Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Washington Voters: Vote NO On I-1351

Washington Voters: Vote NO On I-1351

By Angela Smith, HEAL Coordinator


I-1351 is a deceptive and misleading bill that funds staff to rubber stamp institutionalizing youth in fraudulent and abusive residential programs while claiming to "reduce class size".  The reduction in class size does not come from hiring more teachers and building more classrooms.  It comes from taking poor and minority students out of their homes and communities and placing them in private detention centers.

While the arguments for and explanatory statement mislead voters, the bill itself is quite clear on this point, it says:

"Except as required for class size reduction funding provided under subsection (4)(f) of this section and as may be required under chapter 28A.155, 28A.165, 28A.180, or 28A.185 RCW, or federal laws and regulations, nothing in this section requires school districts to use basic education instructional funds to implement a particular instructional approach or service. Nothing in this section requires school districts to maintain a particular classroom teacher-to-student ratio or other staff-to-student ratio or to use allocated funds to pay for particular types or classifications of staff."  Source: http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/FinalText_578.pdf

If you read the entire bill, the money is not going to hire more educators or improve school buildings.  It is going to hire social workers, parent coordinators, and counselors.  It clearly states that allocations for Special Education are not to be used in the district and/or are not required to be used by individual districts to hire proper special education support staff to work in the district, but, to cover outside placement costs for students they wish to deny a proper public education.

The above portion of the bill is omitted from most public "complete texts of the bill".  Spokane and Tacoma are the two worst offending school districts in Washington State for using aversive and abusive behavior management techniques.  And, those are the ones behind this initiative.  They stand to lose millions of dollars in kickbacks from fraudulent and abusive private detention centers if the current laws hold to prevent this gross misuse of Washington resources and horrific abuse of Washington families.

This initiative is an attempt to overturn legislation that was signed into law in July, 2014 to protect all Washington school children from the abusive misuse of IEPs. 

Please vote no on I-1351 and tell everyone you know to do the same.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Kid Who Wasn't Rescued


The Kid Who Wasn't Rescued

By Angela Smith, HEAL Coordinator
 

On Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, Brock Tucker was "apparently hanged...in his cell... Department Spokeswoman Brooke Adams would not disclose how Tucker hanged himself or what he used, saying the release of that information could pose security risks."  (Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, Friday October 3rd, 2014)
 

Brock Tucker lived with a traumatic brain injury.  His family sought assistance to get him proper care for that injury.  Social Services in Utah placed Brock in a non-medical, behavior modification facility which is known primarily by the informed as a private youth detention center, not a proper treatment nor long-term care facility.  "The Provo Canyon School is not a school in the traditional ordinary or classic sense. It does offer classes on a secondary level to its resident population, and in most instances does a good job in its formal teaching. Provo Canyon School is also a correctional and detention facility. Students are restricted to the grounds Students are confined. Some students are locked in and locked up with varying degrees of personal liberty restored as each progresses through the institutional program. If a student leaves without permission, he is hunted down, taken into custody and returned."  (Source: Ruling by Judge Clarence A. Brimmer, Jr. in Milonas and Rice et al v. Provo Canyon School et al--see: www.heal-online.org/provocases.htm)

 

Tucker reportedly had his head bashed against a brick wall repeatedly by staff while attending Provo Canyon School.  His family reported these complaints to the Ombudsman and other Utah authorities.  Those authorities then moved Tucker to an equally questionable and abusive "treatment facility" in Utah.  Tucker's family tried to get him out of the system when the abuse began.  But, Utah is so corrupt (and we are finding this in other States too) that freeing him from the hands of abusers became seemingly impossible.

 

Tucker took his freedom into his own hands, escaped the facility and stole a car.  He was apprehended and chose to be tried as an adult believing he would finally be free of institutional abuse.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.

 

Tucker spent the remainder of his legal minority in prison at the Central Utah Correctional Facility.  He was reportedly found hanged in his cell on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014.  HEAL volunteers had received a letter from Brock Tucker on September 8th, 2014 showing him hopeful about his parole hearing in December and in relatively good spirits.  Tucker seemed relieved to be out of the youth "treatment/detention" facilities.  And, again very hopeful regarding his chances of release in December.

 

There are many factors that could lead to serious speculation regarding foul play in Tucker's death.  I personally believe foul play was involved and the reasons involve a legal battle and another pending legal battle.  Here are a few of the reasons we believe Brock Tucker may have been murdered and that there is a cover up:

  1. Recent communications by Tucker showed no signs of suicidal thought nor severe depression.
  2. A recent victim of Provo Canyon contacted HEAL for help and we asked Tucker's family to help provide local support.  It was the very next day that Tucker was killed.
  3. J. Ralph Atkin (aka Jerry Clayton Atkin) is co-founder/co-owner of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS) in addition to Zions Bancorporation (Bank), prnewswire.com, kuer.org (NPR--Utah), Fortune 1000 Group, Inc. (Canada--a now apparently defunct software development firm), Leucadia National Corp (former owner of WilTel Communications which is now owned by Level 3 Communications.  And, Level 3 works with prnewswire.com so we still see partnerships under new corporate "brands".  Sources Include:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WilTel_Communications and https://finance.yahoo.com/news/level-3-opens-data-center-110000210.html)
  4. Robert Lichfield co-founded WWASPS with Atkin and formerly worked as a director for Provo Canyon School.  In 2008, Lichfield (WWASPS) and Mel Sembler (Straight, Inc. a direct "descendant" of the Synanon cult) were Mitt Romney's campaign co-chairs.  (Source: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/08/cult-spawned-tough-love-teen-industry) The Synanon cult which branched and continues to operate today under multiple names and under multiple corporate umbrellas (with tight personal and professional relationships with each other) was identified as a "wealthy authoritarian cult" in a New York Times Article (source: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/04/us/charles-dederich-83-synanon-founder-dies.html).  CEDU was formed out of the Synanon cult.  Television personalities such as Dr. Phil send their teen "guests" to facilities operating under this cult.  Romney's company, Bain Capital, owns Aspen Education Group which continues to operate CEDU programs along with their "competitors"/friends at UHS, Inc. (who now owns Provo Canyon School as well as many "former" CEDU facilities/programs while maintaining original management and staff).  (For the matrix showing political and professional associations between cults and abusive teen programs, visit: http://www.heal-online.org/connectingprograms.pdf)
  5. Brandon Burr, former clinical director at Aspen Education Group's Aspen Ranch in UT designed and oversees the "treatment" at Central Utah Correctional Facility.  He currently works for yet another behavior modification youth program, Equine Journeys, in UT. 

 
Based on the access, criminal propensities, and other facts available, I believe that foul play was involved in Brock Tucker's death intended in part to send HEAL, and anyone who tries to stop this child-torturing, family-bankrupting "wealthy authoritarian cult", a message.  But, all that achieved was sadness and anger.  And, we will use those emotions to fuel our efforts to expose and close all members of this "wealthy authoritarian cult" engaging in criminal activities and deserving of the harshest of penalties.  We will work with the authorities whenever possible to see these people are brought to justice.  We hope you will continue to join and support our efforts.  Brock deserved better.  And, to honor all of those who have died as a direct or indirect result of institutional abuse, we will not stop until these people are locked up, all children are reasonably safe, and these "programs" are closed.