Sunday, November 24, 2013
Ok let me start out by saying this place was HELL for me and everyone else i know that went there. If anything it made things worse then better. I got sent there on April 15, 2008 and graduated May 15, 2009. I was there exactly 13 months. As people said that a kid died there. That kid was my best friend. His name was Jim. now i dont know exactly how he died or any of the details. All i do know is how the staff there treated him. It was exactly a week after he got back to the ranch from a home visit. My ENTIRE dorm woke up around 4 am thinking someone was showering. We found out that Jim was puking over the side of his bed so much it sounded like a shower running! So obviously he was sick. The staff then made him sit there for over 45 minutes cleaning up his own vomit with nothing other then paper towel. No mop no cleaning supplies just a paper towel. In the morning when we all went to breakfast he was sent to sick bay and that was the last time any of the students saw him. Now it wasn't DRA's fault that he died. but he was sick and they treated him so horribly! making him clean up his own vomit at 4 in the morning, while he was moaning and groaning and throwing up some more! Thats that story. Let me get into more of my story now. When i went there i had long hair. I got an extra week in homeless (the beginning part of the program where you can eat nothing but rice, and arent allowed to talk for at least 2 weeks) just because i didnt want to cut my hair! Does that sound reasonable?! Also i was on run watch. That is where they take your shoes and give you flip flops so it is harder to run away. The reason they put me on run watch? well which one do u want? The reason they told me, the reason they told my mom, or the truth??? So they told me that my mom requested it. Later on in my program i found out that they told my mom it was because I tried to run away! When i went there i was a little fat chubby kid. Even if i wanted to run away i knew i couldnt so why would i even try?! Now for the real reason. When i found out what they had told my mom i asked Ricky (program director and son of the owner) why I was on run watch in homeless. His answer? "You were on run watch because we felt like putting you on run watch"...... DRA is also physically and mentally abusive. One time i got thrown face first into the rocks and restrained because i said "screw you" to a kid. i didnt touch him, i didnt threaten him, all i said was screw you. The only reason they stopped restraining me was because my arm made a snapping noise and they were afraid they would break it. They were mentally abusive in the fact that i STILL have nightmares about that place!!! anyway let me talk about it in general and not about my story. I saw kids there that were not there for drug issues but when left got addicted to hardcore drugs because other kids there were talking about how great they were. I do not know i single person that went to dra that HASNT relapsed on what ever they were there for. Whether it was drugs or a certain behavior. DO NOT send your kids to DRA. all it will do is making them worse. It is a TERRIBLE place and i wouldnt even go back for all of bill gates money Sources:
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I think its time for me to jump in here, as I graduated Discovery Academy in 2005. All the staff their thought I was trustworthy, believed in the program, and was 'cured' from depression, which in of itself is a dubious claim. None of that is true of course.
Side Note: The Facility is ran by a Brent R. Hall, and is owned by the ASCENT CORPORTATION which also owns 'RED-CLIFF ASCENT' wilderness program.
I have recently learned that i am a manic-depressive, and I do have a better hold on it now, almost three years later.
I truly hate that place, I faked my recovery from depression. They tried to slow down the rate at which I blowing through their school curriculum. They initially made it so that I had to get a 96% to pass a test or I had to retake it. I will personally testify, in court if need be, that they are actively defrauding the accrediation system. but enough about that.
I graduated as a level 4, the highest 'level', which is a measure of trust, in their 'program' their was only one other 'level 4' after I and a few others, graduated. So I have been Through the program, faked it, and know its ins and outs. Not only that, but because of my level, I was privy to information, discussions, and general musings of some of the staff.
I am a highly intelligent individual, no boasting; IQ, memory, psyche, and standard tests continually back that up. Some of the more intelligent staff, being a majority college students, were eager to engage me in conversation. I learned a lot.
Below is part of an e-mail i sent to someone in regards to their son's plight at discovery academy. I tried to make it as factual as possible. And include much about the inner workings as possible.
Well, I can tell you that it won't actually help the kid if he has actual problems. Most of the kids their when I was their were kids with drug problems or problems with the law. Its essentially a lockdown school, cant leave campus by yourself, alarms on all the doors, daily chores, it a like a step up from a military school. The environment their is controlled by 'therapists' and two people in charge of the boys and girls divisions respectively, Alan is the guys, guys and girls cannot normally interact at the school. You get punished with 'reflection points' which are similer to demerits. A reflection point is an hour of work. kissing a girl is 75 reflection points for example. Running away is 150. Saying a racial slur is 10. Cursing is one.
I particularly found the place unhelpful, and sometimes hostile. The staff is mainly college students. The therapists see students once a week for an hour, some even less than that. There are strong religious (mormon) overtones, all community service benefits the LDS in some way or form. All media, books and tv is regulated, cd players and mp3 players are not allowed, though students can own a radio. You cannot send letters without permission of a therapist, nor call anyone. They reccomend everyone stay their a year or more, it is not a non-profit organization as far as I can tell. While I was there (9 months) I saw three students return with more severe drug problems.
Failing to Follow the rules results in PHYSICAL RESTRAINT
The school there is all self taught they have four teachers a day for the whole school and everyone works independently. Thus students who are depressed about being there or are not good self-teachers tend to fall behind.
I personally graduated from there with a full highschool diploma and completeion of 'the program'. To complete the program you must show yourself progressing in 'therapy' and trustworthy and hardworking their are 12 'levels' representing level of trust and responsibility, level changes happen every two weeks or 4 weeks I cannot remember, and rarely do students progress that fast.
Perhaps I should mention that I absolutly hate discovery academy. If your kid has actual problems their are better places to send him, if he doesn't, the therapists will make one up.
The people who run the place are unreasonable, they are for the most part fundamentalists, and you will hear such rehtoric and beleifs coming from their mouths often.
I have considered filing legal action against them, but I really do not have the time, with college, and the money, being that I am in college.
If he is a good kid, he should not be there, end of story. If you are looking for a legal challenge, perhaps you take up the actual existence of these schools. Think about this for a second.
If you lock your kid up and never let him go out into the world, social services will come after you. If you physically restrain your child from leaving the house to go outside and play, Social Services will come after you.
Judicial Oversight needs to be in place to represent a neutral third party in determining whether it is proper to send a child to one of these places.