U.S. Rep. George Miller
GAO Refers FBI To Thayer Learning Center
Contact: Tom Kiley / Rachel Racusen
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
October 25, 2007
U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, issued the following statement today.
“I was informed today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office that it has made a referral to the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the death of 15-year-old Roberto Reyes while he was attending the Thayer Learning Center in Kidder, Missouri, in 2004.
“In light of the seriousness of this case – in which neglect, if not outright abuse, likely contributed to the death of a child – I urge the FBI to treat this referral with urgency.
“Roberto Reyes was one of an untold number of children who have died in residential treatment programs around the country. Earlier this month, the GAO reported finding thousands of allegations of child abuse and neglect at these programs, which include boot camps like Thayer, wilderness camps, and other types of programs for troubled children.
“We must do everything we can to end this nightmare of institutionalized child abuse. There is a clear and urgent need for Congress to act to regulate these programs, and that is what we intend to do.”
On October 10, the Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on cases of child abuse and neglect at residential treatment programs for children. Click here for more information.