Protecting the Rights of Teens--Communication from Alexia Parks,, April 30, 1998

TEEN JUSTICE 1.2 Protecting the Rights of Teens
(Please forward to teens and adults who are friends of teens)
Precedence: bulk

An American GULAG
Boarding Schools from Hell

***Teen girl abducted from high school
***Dispatches from the field
***What the media wonít see
***Dear Alexia
***Media Updates

A few days ago, in broad daylight, a teenage girl was dragged, screaming in terror from her high school in New York City by three men and a woman. She was dragged toward a black sedan with dark tinted windows that obscured a view of the inside. Still screaming, she tried to call for help from people passing by on the street.

People, startled by this violence, stopped to watch... but no one tried to help the teen. As a crowd gathered, she was pulled toward the car, then tried to hold onto the top of the car as the three men and the woman pushed her into the back seat. Her screams brought neighbors on this upper east side street to their windows. One was a reporter for a large newspaper who ran down to try and help her.

Several friends of the girl, standing to the side of the crowd were weeping. When the reporter, aghast, tried to find out what was happening he was told by the crying teens that it was "an intervention."

He called it an abduction. A police officer who appeared as the young girl was forcefully shoved into the car, stood to the side watching as the door slammed shut and the car sped off. The reporter took down the license number, tracked down the abductors -- an "escort" service --and is writing a soon-to-appear story about another "disappeared" teen. -- In searching the Internet and news stories, he came across my name and called to talk about the horror of witnessing this event, and about reform.

If you've read An American GULAG you'll understand why that now with my niece out of lock-up -- with the long term psychological consequences unknown -- I have moved on to a reform of these facilities. There is a network of experts and families forming around the GULAG that is seeking ways to criminalize the act of "escort," and to open to public scrutiny the words and actions of those who enthusiastically endorse the "benefits" children will receive at these private behavior changing schools and attitude adjustment camps.

I have been faxed a copy of a Warranty from one school that offers a "satisfaction guarantee" to parents. If you're not satisfied, send your child back... I have been sent a copy of contracts that encourage parents to refer other parents in crisis to these "schools" in exchange for tuition waivers for their own child. There are people jumping into the "educational consultant" field, and opening "escort services" because there is easy money to be made by preying upon parents in crisis. I receive email daily from people whose families are being torn apart by these acts of violence against children, acts that some say rape the mind and soul of a child.

Like all things, this "lock-em-up" mind-set will pass. Give it a year or two. Maybe sooner. Reforms will come, because the cause is just. In time, it will no longer be "socially acceptable" for parents to send their child to a behavior modification schools. There will be too much known about the abuse that goes on behind closed doors.

In the end, I know that the network that is building to protect the rights of teens will succeed, because the cause is just. And, yes, whether the world (as we know it) comes to an end before the Millennium or not, the timing is right!

For several weeks before he died on March 2, 1998, Nicholaus Contreraz (16), was suffering from diarrhea and continuous vomiting. For days before his death, he was then made to carry around a trash can containing his vomit and the clothes he had defecated in.

Hours before he died, he was required to stretch out in a "hold" position with his feet on a desk and his face over a bucket of his own vomit.

Moments before he died, he was put into a wheelbarrow and required to make the sounds of an "ambulance." He was being wheeled to a volleyball game and because he could not stand, the staff "assisted" him in getting the ball over the net.

At the moment of Nicholausí death, staff threw a bucket of water on him.... They told him "it's all in your head." When he didn't respond, they took a closer look. He was dead.

An autopsy showed 2 1/2 quarts of pus in his partially collapsed left lung.

Abused children, whether privately incarcerated or in public facilities have no voice. Even when an event such as the death of a child occurs, they are afraid to tell what they know for fear of retribution. At the Arizona Boy's Camp, police department records show how hundreds of hours of onsite interviews failed to turn up anything more than suspicions... until finally the truth began to emerge. Children at the camp were afraid to tell the police how the staff tortured and humiliated Nicholas Contreraz until he died in agony.

Paul Choy was 15 when he died. He was held in a full-nelson by a staff member until he stopped breathing, Paul died at Rite of Passage, a for-profit company that ran its wilderness camp on land owned by the Walker River Paiute Tribe in Schurz, Nevada. Records show that about 300 outsiders, mostly from regulatory agencies, visited the camp in 1992 before Paulís death. Although it had a controversial past, including investigation of staff physically and sexually abusing some of the young boys in its program, it managed to fend off close scrutiny. In 1990, the camp had sued Mineral County in Nevada for repeatedly sending investigators to the camp to look into complaints of mistreatment or inadequate care. Mineral County District Attorney Craig Jorgenson said the suit was settled when the county agreed to make no further unannounced visits.... (San Francisco Chronicle)

Several years ago, Pathfinders Wilderness Program based in Corrales, N.M. came under brief media scrutiny when two teens were evacuated from their program suffering from a flesh-eating infection. The camp in remote northwestern Colorado was disbanded. Participants in the so-called character building wilderness program for troubled teenagers told investigators they were punched in the face, slammed into trees and made to eat their vomit. Lauren Lee Wittman, 13, of St. Louise said she and other campers were forced to carry their own excrement in their pockets. (Associated Press)

When will the violence against teens end? -- The violence will end when teens have rights; and when the act of transport across county and state lines against their will becomes a criminal act.

48-Hours is traveling to Western Samoa for a tour of Paradise Cove. They have been given an exclusive right to an on-site interview. What they will see is smiling, happy children whom, they will learn, were once "rebellious" teens. What they wonít see is signs of violence. That happens behind closed doors, out of sight, but not out of the hearing of other captive children.

On my tour of Mountain Park Baptist Boarding Academy near Greenville, Missouri, I saw quiet, respectful, smiling children who did as they were told. In some schools, visitors are treated to a childrenís choir. These are model children. Perfect children. Clean and well-kept children.

Viewing children as adults would like to see them -- it is easy to forget that these are captive children. Their behavior has been changed in violent ways. Isolated, far from home, with no witness to their pain and suffering, -- exiled perhaps in a foreign country or off-shore island, an American teen without a country these teens are survivors. They will do whatever it takes to survive. Those who donít will end up dead like Nicholas Contreraz, or imprisoned like 19-year-old Anthony Rutherford, in jail for life for his attempt to take over Mountain Park and kill all the teachers.

In search of a Mormon School for "Troubled Teenagers" I found a lot of information on these Gulag schools. Someone very close to me and my family disappeared on us. We didn't know what had happened because he doesn't just disappear without warning. I called his mother on Monday, April 13 and she told me that she had sent him away. She said a lot of stuff that is almost exactly like in the story about Katie. She told me were he is, is a nice Mormon place that would "fix" him.

He's not a bad kid, no drug, no gangs. All he ever did was drop out of high school because he need a full time job so he could support himself. He's 17 and was planning to emancipate himself from his mother. She is a very controlling woman, and emotionally and mental abused him. i have been witness to this on several occasions.

She told me that it would be several months before he could get any letters from me, and that I could not call him at all. She also said that the letters would have to go through her. Shocked and frightened that she finally lost it, my mother called up his father. He stated, " It wasn't kidnapping".

I might be over reacting but everything in me says that I should be concerned. My mother has been like a mother to him (Jeffery Johnson's his name) and we all want to just find out that he's safe and in a good place. And if not rescue him. -- Please Help,

There will be several major stories coming out in U.S. and international media in the next few weeks. When they are available for review I will post links here.

TeenAid, a newly formed Advocacy group -- established to protect the rights of teens and to monitor activities at Snakepit Schools -- is planning a morning vigil on the New York City street where the teenage girl was abducted. For information about how you can participate in this or other vigils located at sites of teen abductions, please contact: Alexia Parks .

The Education Exchange Network is supporting the activities of TeenAid. T.E.E.N. is a 501-c3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization. (Federal ID 84-1173215). Contributions to support the activities of this international group can be sent to T.E.E.N, Box K, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025.

Annual membership in T.E.E.N. is $25. Members will be sent an (unabridged) copy of An American GULAG.


Teen-Justice promotes the reform of "behavior modification" facilities and schools that abuse the civil and human rights of teens. This newsletter links experts, the media, and interested members of the public who are interested in this issue. Please forward it to your list or post in relevant newsgroups.

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