December 1, 2004
110 South Main Street
Nephi, UT. 84648
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This letter comes to express our viewpoint and feedback
concerning the events and
or reports to DCFS about Whitmore Academy. It is our hope
that any miscommunication will be resolved for the sake of
all the children there.
We were contacted at 9:15 p.m. by a male staff member, stating
that our son, XXXXX had been "questioned" about
alleged charges of "abuse" at Whitmore. We received
the phone call at least twenty-four hours after our son had
been questioned. In many areas parental permission is required
but we were never contacted and the first we knew of this
was when the officer from DCFS called. His words were: "Last
night, your son XXXXX, was questioned…" My wife Jacqueline
received the call and she asked if XXXXX had reported. She
was told that he didn't. She asked for more detail concerning
what had happened. The officer from DCFS stated, "he
couldn't discuss the case." We both understand any legal
ramifications but since our son was questioned details should
have been given, instead of a brief overview. We were not
contacted at any time before our son was questioned.
Our son XXXXX graduated from eighth grade as an honor student
with a GPA of 4.28. He was in his county's history fair twice,
his first time almost making it to the state finals.
In addition, he was a band officer. Starting approximately
six months after we moved to Los Banos, XXXXX started having
serious behavioral issues. We found that he had been cutting
classes and his grades were dropping drastically as well.
We tried family therapy and that yielded almost no result.
Last spring XXXXX had made copies of a $20.00 bill and when
one of his friends got caught, XXXXX was arrested, resulting
with "early release judgment" probation. Although
the stakes were really stacked toward XXXXX straightening
out, he did not take things seriously and many of the same
behavioral issues still remained, including drinking and
tobacco use. On the positive note, XXXXX did stop using marijuana.
At this point we started looking for alternative programs
for XXXXX. XXXXX has not had the Mormon religion forced on
him. We are both church members and have felt that this would
need to come from XXXXX himself. We feel that many of the
traditional Judeo Christian values that strengthen us and
have founded our country have been reinforced at this school.
We checked into teen boot camps and felt that XXXXX would
loose too much in terms of his schooling. We also wanted
XXXXX to be around more positive teens and to experience
a more family like approach. This is where Whitmore came
in. In addition I have been in the education field for over
15 years and know firsthand what can and will happen if a
teenager doesn't have the correct help for their situation.
In only three weeks we could see a change in XXXXX. We never
visited, we simply saw his pictures and could tell he was
starting to become the XXXXX we once knew. In XXXXX's own
words he stated to his therapist "I feel like a cloud
has lifted off of me." XXXXX is showing great strides
in term of responsibility and willingness to help others.
Instead of being withdrawn, he is now more outgoing again
and is much more communicative. We both are truly excited
for what will happen as XXXXX continues to develop through
the program at Whitmore. We are also keenly aware that XXXXX
could not have done as well without the structured program
and this program would not succeed without the owners, Mark & Cheryl
Sudweeks. We have found the program at Whitmore to be first
class in all aspects. Since we cannot get to Utah more than once
or twice per year, we will gladly sign a written affidavit
concerning the strength of Whitmore and the positive results
we have seen in our son. It should be understood that to
place XXXXX at Whitmore, we went through great financial
sacrifice, including part of my retirement and did it gladly
because we love our son. We would do nothing to place him
in "harms way."
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact
either my wife Jacqueline or myself at the following phone
Copyright © 2004,
Woodbury Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(This article may not be reproduced without written approval
of the publisher.)
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