Author Topic: July 11, 2008 Pathway Family Center (fka Kids Helping Kids) Protest Milford, OH  (Read 671 times)

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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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Ok, so were waiting on other survivors who are en route as I type this. Survivors from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusets, Ohio, Kentucky, etc. will all participate in today's protest in Milford Ohio.

But this morning between 7-8am, 2 protestors already showed up at 6070 Branch Hill Guinea Pike, armed with signs propped against a nearby telephone pole, a video camera, and flyers. While holding more signs, such as "Free the Newcomers" and others, one car pulled in with 3 clients, at least one of which had to be a newcomer because the car let the passengers out at the CAGE. No other cars pulled into Pathway Family Center between 7am to 8am. Pathway doesnt seem to be very busy! But we will get a clearer picture later and will report back!
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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After assembling nearby, the group arrived shortly before 5pm hoping for a successful protest. Our expectations were surpassed beyond anyone's expectations!

The number of clients definitely appears to be on the decline.....only 2 cars picked up newcomers at the end of the night. There was less open meeting traffic than past protests as well.  The blistering sun made it rough for some of us for awhile...thankfully some survivors thought to bring coolers filled with water and other drinks.

The protest itself was very eventful! A confrontation with programmed staff, police and protesting survivors- instigated by Pathway Family Center; an unexpected media appearance/interest; numerous interested passersby stopped for more information, etc. Former clients of Straight and KHK who have previously been unaware of our protests stopped by. One was even from my time who I remember! Another was a very angry recent PFC/KHK client.

Surprisingly, PFC did not send out counter protestors of their own this time as they have done in response to previous protests. However, current PFC staff/7 steppers arrived at the end of the night and engaged us in "peaceful" discussions. There were moments when the talks became a bit heated and emotional. Certainly there was much disagreement. But for the most part, both sides remained civil. Clearly, PFC alerted those PFC staff/7 steppers that we were there and probably sent them to gather information. But that was interesting nonetheless. 

In all there was about 11 protesters, signs everywhere such as "Coercive Thought Reform is Not Treatment," "Stop the Abuse", "Close PFC NOW," "Tough Love is a Hate Group," "Pathway = Abusive Treatment Modality," and many others were held and displayed. Countless DVD's and flyers were distributed! 

This was by far the most successful protest I have personally participated in!
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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On Monday July 14, 2008, the same survivor group held another protest at Kids Helping Kids, a Pathway Family Center (aka Pathway Family Center, PFC and/or KHK) in Milford, Ohio. At the end of the evening, as Pathway program participant vehicles were leaving the PFC facility, protesters were standing at the edge of PFC’s driveway where cars pull out onto Branch Hill Guinea Pike. At that time, three survivor demonstrators watched as one vehicle approached. The three witnesses then spotted a child on the left rear side of that same car. The child client in that car then held up his notebook where he had written the words “HELP ME”. One of the survivors then witnessed another boy in the same vehicle snatch the notebook out of other child’s hand. One of the 3 protester witnesses immediately called and reported the incident to Miami Township police, who in turn, immediately issued an all points bulletin tri state wide on the vehicle.
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Offline Nonconformistlaw

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http://www.cincinnatibeacon.com/index.p ... t_locally/

Source: Cincinnati Beacon

"Straight, Inc. and KHK survivors protest locally"

Posted Tues July 15, 2008

"Numerous Straight, Inc. and Kids Helping Kids survivors, along with other concerned activists, traveled from 5 different states and the Greater Cincinnati area to participate in the July 11, 2008 protest in Milford, Ohio. The group protested Kids Helping Kids, a Pathway Family Center (aka Pathway Family Center, PFC and/or KHK), a behavior modification teen treatment facility which is not only the current renamed version of Straight, Inc, it also still uses the STRAIGHT, Inc. treatment modality. 

The protesters’ mission was to express opposition and to educate local residents about the “treatment methods” used by PFC, methods which this group believes pose a substantial risk of harm to children. Specifically, the protesters strongly object to, among other things, the use of coercive thought reform, isolation from parents, peers and society, unlicensed host homes, unqualified peer staff, unnecessary and/or disproportionate punishments, and the denial of basic human rights such as total bathroom privacy. Additionally, the demonstrators are extremely concerned about children having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other serious mental health issues caused by their ordeal in Pathway. Repeated reports to state agencies of systematic abuse and other improprieties have also been ignored for years. 

This protest comes on the heels of the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelming approval of H.R. 6358, The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008. Recent congressional investigations uncovered thousands of allegations of abuse, neglect and youth deaths in private teen behavior modification facilities in the United States. This legislation aims to protect youth in all private treatment facilities, including Pathway Family Center.

The rocky start of the protest itself did not deter the determined activists from sharing their message. One Pathway official (Monica Mertens, according to Pathway insiders who spoke with protesters) displayed unprofessional conduct by confiscating one of the protestor’s signs. PFC officials also summoned Miami Township police twice. The first time was to remove protesters from the far side of the driveway who occasionally crossed it without blocking incoming traffic. The second time, participants were later told, was an attempt to stop protesters from videotaping the public event. Demonstrators did comply with law enforcement’s request to stay off to the sides of Pathway’s entrance but were never asked to stop filming. In spite of these incidents, the peaceful protest resumed without further confrontation.

At the demonstration itself, protesters carried and displayed numerous signs including “Coercive Thought Reform is Not Treatment,” “KHK Tortured Me,” and “Close PFC Now”. Many drivers showed solidarity either by honking, giving the thumbs up or by shouting “Thank you! My friend (or relative) was in there. This place stinks!” In addition, many passersby stopped, took literature and were given the free DVD set of the congressional hearings and KHK news footage. Even former clients of Straight and KHK, with no previous knowledge of our protests, no prior contact with activist survivors, saw the protest and stopped to speak with survivors. Both supported our efforts.

As the event was winding down, current PFC peer staff/graduates initiated peaceful discussions. At times the talks became a bit heated and emotional. Certainly there was much disagreement. But for the most part, both sides remained civil. 

At the end of the day, the exhausted survivors unanimously agreed that this event was nothing less than a smashing success and felt rejuvenated by the interest from the community. All participants vowed to continue their quest to educate the community about the harmful Straight Inc treatment model used by Kids Helping Kids, a Pathway Family Center. Their mission is to protect children from these harmful treatment methods."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
quot;In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.\" George Orwell