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Logan River Academy is a residential treatment facility in Utah, a state where there is comparable lack of oversight and relevant legislation to safe guard vulnerable students in residential programs (1.) We believe in the merit of scientifically tested and accepted residential treatment programs, but do not believe the program at LRA is either. LRA's residential program is not properly accredited (2,) they belong to NATSAP, a non-accrediting voluntary membership organization which gives the appearance of accreditation/licensure, but that does not enforce any professional and/or ethical standards on its member programs (3.)

Our own research into these programs has turned up very scary things. The policies in place at Logan River Academy, detailed below, are not only cruel, they are ineffective and, in our opinion, fraudulent. Their harsh discipline policies have the end effect of cheaply warehousing kids while they accept $7,500 - $8,900 per child per month from naive parents and courts. We understand they pay many of their staff, who have direct supervision of special needs kids, close to minimum wage.

Although there were meetings on Capitol Hill, and The House of Representatives even passed a bill (4,) clearly stating the problem, it remains (5):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KzAUB7sgE&list=UUu7v65ausH6Q9XMlxETjTBA

The Government Accountability Office has done a report as well:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08146t.pdf

Many students in this program spend most of their days sitting straight forward, not allowed to move, look at another student, or make any noise; think detention but much longer and more strict. The program calls it “DEVO” (6) and they hand it out for any and all infractions; for example, one student was punished with a significant amount (hours) of “DEVO” time for returning to his room with a moist towelette from the dining area to clean his glasses, thinking it was permitted. They called it contraband and gave him excessive “DEVO,” time. This is just one example. We have first hand accounts of students receiving up to 2000 “DEVO,” hours for a single infraction and students spending over 100 consecutive days in “DEVO.”

“DEVO,” is short for “development.” A true and tragic irony given the consequences of its imposition on children.

There is another level of “DEVO,” that is much worse. It is called “Precaution.” Some students report allegations of being stripped naked for it. I fear that it is so they cannot strangle themselves with their clothing (7) (8.) If true this strategy may also mean they are improperly attempting to care for suicide risks without the proper facilities and personnel. Other students report spending every waking moment in “DEVO,” on “Precaution,” completely isolated from peers for up to 30 days on end (8.) During this time they don't attend class, they don't develop socially, they are forced to sit still and quiet. According to the American Academy of Chlid & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) (9.:)

“The potential psychiatric consequences of prolonged solitary confinement are well recognized and include depression, anxiety and psychosis. Due to their developmental vulnerability, juvenile offenders are at particular risk of such adverse reactions. Furthermore, the majority of suicides in juvenile correctional facilities occur when the individual is isolated or in solitary confinement.

Solitary confinement should be distinguished from brief interventions such as "time out," which may be used as a component of a behavioral treatment program in facilities serving children and/or adolescents, or seclusion, which is a short term emergency procedure, the use of which is governed by federal, state and local laws and subject to regulations developed by the Joint Commission, CARF and supported by the National Commission of Correctional Healthcare (NCHHC), the American Correctional Association (ACA) and other accrediting entities.

The Joint Commission states that seclusion should only be used for the least amount of time possible for the immediate physical protection of an individual, in situations where less restrictive interventions have proven ineffective. The Joint Commission specifically prohibits the use of seclusion "as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or staff retaliation." A lack of resources should never be a rationale for solitary confinement.”

I am unable to find any scientific literature regarding the benefits and success rate of “DEVO.” In fact, I am unable to find any scientific literature or studies about it at all (10.) In my opinion, it is pseudoscience at best and torture at worst. We know that one student who was just removed from the program had been placed in solitary confinement at least twice.

The National Institutes of Health have established guidelines for effective child discipline (11.) They are:
“To be effective, discipline needs to be:
    given by an adult with an affective bond to the child;
    consistent, close to the behaviour needing change;
    perceived as ‘fair’ by the child;
    developmentally and temperamentally appropriate; and
    self-enhancing, ie, ultimately leading to self-discipline.”

Also according to AACAP (12:)

“Be sure that the residential program has a method of maintaining safe behaviors, promoting positive behaviors, and preventing aggression. Make sure that punishments and verbal intimidations are prohibited.”

Hours and hours of timeout lasting long after an infraction, doled out by complete strangers who are often perceived as sadistic fails to meet a single one of these standards. Further, the Child Welfare League of America says of timeout (13,) “Sometimes children need time to calm down and collect themselves. (Adults do to!) Used sparingly, with consistency and repetition, it must be viewed as teaching the child, not punishing.”

Certainly hours and hours of what I'll call “enhanced” detention is not “sparingly,” and must be considered “punishing."

The United States Surgeon General has also weighed in on the matter (14:)

“In behavioral token programs, youths are rewarded for conforming to rules, exhibiting prosocial behavior, and not exhibiting antisocial or violent behavior. Like some other residential approaches, behavioral token programs can have positive effects on targeted behaviors while youths are institutionalized. However, when this strategy is used alone, any such effects disappear when youths leave the program.”

In addition to this, no truly independent entity is able to monitor the students' progress and wellbeing, or more importantly the lack thereof. You see, while the students are made to suffer for minor infractions, the administration of the facility do not hold themselves accountable for their own poor and dangerous results. As noted in their state accreditation report they have a very high staff turnover rate and do not provide student performance data or curriculum maps (15.)

Please tell the parents of the children at LRA that they have made the wrong choice for their children and to remove them from the program before any more emotional damage is inflicted on them. Please tell the Los Angeles Unifed School District (and all other public districts) to immediately remove any students from Logan River Academy and to cease sending students there. Please tell Logan River Academy to stop using their “DEVO” techniques, that they are dangerous, unnecessary and counterproductive to nurturing intact adults. In many cases the families of these kids have been tricked by, in my opinion, snake oil salesman to sending/keeping their children to/in these programs against their will. These kids, and please remember: they are kids - are innocent despite their behavioral problems, and have been left with no other advocates.

References:
(1) http://www.deseretnews.com/article/991002/Boarding-schools-go-unchecked-in-Utah.html?pg=all
(2) http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0185-residential-treatment-programs-teens
(3) http://natsap.org/natsap-members/how-to-become-a-member/
(4) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3126
(5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KzAUB7sgE&list=UUu7v65ausH6Q9XMlxETjTBA
(6) http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title=Logan_River_Academy
(7) http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/index.php?topic=16654.0
(8) http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/index.php?topic=16654.15
(9) http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Policy_Statements/2012/Solitary_Confinement_of_Juvenile_Offenders.aspx
(10) https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=DEVO+boundary+behavior&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
(11) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719514/
(12) http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Residential_Treatment_Programs_97.aspx
(13) http://www.cwla.org/positiveparenting/tipsdiscipline.htm
(14) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44295/#A13025
(15) http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/accred/Reports/DOCS/Logan-River-VT-report-2009.aspx

To:
Logan River Academy
Larry Carter, Owner - Logan River Academy
Lori Connin, Owner - Logan River Academy
Mark Petersen, Owner - Logan River Academy
Mont Criddle, LMFT, Residential Director - Logan River Academy
Shannon Kegerries, CMHC - Logan River Academy
Maureen McDonald, Clinical Services & Academic Coordinator - Logan River Academy
Mike Bodrero, Adventure Learning Coordinator - Logan River Academy
Heather Capson, Admissions - Logan River Academy
Kirk Farmer, Director of Academics - Logan River Academy
Liz Severe, Registered Nurse - Logan River Academy
Jeff Smith, Owner - Logan River Academy
Omid Gohari, niche.com
Kat Eden - (650) 366-3380 Ext. 2218, Director, Marketing Communications - Education.com
Ray Renati, Logan River Academy Parent - 650-245-9026
Debra Duardo - 213-241-3840, Executive Director - Student Health & Human Services, LA Unified School District
Sharyn Howell - 213-241-6701, Executive Director - Special Education, LA Unified School District
Terri Barach, Therapist Intern - Outreach Children - 800-492-2731 or 714-547-1163
Dan Barach
Annette Bohling, J.D. Chief Accreditation Officer - AdvancED

To Terri & Dan Barach,
Apologize publicly to your son, an innocent child, whom you confined against his will in a cruel manner for nearly a year with neither due process nor a real medical need. Start doing someting about Logan River.

Logan River Academy,
Stop using your "development"/"Precaution"/isolation techniques, they are dangerous, unnecessary and counterproductive to nurturing intact adults.

Annette Bohling & AdvancED,
Perform a fully independant investigation of Logan River Academy and their policies, requiring them abide by NIH, FTC, Surgeon General, and AACAP guidelines to maintain accredidation - so they don't harm their clients.

Debra Duardo, Sharyn Howell & LA USD,
Immediately remove all LA USD students from Logan River Academy and cease sending students there on IEPs.

Ray Renati,
Pull your child from Logan River Academy now.

Omid Gohari & Kat Eden,
Delist Logan River Academy as psychologytoday.com, autismspeaks.org, privateschoolreview.com, merchantcircle.com, highschoolcube.com, and others already have.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Please click here to sign this petition on change.org


TweetStorm scheduled for 2014-02-12 @ 7AM Pacific/10AM Eastern/3PM GMT


Countdown URL:

http://www.timeanddate.com/countdown/generic?iso=20140212T10&p0=43&msg=%23ShutLoganRiver/%23KeepStudentsSafe+TweetStorm+Feb.+12th+10AM+Eastern

Summary:

From: http://www.cmhnetwork.org/news/harkin-keeping-all-students-safe-act

"On Wednesday, February 12, Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), will host an event to discuss the findings of a Committee investigation into the obstacles faced by parents whose children were secluded or restrained in public schools."

"WHEN: February 12, 2014, 10:00am – 11:00am ET"

"The Twitter feed for the event is #KeepStudentsSafe"

The Plan:

While Logan River Academy is a private institution, Washington will be watching Twitter during this event. This is an oppurtunity for us to highlight the need to take action to protect ALL children, regardless of their educational setting and to remind those in Washington that child torture occurs in settings where the student is literally physically prevented from going home or contacting the outside world. Please join us on Wednesday morning, if you are unable to join us, please consider using automated tools to Tweet on your behalf. The timing of this storm is critical, and we do not know how long, if ever, until we get another one like it.

If you choose to participate, please copy/paste one tweet from below per 2 minutes at the appointed time. This is faster than the normal 1 tweet per 5 minutes, see below.

PLEASE NOTE: Re-tweets do NOT trend the hashtags - in order to trend the hashtags, we MUST copy/paste. Also, tweets with more than 3 hashtags DO NOT HELP the tags trend.

If you send more than 116 Tweets in an hour or 1000 in a day your account will end up in "TwitterJail:"
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Twitter%20Jail

Unlike most storms, the Senate event ends at 11AM. The storm goes on as long as people are tweeting, however to be most effective we should focus our efforts mostly between 10AM-11AM Eastern. For this reason we are asking people to send them faster than usual. If you send all the tweets, Twitter won't let you send exact duplicates soon, but you can change as little as a single character and send.


About Logan River Academy & #ShutLoganRiver

Logan River Academy is a licensed treatment facility in Logan, Utah that uses cruel and inhumane practices on learning disabled and at-risk children.

More information is available here: http://www.shutdownloganriver.com
Logan River Change.org petition - PLEASE SIGN: http://www.change.org/petitions/logan-river-academy-stop-using-solitary-confinement-a-k-a-precaution-and-development-on-kids
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shutdownloganriver
Twitter: @StopLoganRiver
FB RSS: http://facebook.com/feeds/page.php?id=590625127665075&format=rss20
Google+ Page: https://plus.google.com/109818414890899363607/
Google+ Community: https://plus.google.com/communities/103874076855913450359
Anonymous Videos:
      http://vimeo.com/78952716
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZfSw6k06tA


Tweets

Children need love & care, not seclusion & restraint #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe http://tash.org/harkin-to-unveil-results-of-help-committee-investigation-into-use-of-restraint-seclusion-in-schools/

"I was put in a solitary confinement a.k.a development for over 3 months at a time" http://chn.ge/1eGY1qE #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

Please help us #ShutLoganRiver to #KeepStudentsSafe! https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s2020 https://www.shutdownloganriver.com

"The things that I witnessed were damn near from a horror scene at times." #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

Without this bill to #KeepStudentsSafe, this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mWZZVmSiM #ShutLoganRiver

This bill to #KeepStudentsSafe could #ShutLoganRiver too! https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s2020

"… you might have assumed that I was talking about Human Rights violations in a 3rd world country." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THQ5AKk_QR4 #ShutLoganRiver

"Youth are enduring painful restraing practices, and isolation for… months…" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3ye8YB109M #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

@thinkprogress children are tortured in the name of rehabilitation #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

Want to #KeepStudentsSafe? #ShutLoganRiver! https://www.shutdownloganriver.com https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s2020

Seclusion & restraint hurts children it does NOT help them! http://tash.org/harkin-to-unveil-results-of-help-committee-investigation-into-use-of-restraint-seclusion-in-schools/ #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"I was put on 'devo' for over 6 months and I wasn’t able to talk to anyone." http://chn.ge/1eGY1qE #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

Father would rather go to jail than allow Logan River Academy to “treat” his son http://abcnews.go.com/US/fla-milliionaire-dad-jail-time-letting-son-16/story?id=16764183 #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

When students can't talk to the outside world, there is 0 accountability… https://www.change.org/petitions/logan-river-academy-stop-using-solitary-confinement-a-k-a-precaution-and-development-on-kids #KeepStudentsSafe #ShutLoganRiver

Students describe the torture they endured and witnessed and Logan River Academy. http://www.shutdownloganriver.com/testimonials #KeepStudentsSafe #ShutLoganRiver

Doing this to children is WRONG! #Petition http://chn.ge/1cFvWhK http://chn.ge/1eGY1qE #BringMadiHome #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"Troubled teens" need actual therapy, not physical abuse and solitary confinement.   

"I've been there. It's awful. Over 10 years ago. 2002" http://www.shutdownloganriver.com/testimonials#t5 #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

Surgeon General's Report Stating Residential Programs to be ineffective: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44295/#A13025 #KeepStudentsSafe #ShutLoganRiver

Please visit our page: https://www.shutdownloganriver.com, read the testimonials and sign the petition. #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"Females at [LRA] suffer a different kind of shame & abuse" http://chn.ge/1eGY1qE #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

Kids depend on responsible adults to protect them. http://tash.org/harkin-to-unveil-results-of-help-committee-investigation-into-use-of-restraint-seclusion-in-schools/ #KeepStudentsSafe #ShutLoganRiver

List of children who died in private and government-run programs and institutions: http://teenadvocatesusa.homestead.com/inmemoriam.html #KeepStudentsSafe #ShutLoganRiver

Names of “residential treatment centers” where children have died: http://www.residentialtreatmentcenterabuse.com/deaths-at-residential-teen-programs.php #KeepStudentsSafe #ShutLoganRiver

The “troubled teen industry” has 0 accountability because of 0 federal oversight.   

"Too often, children with disabilities are subjected to restraint & seclusion…" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpeVig_RQyo #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"We will be haunted as long as we live by Erica's cry of 'Please Daddy, don't make me go!'" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZNMa2kC6ns #ShutLoganRiver #TTI

If The Congress read this: http://www.amazon.com/Tough-Love-Behind-Trouble-Industry-ebook/dp/B00ENFKNOQ they'd #ShutLoganRiver & #KeepStudentsSafe

"My son died as a result of 1 of these programs. I'd hate to see that happen again"   

"NATSAP does not provide oversight of our member programs" http://natsap.org/natsap-members/how-to-become-a-member/ #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"The memories I received from Logan River Academy have scarred me for life." http://www.safeteenschools.org/images/GWA-SNW-LRA_MAX.txt #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"I was mentally tortured and still have a scar that will never go away." http://www.shutdownloganriver.com/testimonials#t3 #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe

"I spent 7 months… in devo for trying to run…" http://www.shutdownloganriver.com/testimonials#t4 #ShutLoganRiver #KeepStudentsSafe