laws were less strict back then. They were in a learning process. They made a lot of mistakes. They can call the testimonies of from former students’ lies or slander. Fact is that while they might have changed Diamond Ranch Academy of today so the experiences the students speak of can no longer take place today the program as it was in the past allowed the space for such actions to take place. The school cannot rewrite history. Too many former students can back the incidents in the testimonies up.

Back in 2009 a boy died out there. They claim that it was an illness which could not have been avoided. Fact is that the people who are claiming that the boarding school is responsible could have a case because the school had a set of rules properly made of the basis of former students crying wolf. Every sign of illness need check by professionals. Can they not make it to the school then the school needs to get the student to a hospital. That is the only solution. Once you create an internal sickbay or decide to wait the illness out you are putting the life of the student at risk.

Diamond Ranch Academy is a boarding school with more security than most boarding schools. They can properly handle students acting out. However there is a limit. Students who are suicidal need a real hospital. That is what Diamond Ranch Academy learned the hard way this autumn when a student died in the shower. Then we are back at the very start. As I wrote above: At Diamond Ranch Academy they take every teenager regardless of issues. Like small children poking into life they state that they can deal with every kind of issue a teenager can suffer from. They can’t. They have limitations and the tragedy is that they don’t get it.

So we at Spft will continue to have Diamond Ranch Academy marked in our search engines. Regardless of the number of websites they create telling the world how happy former students and parents have been about their stay at this boarding school. I am a parent. I know very well the concerns parents should have. My guts feeling are that something is wrong about this place.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...