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Former Thayer Learning Center closes doors

By Andrew Bottrell, editor

An anonymous source has told that the former Thayer Learning Center, now known as Teen Life Skills Center, in Kidder, has closed.

According to papers filed in a court ruling on Aug. 1, Thayer Learning Center, L.L.C., has been dissolved. It is unclear at this time if ownership and management of Thayer Learning Center and Teen Life Skills Center are the same. An unidentified spokesperson with the Center refused to comment. There were two vehicles in the parking lot Thursday, but there appeared to be little activity at the Center, and no students were visible.

A number for Thayer owner Willa Bundy has apparently been disconnected, and attempts to reach Kirby Brelsford, who had been director at Thayer, resulted in a wrong number. The spokesperson at the Center would not comment about Brelsford.

Two students tied up a guard and escaped in July of 2008. They were apprehended at McDonald's in Cameron later that night and sent back to the Center.

The Center had fallen under some other scrutiny, and in researching the story, found, which documents a current lawsuit against Bundy. According to the web site, on Aug. 1, a Missouri judge ruled that the lawsuit will continue after a motion to dismiss was filed by the Center. The lawsuit, filed by five former employees, accuses the program and Bundy of malicious prosecution.

The web site also documents the death of 15-year-old student Roberto Reyes on Nov. 3, 2004. And according to the web site, Reyes' parents settled a wrongful death lawsuit out of court and signed a confidentiality agreement. ... 995328.txt

Pics from Andrew Bottrell's above article Former Thayer Learning Center closes doors (published Thursday, September 3, 2009 3:48 PM CDT; - serving Cameron, MO): has been informed that the former Thayer Learning Center, now the Teen Life Skills Center, has closed. A spokesperson for the Center had no comment. (photo by Jamey Honeycutt) has been informed that the former Thayer Learning Center, now the Teen Life Skills Center, has closed. Only two cars were in the parking lot and no students were visible on Thursday. (photo by Jamey Honeycutt)

Copyright © 2009 Citizen-Observer Newspaper[/quote]

So Thayer closes down.  I can't say I condone everything that went on there.  I can't say I condone all the actions of Willa Bundy.  But for all those people and organizations and lawyers out there who have spent every waking moment trying to close Thayer (and similar institutions) down - what are your alternatives?  What are your solutions?  Most parents don't send their child to a place like Thayer because they simply want to unload their kid.  Oh I'm sure there are some bad parents out there just like there are bad cops, bad teachers, corrupt business people, bad doctors....  But most of us send our kid to a place like Thayer because it's our last ditch effort to save the life of our kid.  Most of us have already tried setting up rules for our household and our child. Most of use have already tried to engage teachers and principals in an effort to assist and monitor our children.  Most of us have already tried other short term behavioral organizations, doctors, police, therapists, anti-depressants.  Most of us parents have already been to hell and back and our backs are against the wall and we can see that we have one of three choices:  watch our child die face down in the gutter due to gangs, rape, drugs, bad crowds, alchohol or watch them spend the rest of their lives in prison or send them to a place like Thayer.  So I ask you lawyers and I ask you people and organizations who have done everything in your power to shut Thayer down - where will you be in the darkest moments  when the parent's back is against the wall and they are left with these 3 alternatives?  Will you be posting your telephone numbers so I can call you in the middle of the night when my child is missing and won't come home and the police won't help and I know my kid is out there doping it up and in high risk situations?  Will you be available to help restrain my kid when they are threatening me and out of control with anger and rage while high on dope?  Will you open your home to my out of control kid when there's no place for them except a jail cell?  Will you be available for watch my kid 24/7 to make sure they stay off drugs and alcohol for at least a year so their brain heals and they mature?  Will you help them remember their family who loves them and has given them all the basics of food, shelter and clothing and more love and devotion than anyone else in their lives.  Where will you be when thousands of parents across this country need a place for their child before they end up in a ditch?  I sent my child to Thayer because I loved my child.  My kid has since come home and is going to college, working, has goals, chooses better friends, stays away from drugs and alcohol.  I was a watchdog parent while my child was at Thayer and I made them toe the line for me and my kid.  I pray for all those parents out there and for their kids who are fast losing the one last ditch opportunity to save the life of their child.  They are now left with 2 options:  find their kid face down in a ditch or visit them in prison for the rest of their living days.

No matter what you say about Thayer, it traumatized your children.    And don't say there aren't alternatives,  you just have to keep trying.     These kids got to where they were from a lot of frustration, trauma and trying to control them.   I know for a fact they were dumped there, because many parents just paid the money and hardly saw them.   And don't think this place made them a kind, caring loving person.   YOU as parents were the problem.   With your divorces and sticking them in child care and not being there for them.    YOU made them very angry and defiant.

How does your child feel about Thayer closing?
How long were they there?
Do you or your child think that Willa Bundy should open up a similar facility somewhere else?
Did you know when you sent your child there that they did not have any professionals working there?
Did that concern you?
Does it bother you that Mr. Bundy owned Parent Help while Mrs. Bundy owned Thayer?


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