Charles wrote as reply to Paris Jackson to be sent to a dangerous boarding school:
Ever see that State Farm commercial where the girls has a date with the “french model” she found on the internet?? Seems like this is a classic case of “the internet is always right” I tried to find anything substantial about Diamond Ranch Academy and all I found was a few activists sites and kids who were still angry, making claims that, if indeed were true, would surely result in severe lawsuits. Lawsuits are public record and, therefore, easy to find online. There are absolutely no lawsuits that have been or are filed against DRA, so I am inclined to believe that the claims are all false. Not even the parents of the kid who died filed any claims against DRA. I have heard of these places that do engage in abuse, and they all get shut down. This place has been up and running for almost 15 years and has a clean record. Seems like a no brainer.
The Internet doesn’t remember all. They were located in Idaho and the authorities intervened so they moved to Utah. Years back there were still articles online covering all which took place in Idaho. Unfortunately they are no longer online. However the authorities in Idaho intervened for a reason and it could be nice if anyone researched what took place around year 2000, so the difference between what the various states accept can be brought into light.
You have to look at the fact that the authorities in two states – Missouri and Utah – neglect their oversight of such facilities. In Missouri facilities just have to claim that they are religious. Then they can beat up the students all they want. Only one facility has been closed by the authorities because the students started to kill each other. The management then started a new school which continues to be open.
In Utah you have to kill a student before the authorities will shut a facility. In fact the only facility which was closed without a death recorded on the campus was Brightway Adolescent Hospital because it was so openly a scam. But this ruling did not affect a number of facilities owned by the same company being a part of the same system.
I know for a fact that the first autopsy of the boy who died there in 2009 gave no result of why he died. Second it is not known how much the 2012 wildfires endangered the students. The road to the old campus was closed and it was really the only road out of there. There are many questions surrounding Diamond Ranch Academy and it is just a question about finding enough former students to establish a pattern about what is going on there. You mention the Internet. It is really the cause of the downfall of the industry. Before the Internet the students could not make people understand what they went through. They were isolated with their emotional baggage caused by such places. Their family could not understand them because the communication were cut and letter/phone calls censored. With the Internet students can get confirmation that they were not alone about suffering in the programs.
Here in Denmark we also have realized that you cannot challenge students without costs. Boarding schools all over Denmark close due to a reduced number of students seeking them. Just a few years back they hadn’t rooms for students because the students came willingly because they would break the social heritage by being challenged and they could remain in a sober-living environment (It is legal for teenagers in Denmark drink alcohol regardless of age and they can buy alcohol on their own when they are 16). But as I told challenging comes with a cost and the 2011 Præstø Fjord dragon boat accident really proved that it could endanger the lives of the students if they are taken out of their ordinary daily lives to be pushed beyond their borders. Parents accept in a higher degree that you end up with a life you are born into based on social heritage. Expanding the abilities of the teenagers and personal development is simply no longer accepted and it has resulted in closure of many boarding schools.
Back to Diamond Ranch Academy; I know that they have changed the program lately. They are no longer a ranch in the desert. It is a school based on pushing the students into sport hoping that they can get success using small victories in sports as tool to handle their emotional problems.
It would also be difficult using their old punishment method – forcing students to push and pull Mormon handcarts filled with heavy stone around the campus all day and still protect the students from the media now where the campus is located near a public road (Sand Hollow Road). Fact is that this kind of punishment – often put upon the students for not accepting the program – don’t belong in a modern world. Remember that they are not convicted in court. They are innocent people who should be free to walk the roads. Instead they are imprisoned. What does it matter whether the prison has curtains instead of bars? They are put there and are supposed to serve a sentence often for something is not even criminal.
In other states teenagers like Paris Jackson would have patient’s rights. She would have access to a lawyer. She would have access to a grievances procedure. She would have access to have her commitment at the programs judged by a court. In Utah she is being robbed of her rights. They can keep her there until she is 18 and she would miss several years of her life. For what? Nothing!
She is of course unhappy having lost a parent and some might even have been bullying her. And normally it could have been handled with a weekly visit to a therapist. Instead she is being sent to a place where she is denied access to the world and to activities normal teenagers participate in. It can only affect her life in a negative direction. I believe that a stay in Utah does not serve her interest like it hadn’t with other teenagers who had been sent to this place before her. If I can make a difference shutting such places like Diamond Ranch Academy down, I would certainly do it.
However I live in Denmark and all I can do is to appeal to our politicians to shut boarding schools, foster families and group homes down in Denmark down. For facilities abroad I can only bring awareness about the possible abuse and I guess that I have been successful doing this since you have commented my blog.