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Seen 'n Heard - Aug, 1996 Issue (page 2).

Page 2 of 3 -  Previous | Next

The above is the title of an article by a father, Mark Langley, printed in the April 2, 1996 issue of The Wall Street Journal. He explains the out-of- control behavior by his son, and how the State of Washington laws ties his hands so he cannot do anything that might be effective. His summary statement is: “Let’s face it. Teens smoke. They drink. They use illegal drugs. They commit serious crimes. They have children of their own. It’s silly to hide them behind the juvenile screen of paternalism, anonymity and buffered consequences. Here’s a concrete proposal. There should be a responsible emancipation program. In other words, may we cut the umbilical cord, please? If a teen doesn’t see the value of being in school, let him get a job. If he won’t live at home, let him live on his own.” 

 A report released by American College Testing (ACT) on July 10, 1996, show more than a quarter of college students drop out after their first year. A spokesman for the American Council on Education interpreted the causes for the increased dropout/stopout as:

l.) rising tuitions - means some can’t afford nonstop college education.

2.) increasing numbers of non-traditional students - these are forced to study in a start-and-stop fashion. 3.) improving economy - this lures students away from school to take jobs. 

Staff writer Julie Titone reported in the July 11, 1996 issue of the Spokesman Review that a teen-ager was filing a lawsuit against CEDU in Monterey County “Charging he was physically and emotionally abused” by the Ascent and Northwest Academy in North Idaho. The parents claim they were charged “more than $60,000 for the privilege of abusing their son.” “The couple’s attorney, Thomas Burton, said he has represented the families of several children who died or were allegedly abused in wilderness- therapy camps in the Southwest. Those cases resulted in out- of-court cash settlements, he said.” CEDU officials did not comment on the case “saying the company had not yet received the complaint.” 

The Colorado Department of Human Services ordered Pathfinders to shut down its state operations on Monday, July 8, 1996. Pathfinders, which is based in Corrales, New Mexico, had 30 students at their wilderness camp in remote northwestern Colorado. Details from the Associated Press and USA TODAY were sketchy, but it appears that: 1.) on July 5th, a 15 year old girl was evacuated, and on July 7th, a 14 year old boy was evacuated by Pathfinders for an infection that turned out to be narcotizing fascistic, a severe hand infection. Some media reports termed it “a flesh-eating infection.” Early reports had it that the girl had lost at least one finger, but later reports said “the infection was under control.”

2.) the students told horror stories of treatment at the camp to hospital staff.

3.) The hospital called state officials in to hear the students’ stories. 4.) State investigators traveled by horseback into the camp to investigate.

5.) Rio Blanco County Sheriff Phil Stubblefield said his deputies “evacuated the remaining teens for medical examinations. One suffered from trench foot, and another had a range of problems, from infections to boot-related injuries.”

6.) Sheriff Stubblefield was reported to have said that no arrests have been made, but the teenagers’ stories were too consistent to dismiss. “From a lot of the evidence, I think we have a good case.”

7.) “The state said the group is not licensed to operate in Colorado.”

8.) Pathfinders officials were not yet available for comment as of Friday July 12th. 

Woodbury Reports will attempt to publish the facts as they become available, while screening out unsubstantiated sensational allegations. 

George Posner, Educational Consultant in Ithaca, New York, 607-273-3662, gjp3@cornell.edu, reports he just received notification he was accepted as a full member of IECA (Independent Educational Consultant Association). He also reports he is taking some time out in August to visit schools and programs in Idaho and Oregon. Plans are to visit SUWS, Catherine Freer, TREX, Mount Bachelor Academy, and possibly The Academy at Sisters, along with hopefully a few other places as time permits. 

Copyright © 1996, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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