Protecting the Rights of Teens,
Communication from Alexia Parks, June 28, 1998

TeenAid 1.6
Protecting the Rights of Teens
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Precedence: bulk

An American GULAG
Boarding Schools from Hell
*** New York Press Conference (Highlights)
*** Statement: Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
*** Statement: The Van Blarigan family, in support of David (16)
*** ASFAR: Internet-based network of teens
*** TEEN Bill of Rights
*** Subscribe – Join TeenAid

Press Conference (Highlights)

On June 19th, 1998, Alexia Parks, director of TeenAid, and author of An American GULAG, marked the site of a teen abduction and distributed a press release outside Marymount Manhattan College, 221 E. 71st Street, in New York City. Ms Parks then talked with a representative from the President’s office. While the college administration denied that a teen had been dragged screaming from the school – London Times reporter Daniel Jeffreys confirmed that she was intercepted outside the FRONT of the building as she began walking away from the building toward Third Avenue. She was dragged to a waiting Suburban.

Although the representative from Marymount was firm in denying the teen was dragged from the school – and in a literal sense she was correct – she fell silent when the name of the behavior modification facility, The Family, was mentioned.

The latest edition of An American GULAG contains documented evidence of serious abuse at The Family, near Hancock, New York, Alleged abuse, as recounted by survivors, includes teens being told they are INSANE and will always be insane. In time they come to accept this as true. This acknowledgment is part of the 12-step process that all students are required to take. In addition, those students deemed to be "out of control" may be wrapped in a blanket which is then wrapped with duct tape. These living "mummies" may be left for hours or as long as a day that way, says one former student. There is no release for food, water, or to go to the bathroom.

Marymount Manhattan College and the parents of this abducted teen may be unaware of the abuse that goes on at The Family.

Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing

A letter from a group of subspeciality nurses dedicated to research, education and advocacy for children was distributed at the press conference. Although the original letter was written in reaction to the abduction of David Van Blarigan from his home in Oakland, CA, it was offered in support of the teen abducted from outside Marymount. jThe following is an excerpt from that letter.

[Abuses at parent-funded behavior modification facilities] are disturbingly reminiscent of the kinds of abuses associated with the outrageous events that transpired in investor-owned psychiatric settings during the 1980s. Equally disturbing [is] the description of the program in which children are "consequenced" -- a much overused euphemism that can cover a multitude of punitive measures doled out at the whim of staff members. …There is no question that some adolescents can be exceedingly disruptive and sorely try their parents and communities. But when concern and good intentions on the part of parents and caregivers results in the kind of coercion that was described in this incident, we should consider the point of such an "intervention" and its effect on already disturbed children. There are many issues that we can raise with respect to this situation. For example, the potential psychological sequelae of this kind of situation, the shattering of trust between child and parent, the rights of children to be treated with the same dignity as adults.

But we prefer to speak from the professional voice of experience. Working with [these children] requires infinite patience and the building of trust. Earning that trust is very difficult and when earned, it is very fragile. Certainly trust cannot be achieved when a child is abducted, when they have been lied to, and when punitive measures …are employed by staff members and permitted by parents.

What research and practice in the field of child and adolescent psychology, psychiatric nursing, and psychiatry has shown us, is that corporal punishment, abuse and punitive treatment stops inappropriate behavior temporarily, but does not teach healthier, more effective problem solving.

As advocates for the most disenfranchised of our people, the members of the Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nurses strongly oppose the use of these kinds of toxic interventions against already vulnerable and wounded children. It is of great concern to us that an American adolescent’s (a citizen of this country) constitutional rights would be violated in the name of "treatment" and that the "interventions" allegedly used are analogous to child abuse. We would not treat a criminal this way -- why are we treating troubled children this way? -- Group STATEMENT submitted by Wanda Mohr

The Van Blarigan family, in support of David (16)

What is a "disappeared child?" A "disappeared child" is a youth, generally 13 to 16 years of age, sometimes a young girl, sometimes a young boy, sometimes rebellious, sometimes unruly, sometimes non-conforming, sometimes alcohol participating, sometimes drug participating, sometimes misdemeanor participating and sometimes, just sometimes, perhaps completely innocent, who is subjected to an unforgettable, lifelong memory event of being rudely, shockingly, appallingly, in a completely demeaning, humiliating manner removed, against their will, from society, from their fiends, their relatives, their pets under the appearance of parental love… and, valid contract, for private "escort" to a "boarding school" which in reality are American Gulags -- boarding schools from Hell where

--escape is next to impossible
--over-crowded conditions exist
--supervision is questionable
--nutrition is non-existent
--restraining devices and chemical compounds exist
--"isolation" areas are prevalent
--adverse climatic conditions abound
--medical treatment is, at best, antiquated
--huge U.S. Dollar profits are reaped!!!

The abductions take place substantially in the middle of the night, although the recent "intervention" of a young teenage girl from Marymount Manhattan College was a broad daylight event. The abductions are performed by ‘strong-arms’ sometimes using mechanical restraints; but, always pocketing a handsome profit!

My great-nephew, David Van Blarigan, 16 years of age, was abducted from his home in Oakland, CA on November 19, 1997 -- seven long long months ago. He was "escorted" to a Utah "sham" "holding" hospital, (now closed down) and subsequently was and is confined at Treasure Beach, Tranquility Bay, Jamaica, all under the guise of Parental love!

I, for one, question Sue and Jim Van Blarigan’s "parental love, and the Fundamentalist beliefs they hid behind. Nevertheless, on behalf of myself and Aunt Jean, on behalf of Grandmother Phyllis and Grandfather Hiram Van Plarigan, on behalf of Aunt Peggy and Uncle Paul Van Blarigan, on behalf of Aunt Tracy and Cousins, we appeal to you, Sue and Jim Van Blarigan, as David’s loving parents, David has suffered more than long enough. Please bring him home NOW!

Finally, I wish to thank TeenAid for giving me this opportunity to express my deepest feelings about David’s travesty! -- STATEMENT of Herbert Seiffert, great-uncle of David Van Blarigan, a "disappeared" child. (908) 369-4151.

ASFAR: Internet-based network of teens

It is the utmost injustice whenever a human being is considered to be the mere property of another This can be referred to by various terms, such as tyranny and slavery. Unfortunately, this type of injustice is still alive and well in the United States today. Parents who believe that their children are theirs to do with as they please, without regard to the rights and dignity of their children, are no better than slavemasters. ASFAR condemns the imprisonment of any child or youth against his or her will.

In a day and age when the United States and other supposedly "civilized" nations pride themselves on their human rights records, it is time for the injustices exhibited by gulag schools to end. ASFAR calls for a ban on these pockets of tyranny within the United States, a law prohibiting parents from transporting their children to gulag schools outside the United States, as well as pressure on other countries to eliminate these gulag schools within their own borders, and to return American children sent there. The United States should really live up to her name as a civil rights leader and eliminate the bane of gulag schools.

STATEMENT of ASFAR members. Submitted by Justin Mallone. Avi Hein, president.

Teen Bill of Rights

If there were a Teen Bill of Rights, it might include some of the following:

1. The Right of legal representation.
2. The Right to refuse mind-altering drugs.
3. The Right to be free of the fear of abduction.
4. The Right to refuse transfer to a lock-up facility without due process.
5. The Right to free access to a telephone
6. The Right not to be isolated from their families
7. The Right for their families to be included in their treatment plans and treatment.
8. The Right not to have their mail monitored or stopped.
9. The Right to be free from the fear of retribution, coercion and punishment by staff for exercising their human rights.
10. The Right to have an adequate number of educated staff members who have knowledge of child development issues as well as principles of learning and behavior.
11. The Right to receive an explanation if restraint or seclusion is found to be necessary and the Right to place a call to legal counsel and an Advocacy agency.
12. The Right to medical attention upon request.
13. The Right to an education equal to or superior to minimum State standards.
14. The Right to emancipation at age 16.


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Alexia Parks, author of An American GULAG, is executive director of TeenAid.
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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