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News & Views - Apr, 2000 Issue #68

(1983) A 1983 article by Janice Haaken and Richard Adams, in Psychiatry, Vol 46, August 1983, views a Lifespring Basic Training workshop from a psychoanalytic perspective, concluding that the training was essentially pathological.

(March 8, 2000) The Wall Street Journal pointed out that while only one of every four Oregon 10th-graders passed all the state tests for their grade in 1999, at about the same time 96.4% of the 1,039 government schools got marks of satisfactory or better on the first-ever report card issued by the Oregon Department of Education. 

(March 15, 2000) A Florida judge threw out the nation’s first statewide school voucher system, ruling that Florida’s Constitution bars public money from being spent on private education. 

(March 16, 2000) Rick Ross, who describes himself as an Expert Consultant and Intervention Specialist, has developed a web site containing information on controversial and/or potentially unsafe groups, part of which would be organizations referred to as “cults.” A major portion of his site is devoted to the ethics of his profession, which used to be called “deprogramming,” indicating his efforts in being fair and professional. The search of his archives reveals some references to a few schools Woodbury Reports is currently tracking. 

(March 17, 2000) The Boston Globe reported that the Boston University Residential Charter School in Granby, MA will close after two years. The reasons given were financial; the University cannot continue to subsidize the school. The school serves 33 troubled students with almost 50 staff, many of the students in state custody. It was reported the University recently forgave a $2 million loan to the school, even so, the $1 million from the legislature was not enough to keep it open. 

(March 17, 2000) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the Forsyth County Boys Ranch was closed down after a GBI raid. The ranch billed itself as a structured environment for boys with attention deficit hyperactive disorder. The ranch operators Sean David Mask, Matthew William Carpenter, and Charles Carpenter, were charged with seven counts each of contributing to the deprivation of a minor. Mask was also involved with charges stemming from his involvement in the now closed Bunker Hill Military School and other schools in Indiana and Florida. 

(March 20, 2000) After a White House meeting with government agencies concerned with children, First Lady and would-be Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a plan to ask the Food and Drug Administration to issue guidelines for use of Ritalin and other commonly used drugs for children under the age of six. The meeting was called after announcements that there was a steep increase in the use of Ritalin for children in that age group.

(March 21, 2000) Dr. Tom O’Connor, Justice Studies Department, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC has established a web page summarizing the knowledge about Juvenile Offenders. For example, in response to the question about whether there has been an increase in juvenile ruthlessness, it reports about 2.3 million persons under the age of eighteen are arrested by police every year in the US, stating that “in the last 15 years, the number of juvenile offenders under the age of 15 increased 94%” and “one of the most reliable indicators of juvenile crime is the proportion of fatherless children.”

(March 22, 2000) John Pohl, Horizon Intertainment, 310-779-3881, announced they have online a “docu/drama that introduces five diverse teenagers from Northern and Southern California who are illustrating their lives through their own eyes…. These individuals are providing an inside look into the lives of diverse teenagers from their point of view.”

MOVIE FEATURES FICTIONAL CHILDREN’S HOME (March 22, 2000) USA TODAY presents an article by Gregg Zoroya, entitled “A loving home for children who have none.” It features a currently playing movie, “The Cider House Rules” which presents 40’s era orphanages in a favorable light, contrary to the popular image of them as horrible places worthy only of being shut down, a public policy from the last two generations. Since the article mentions there are only a few left in the country today, it is obvious the writer was either unaware of the rapidly growing emotional growth schools and programs whose mission in part is to provide a safe and loving environment for children needing that, or, the article just referred to places for children who are orphaned or abandoned. The issue of orphanages came up in recent years when then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich commented favorably on orphanages, and First Lady Hillary Clinton led the objections to his proposal, saying these facilities need to stay in the past where they belong. This article is evidence that perhaps the model of a group home for needy children is making a comeback, suggesting that it is when only one kind of foster home solution is allowed, that children have suffered.

(March 23, 2000) Research at Johns Hopkins, published in the March 22nd issue of Journal of The American Medical Association, found that “As the number of passengers increases in a car driven by a teenage driver, so does the likelihood of fatal injury to the driver.”

(March 25, 2000) The Outdoor Network, an internet site designed for Outdoor Professionals, contained an article reviewing the dramatic comedy movie, 28 Days, starring Sandra Bullick, which is to be released April 14, 2000. Although it appears that the movie staff went to considerable effort to use legitimate appearing facilities, Outdoor Network expressed concern that “28 Days makes blanket statements and generalizations about centers and programs that employ experiential therapy initiatives and ropes courses. Only time will tell if 28 Days will negatively impact the adventure therapy and ropes course industry….”

(April 2000) Writer Daisy Chan, writing in the April, 2000 issue of Smart Money Magazine, p. 105, in an article entitled “Ten Things the College-Prep Industry Won’t Tell You,” slams Independent Educational Consultants by producing quotes out of context, interpreting irresponsible scenarios as standard practice, and lumping separate segments of the private education industry together to produce an image of incompetence and greed. Mark H. Sklarow, Executive Director of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), claims he was quoted totally out of context, saying in response to the article, that the author “was so manipulative in her editing that the article itself is blatantly false and does a real disservice to readers who expect to find advice in your magazine on how to invest and spend their money wisely.” SmartMoney magazine has definitely earned the “Misleading Award,” and have given readers reason to question their advice on other matters.

(April 30, May 1, 2, 3) The National Association of Therapeutic Wilderness Camps 7th Annual Conference will be at Black Mountain, North Carolina. For information contact Rick McClintock, 724-329-8300.

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