WWASP PRESS RELEASE ON UTAH LAWSUITS
(In November, 1998, two lawsuits were filed in the State of Utah against Cross Creek Manor, Teen Help
and the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs. The first was filed by an ex-student at Cross Creek Manor and her
mother. The second was filed by an ex-student at Paradise Cove, Samoa, and his father [see Woodbury Reports, February-March,
1999, Issue #56, Seen n'Heard, p. 24]. The following is a Press Release by WWASP sent to me by Jean Schulter.)
(April 8, 1999, St. George, Utah). The girl referred to in this case was at Cross Creek Manor two separate times.
Her initial stay was for approximately 18 months, during which her mother was very pleased with her progress.
The mother was interested in her daughter starting the 10th grade at a college prep boarding school. The mother felt
the girl had made enough progress that she was ready for this type of school. Cross Creek Manor advised against it, feeling that the
girl was still in need of a higher level of supervision and care. The girl transferred to the boarding school but the mother remained
a stanch supporter of Cross Creek Manor and sent a couple of letters stating so. (Which are on file).
When the girl, as expected, failed at the boarding school the mother wanted to bring her back to Cross Creek. The staff
at Cross Creek suggested to the mother it may be better that she consider placing her child somewhere else. The staff felt the girl
and mother required an abnormal amount of staff time; but more importantly thought that maybe the girl would gain more going through
an entirely new program that she wasn't already "burned out" on.
This was suggested to the mother even though it wasn't in Cross Creek's financial best interest, the staff felt they
needed to make a recommendation that was in the girl's best interest. The staff even recommended a couple of different programs to the
mother. The mother, however, wanted her daughter at Cross Creek Manor. Her many months of first hand involvement with the program had
left the mother insisting that Cross Creek was the best program anywhere for her daughter. She even stated in writing that she had "always
recommended Cross Creek" and "I have investigated other programs but feel best about Cross Creek." The mother was so supportive and
flattering about the program that Cross Creek finally agreed to accept the girl the second time even though the Staff still encouraged
the mother to place her child with some other program.
The failure at the boarding school had left the girl void of hope and self respect, her behavior had degenerated. She
was determined to do anything no matter how low to get herself kicked out of the program. The staff tried to work with her but when
her behavior became too bizarre, they placed her in a psyche hospital where she could be better served. At the psyche hospital the girl
claimed all kinds of abuse by the staff at Cross Creek. The mother knowing her daughter's long history of lying and manipulation, wanted
the girl returned to the Manor as soon as possible. However, Cross Creek had now decided that it wasn't in the girl's or the program's
best interest for the girl to return to Cross Creek. The mother was very upset with this decision and began to take an adversary stance
to the program, ever since. Meanwhile, the girl's claims of abuse were thoroughly reviewed by the State on several levels of review
and were dropped.
This case has absolutely no credibility. The mother's own letters will negate most of the claims by her lawyer. It is
doubtful that her lawyer even knows about the letters. Most important will be all of the testimony on behalf of the program from the
staff, students, and parents.
The other case is simply a situation where a dad is taking shots at a program to get back at his ex-wife. The dad was
able to make points with his son (even if it was at the expense of the mother) by rescuing him from the supposed "big bad" program.
The problem is, here again there is nothing of substance. The boy has admitted on several occasions that the program has benefited him
and that the real terrible things supposedly done by the program were never done to him personally but he "knows of people" that they
were done to. This kind of hearsay and removed allegation is meaningless. The mother will give strong testimony for the program, as
will potentially hundreds of other students, staff, and parents who have volunteered to testify in behalf of the program. This program
didn't become the largest, most successful program of its kind for no reason.