Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Facility Question and Answers

Grove School Madison, CT

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Dysfunction Junction:
I spend quite a bit of time in Madison.  Never heard of this place.  Maybe next time I'm there I will pop in and interrogate someone.

Pile of Dead Kids:
Careful, DJ; judging by the number of Wiki reverts, the management is clearly Fornits-aware.

Well... Grove School has been around since 1934, according to their home page...

I should add, this place seems like it's really big on the therapeutic community modality; specifically, as it is interpreted by the world of psych professionals (as opposed to the world of addiction treatment professionals):

-------------- • -------------- • --------------

Welcome To Grove School

The Grove School program is a co-educational, therapeutic boarding school for adolescents who, because of social/emotional difficulties, have been unable to make satisfactory adjustments in their home, their school, or their social relationships.

The Grove School provides a therapeutic milieu for young people who are experiencing emotional and learning challenges that affect the quality of their lives. By weaving our various therapeutic facets into a seamless whole, we provide an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth and the development of meaningful relationships.

The creation of a seamless interface between academic, clinical, residential, and administrative components is the foundation of our treatment model. This resulting therapeutic environment addresses each student's unique individual needs as well as their social and interpersonal responsibilities and obligations. Self-respect, accountability for one’s decisions and actions, the capacity to develop trusting relationships, and the successful navigation of academic demands are the goals of our treatment program.

History Of Grove School

The Grove School occupies a unique place in the annals of Therapeutic Boarding Schools. We are one of the oldest, private, stand-alone programs of its kind in the United States. Founded in 1934 and originally called a Residential Treatment Center, Grove is now officially a Residential Education Center, more affectionately known as a Therapeutic Boarding School. We are located on over 90 acres of beautifully wooded land in the shoreline town of Madison, Connecticut.

Our philosophy of a holistic treatment program, embedded within a creative and individualized academic program, has evolved over the years with input from the varied backgrounds and experiences of its owners, as well as many important professionals who have contributed their ideas, interests, creativity, and hard work over 70 years. The program is very different from other Therapeutic Boarding Schools that fall within this general category.

The Grove School was founded by Dr. J. Perlman in 1934. Dr. J. Sanford Davis was Executive Director from 1955 – 1986. Richard Chorney became the Executive Director in 1986 and then President and CEO in 2000. Peter Chorney took over the responsibilities of Executive Director in 2000. The Grove School is a family run organization with continuing day to day involvement in all aspects of the program. The Grove School is a proprietary corporation with a Board of Advisors representing many fields of expertise including medicine, education, business and law. We are also proud to have former parents and former students as Board members.

The Grove School is approved by the Connecticut State Department of Education. It is also licensed by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. We are members of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the International Society of Adolescent Psychiatry (ISAP), the National Association of Treatment Schools and Programs (NATSAP), the Independent Small Programs Alliance (ISPA), and an affiliate of the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH). We also support the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

Grove School appears to have undergone three distinct phases, each governed by the then owner/executive director:

1934-55: Dr. Jess Perlman
1955-86: Dr. J. Sanford Davis
1986-present: Richard Chorney; in ~2000, also Peter Chorney (son?)[/list]

While I was researching the suicide of Brendan Jon Ogonowski:

Man sues Grove School in Madison over injuries
By Alexandra Sanders, New Haven Register, Published: Monday, January 17, 2011

MADISON — A Rhode Island man has filed a lawsuit, alleging the Grove School used improper restraint procedures during an altercation.

The man, identified as John Doe to protect his identity, was arrested in September 2008 on a third-degree assault charge after staff at the private therapeutic boarding school for adolescents with emotional and social problems, tried to restrain him. The charge has since been dismissed, but now the lawsuit says he is suing the school after sustaining multiple injuries, including a black eye, ruptured blood vessels, a bloody nose and bruises on his face and arms.

“He was there because they supposedly knew how to take care of him,” Doe’s attorney, Diane Polan of New Haven, said recently. “Kids admitted (to the Grove School) are not supposed to end up looking the way my client looked.”

On Friday, Grove School Director Richard Chorney would not specify the restraint procedures used in the school.

“People are obviously trained as they would be in every hospital or school,” said Chorney. “It is not something we have very much of at all, if and when it does happen. I believe that anything that is developed is going to end up being spurious.”

According to the lawsuit, prior to 2008, when Doe, 19, began attending the Grove School, he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder, and had been hospitalized three times for treatment of those issues. Doe had not attended school for six months before he enrolled at the Grove School and, during that time, he had expressed suicidal thoughts.

His parents had given the Grove School staff paperwork detailing his mental illness and behavioral issues and noted in a “Special Procedures” section that he “needs space to decompress” and he is “very fragile.”

Copies of the information were given to two of three staff members listed in the lawsuit, Sean Kursawe, the assistant principal; and Robert Burgett, a teacher and part of the Residential Behavioral Management program. Andrew Pollack, associate director of the school, was not given the information, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, during the first 10 days of Doe’s residence at the school, he had nine altercations with students and staff, he threatened to kill himself and run away from school, he cut his arms and he told the staff he was “stressed and overwhelmed.”

Around the 10th day, Doe became agitated, called his parents and asked them to pick him up, while he was packing his bags. Kursawe heard Doe on the phone with his mother threatening to kill himself if she did not pick him up and Kursawe said he would call the police if Doe left the school, which prompted him to lock himself in the bathroom, according to the lawsuit.

"They are supposed to de-escalate the situation, not escalate it,” said Polan. “The school holds itself out as saying that this is what their employees are trained to do. Every kid there has behavioral or psychiatric problems and they hold themselves out as a professional school that provides holistic treatments.”

The lawsuit states that at the time of the incident, there were no trained security staff members on the premises.

When Pollack, the “on-call” administrator at the time, arrived at the Green Cottage, where Doe was staying, he left the bathroom, cursed at Pollack and went into his bedroom.

“The staff pushed the door to his room open instead of following the restraint procedures they were taught and went berserk,” said Polan. “(Pollack) didn’t read the file and he didn’t know anything about the child’s issues so things went from bad to worse.”

During the incident, Pollack and Doe both sustained injuries.

“They punched him in the eye,” said Polan. “I acknowledge that people need to be restrained, but people have to be trained in dealing with psychiatric patients and they aren’t supposed to be punished for having those symptoms.”

All three men are still listed as staff members on the Grove School website.

“It was obviously mishandled and I think it is really shocking that a child with psychiatric disabilities goes to a private residential treatment facility and ends up with the injuries he sustained,” said Polan.

According to the Crisis Prevention Institute, an international organization that offers safe behavior management method training, nonviolent crisis intervention involves reducing the risk of injury, complying with legislative standards, minimizing exposure to liability and promoting care, welfare, safety and security.

Doe filed a separate lawsuit against the town of Madison when he was 17, after the arrest, when his name was released on an adult arrest log. That suit is pending.


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