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WWASP/Teen Help Debate click here

(A statement by Karr Farnsworth, President of WWASP and Lori Tebbs, Parent Coordinator, regarding the closing of Morava Academy in the Czech Republic).

November 23, 1998

Dear Parents,

We have all been through a very challenging time together. Everyone has been effected from all sides. It is a situation that no one wanted; yet at the same time we have all had the opportunity to make this a learning experience. World Wide Association of Specialty Programs does not own, manage, control, or direct the Program. It's only role is to assist, support, and consult with the Programs. It appears that there are some misunderstandings or false expectations in regards to the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs.

I would like to suggest that there are many reasons at this time to be grateful. First of all it would not be possible for most other programs to have the option of transferring your child to another program if the current program was closing down. Your child would simply have been returned to you, so that you could find another option.

Second, even though the programs are all owned and operated separately; they are all members of WWASP and all work together for the help of the families and students. It was very fortunate, and speaks highly of Spring Creek Lodge and Carolina Springs Academy that they were willing to absorb the Morava students at a financial sacrifice to them. WWASP only has limited funds to cover such things as seminars, newsletters, support group workshops, and periodic review visits.

Please know that there are several owners of Morava. One shareholder, Martin Pilka, a Republic of Czech citizen was available and involved on a daily basis. There were also two attorneys involved as well as Karr Farnsworth and the US Embassy. The shift supervisors were there as usual and assisted extra hours as needed. The group living staff was there for the most part, and the shifts were not shortened. The Family Representatives were there and assisted as needed. The kitchen staff was preparing meals as scheduled. The teachers were there each day for their classes and supervised as expected. They even stayed extra to prepare the books for the students going to Carolina Springs Academy. The night watch staff were there every night as well. The kids behaved well for the most part, with very few exceptions. Most of the students did well and told the truth to the State Police, but to no avail. The Police and news media had their minds made up after having listened to the manipulation of a few students. They would not listen to the facts, which are that there was no abuse, that it was a good program, and an asset to their community. Initially the focus was to save the Program, and it was not until additional information was obtained that it was determined that this avenue was not viable. This made it necessary to change directions and make new plans.

We do appreciate the parents who, at their own time and expense, volunteered to go over to offer their assistance at Morava. We recognize that many others offered or would have offered to go had the need been necessary. For the most part, the Morava parents have been very unified in their support of the program. We are fortunate that we have many parents who often volunteer their time, and resources to the programs on a regular basis for such things as staffing seminars, acting as a phone reference to other parents who are either investigating, or newly enrolled in our programs, and by donating books, video tapes and the like for the benefit of our programs.

We would like you to remember that we are in the business of healing families. In this we have been very successful. This experience has not been without it's glitches; however, we have learned that in the future we would do some things differently. Mistakes took place on all sides, both from the staff as well as the parents yet all put in their best effort and together much was accomplished. This should be acknowledged. We believe in these programs. If we operate in a reactionary way we threaten the programs, and the safety of our children. If we react in a proactive way we are able to learn, grow, and become stronger in our purpose. Emotions ran very high, and as a result some "stone throwing" has taken place. The old adage that "United we stand, divided we fall" is very fitting. Please let us remember that we all have the same goal in mind, namely to heal the families. Lets work together towards this goal. We do this by concentrating on what we have, and building from there.


Karr Farnsworth & Lori Tebbs
President OF WWASP & Parent Coordinator

PO Box 1671 | Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 | 208-267-5550
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