Author Topic: Aspen Education Group: Any former students?  (Read 30305 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Aspen Education Group: Any former students?
« on: August 07, 2004, 01:46:00 AM »
I'm interested in receiving any information from former students about their experiences, whether positive or negative, at any of the Aspen Education Group facilities.  You can either post here or email me at: [email protected]
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2004, 02:49:00 PM »
I am currently investigating an Aspen place, as well Academy at Swift River and Mt Batchelor have been posted about either here or elsewhere. If you can't find the postings, I'll help. Search this forum for both. What I do know I general about Aspen is they try to keep their nose clean. I compared them with Enron and WWASPS with the Mafia, several people in the know thought that was an apt description. Aspen's buying up schools right and left, some former WWASPS and not doing a ton to change administration. They are a $100 and growing swiftly corp. and settle cases out of court, so no way of knowing what kind of crap they've been dishing. Their contracts are atrocious and are generally thrown out of court as non-negotiable. Most Aspen programs use the same boilerplate BM model, no communication, no real assessment, most don't have staff competent for what they say they treat. I know of one case which I can't go into detail about yet, but gross malpractice with a suicidal kid and another of severe maltreatment at one of their wilderness programs. I suspect that within the next year or so the Aspen stories will start to come out because of how quick they've been to buy up so many schools. Sorry I'm not a former student.
I wish more people were posting about Aspen. I wonder if they even realize they're kids are at Aspen Schools. To double check, since they've grown: http://www.aspeneducation.com I notice on the package I recently got that there was no mention of the school being owned by Aspen. Hmmm.
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Offline spirithelps

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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2004, 06:55:00 AM »
I've encountered a lot of what you're saying about keeping their nose clean, having worked at one facility and turned in a sexual and harassment abuse report by a few of the staff.  I think they're getting ready to go public, thus the need to buy up more facilities and keep that profit margin high.

I can say that they put very little money into the program for the kids.  Office staff drive brand new vehicles, and the program vehicles for the kids have 200,000+ miles on 'em, van side door that doesn't open, no brakes, and extremely loose steering.  100 degree weather and the kids sleep in lofts with windows that won't open (due to security), no fans, no air, just sweltering heat.

They use discipline that is against state law.  They just had a duct tape incident that was swept under the carpet by the Sheriff's Office, Child Protective Services, and the State Licensor.  This happened in Utah where the Mormons are all related, or have ties, to someone else . . . the sexual offender is a police informant, CPS lady is a blood relative of the Aspen facility Director, and the State Licensor lady's husband works for another Aspen facility in a different city.  Very cozy working relationship, to say the least.  They removed the victim from the offending institution to another one of theirs up north in Utah.

I've heard that the mother of the victim is still pushing for answers and so am I.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2004, 04:54:00 PM »
I desparately want to find out anything I can about the Aspen facilities. My adorable 14 year old granddaughter was recently kidnapped (at her parents' request), and wisked off to a wilderness camp in Idaho run by SUWS (now owned by Aspen), and then sent to an Aspen boarding facility, which I think is probably in Utah. I am completely heartsick because this little girl has never been into drugs, alcohol, never been on a date, let alone had sex, never been in trouble with the law, etc. Her only sin has been talking back to her dictatorial, arrogant stepfather, who did legally adopt her so can do whatever he wants with her. She was sent away prior to any form of traditional counseling being attempted. I can't believe that these kids can be taken over state lines against their will and incarcerated without due process, all at the wim of a parent who is the one who needs the behavior modification. It is also interesting that eventhough Aspen's corporate headquarters are in California, a state relatively protective of children's rights, most of their facilities are in states such a Utah, where childrens rights are essentially non-existant. I would like to become active in protesting this disgusting situation and working toward laws to stop it. I live in California, any suggestions?
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Offline hurleygurley

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Aspen Education Group: Any former students?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2004, 02:06:00 AM »
[ This Message was edited by: hurleygurley on 2004-10-20 15:34 ]
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Offline hurleygurley

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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2004, 02:14:00 AM »
[ This Message was edited by: hurleygurley on 2004-10-20 15:35 ]
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Offline hurleygurley

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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2004, 02:18:00 AM »
if you send me a private message with your email (if you trust me) i'll send you email with more information.
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Offline mudbone357

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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2004, 01:29:00 AM »
I was in Aspen's wilderness program in southern Utah for 2 1/2 months in the winter 0f 1994.  I was subjected to long periods of forced fasting, and solitary placement, as well as malnourished severely.  It doesn't surprise me to hear people say that they save money by skimping on the kids, because when I was there, we didn't even have real backpacks; we were forced to carry around tarps wrapped up with seatbelt straps on our shoulders, always at weights above 80 pounds.
Aspen should be avoided by anyone at all costs.  The other stories of abuse I could tell you would probably sicken you all.  Anyone who would like more information can ask me here.
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Offline spirithelps

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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2004, 10:14:00 AM »
So, how do you feel today about your experiences with Aspen?  Seems like everyone counters me and my problems in trying to work for them as necessary evils 'cause the kids need help.  I'm looking for any abuse since 3 responsible agencies have closed the case without so much as any investigation.  I want to hang the state, Aspen, and the Sheriff's office.  I live in southern Utah, although not in Loa where the Aspen Achievement Academy is located.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2004, 10:49:00 AM »
Please do what you can to get your granddaughter out. I went through a program many, many years ago and it was absolutely the wrong place as I was just an insecure kid with depression and academic issues--but not a bad kid at all.

People do not know how bad these places really are and that you are coerced to never say anything negative. (If you do, they tell your parents lies about you or say you are just manipulative--the same thing they say to all parents.  The kid has no power over what happens to them.)  A lot of the abuse is emotional/mental/psychological and leave lasting scars--it changes you.  I can't tell you how many peopel this happened to who never--even as an adult--explained this to their parents but are still coping with it years later.

These places don't give you self esteem, tehy take it from you. Sometimes kids start "acting" or "performing" better at school etc. but are still seriously damaged.

If you can't talk to the mother, talk to the father--anything to get her out. Tell the mother how these schools operate and how abuses are pushed under the carpet and they judt call your kids a liar so you keep them in.  Maybe even offer to talke the kid in if things are so contentious w/the stepfather.  

Good luck!
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Offline mudbone357

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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2004, 04:36:00 PM »
Spirithelps -
You know, it's been a really long time since I was there, and just as long a time of trying to forget about what I went through when I was there.  I used to get that same argument from people that you get, about it being a necessary evil, and so since nobody who hasn't been through it themself could possibly understand what it was really like, I just stopped talking about it all together.

Having said that though, I know that what they did there was child abuse, and that it was wrong; i just still feel the way we all got to feeling: nobody's going to help us because we have no rights, and I stopped trying to do anything about it.  Did it stop my drug problem?  As much as locking me in a closet would have, I guess.  What really stopped my drug use was the death of my best friend while I was at RMA.  So, do I feel like it was a necessary evil?  Yes and no.  And I hate that I have to answer it like that, but I'm still conditioned now, even ten years later.

As Far as specific crimes, the therapist they sent me to before I went into the field violated my patient doctor privilage by telling my parents everything that we spoke about; I'm pretty sure that that was illegal, although Aspen told me that privilage didn't exist for minors in Utah.  The other more awful crimes I can tell you about if you'd like to hear.  I feel like I'm rambling.
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Offline spirithelps

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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2004, 01:06:00 AM »
Well, please do ramble on . . . it's what I need to hear.  Actually, there are a couple of us in here who want to help.  I don't know how much I can do, but I can certainly raise awareness.  I'm pretty good about raising a big fat stink, and I don't shut up and go home til the job's done.

Utah is a terrible state for children rights, or so I understand.  I'm beginning to think that kids all over the nation have no rights, seems the parents and the programs can do whatever they want.  

From what I've witnessed, Aspen cleans up after their messes so well that no one can put a finger on them.  My reports were kept secret from all other staff and all problems were swept under the rug.  

But no one is that perfect.  We've got tons on them already.  All we have to do is get it together and get it into the right hands.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2004, 09:05:00 PM »
i went to aspen achievement academy in loa utah in 2002 if you want any information about it i will give it to you i was there for like 2 months........
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Offline spirithelps

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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2004, 09:37:00 AM »
What was your experience like?  Good, bad??  I heard that the Loa facility had a bunch of drunks running it and they fired everyone and started over.  Please do let me know what you think of it.  You were there.  You can email me at:

[email protected]

Sometimes email does not work very well, you know all of the interference these days!

Toni
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2004, 03:44:00 AM »
i went to academy at swift river. i probably wouldnt sue however i do carry deep emotional scars that i didnt have before i went. that place created such a manipulative enviornment for children to feel a false sense of belonging and upon leaving really fucked me up
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