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A Bill Relating to Outdoor Youth Programs


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     71st OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2001 Regular Session
NOTE:  Matter within  { +  braces and plus signs + } in an
amended section is new. Matter within  { -  braces and minus
signs - } is existing law to be omitted. New sections are within
 { +  braces and plus signs + } .
LC 1515
                         House Bill 2474
Sponsored by Representative HILL
The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the
measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to
consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor's
brief statement of the essential features of the measure as
  Requires Department of Education to establish guidelines for
operation of wilderness schools. Prohibits operation of
wilderness school without registration with Department of
                        A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to outdoor youth programs.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
  SECTION 1.  { + As used in sections 1 to 4 of this 2001 Act:
  (1) 'Expedition' means an outdoor excursion away from the
central location of the wilderness school by a group of persons
participating in the wilderness school.
  (2) 'Provider' means any person, business or entity responsible
for the administration and operation of a wilderness school.
  (3) 'Wilderness school' means an outdoor program for the
provision of services to persons under 18 years of age who have
behavioral problems, problems with mental health or problems with
the abuse of alcohol or drugs. 'Wilderness school' does not
include a program, facility or activity:
  (a) Operated by a governmental entity; or
  (b) Licensed by the State Office for Services to Children and
Families. + }
  SECTION 2.  { + A person may not operate a wilderness school
without first registering with the Department of Education under
section 4 of this 2001 Act. + }
  SECTION 3.  { + Pursuant to rules of the State Board of
Education, the Department of Education shall establish guidelines
for the operation of wilderness schools, which may include but
need not be limited to:
  (1) Personnel training and qualifications, including:
  (a) Education and experience, including counseling, leadership
training and outdoor education or experience;
  (b) Medical and psychological examinations, including an
assessment of a prospective employee's ability to cope with
  (c) Reference and criminal background screening;
  (d) Drug and alcohol screening;
  (e) Training or certification in first aid, cardiopulmonary
resuscitation, water safety and wilderness survival;
  (f) Skills and techniques for the procurement, preparation and
conservation of water, food and shelter in outdoor survival
  (g) Procedures for sanitation; and
  (h) Appropriate use of physical restraint;
  (2) Student admission standards, including:
  (a) Maximum and minimum ages of participating students;
  (b) Medical, dental and psychological examinations required
prior to admission;
  (c) Provisions for financial support and for medical, dental
and surgical care, including consents for treatment;
  (d) Arrangements for family interaction, including mail
delivery, phone calls, visits, allowances and gifts;
  (e) Provisions for a student leaving the wilderness school with
or without the consent of the provider, including provisions for
lost or missing students; and
  (f) Measures to ensure the confidentiality of student records;
  (3) Provider information, including:
  (a) Names, addresses, telephone numbers and titles of
principals of the business or entity;
  (b) Evidence of adequate funding; and
  (c) Adequate liability insurance for bodily injury, death or
property damage; and
  (4) Minimum standards or procedures for:
  (a) Sleeping, bathing and laundry services;
  (b) Nutritional requirements, including minimum daily calorie
and water requirements;
  (c) Clothing and equipment requirements for protection from the
  (d) Staff to student ratios, ensuring the degree of supervision
of students and proximity of employees to students;
  (e) Acceptable methods of punishment, including prohibitions on
the use of corporal punishment, emotional or verbal abuse,
physical isolation or denial of food or water;
  (f) Coping with disasters and emergencies such as fires, severe
weather or medical emergencies, including the evacuation of
students from outdoor situations in an emergency;
  (g) Management of any expedition, including measures to ensure
that students are not exposed to unreasonable risk;
  (h) Communication between the base camp and participants in the
expedition, including provisions for a minimum number of contacts
per day;
  (i) Location of appropriate first aid equipment; and
  (j) Responding to emergencies in outdoor situations, including
the evacuation of participants. + }
  SECTION 4.  { + (1) Pursuant to rules of the State Board of
Education, the Department of Education shall:
  (a) Determine the qualifications of applicants for registration
and renewal of registration.
  (b) Approve, issue, deny, revoke, suspend or renew licenses of
applicants and registered providers.
  (c) Adopt fees to cover the administrative costs of
registration under sections 1 to 4 of this 2001 Act. A fee
established under this section shall not exceed $___.
  (2) In accordance with the applicable provisions of ORS 183.310
to 183.550, the State Board of Education shall adopt rules
necessary for the administration of sections 1 to 4 of this 2001
Act. + }
  SECTION 5.  { + Sections 1 and 2 of this 2001 Act become
operative on ___, __. + }

Private schools like this are rare in Oregon. The majority of "treatment" schools are subsidized largely by the State of Oregon and operated by "nonprofits." Many of these nonprofits were originally part of the Catholic Church or other religions. This legislation does nothing for children placed in these "treatment" facilities. State law offers children placed in any state "contracted" facility much more protection, but it is nothing more than words. Facilities are never "audited" without notice and any complaints are dismissed and/or covered up in any way possible.


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