(we are working to acquire the complete records for ALL years)
[SPECIAL NOTE: Sedona Sky Academy is under new ownership. Much of the Copper Canyon management is still in charge of the program. Copper Canyon was sold and re-branded as Sedona Sky Academy in April, 2014. HEAL believes name changes and ownership changes do not evidence change in management and practices when old staff is retained as in this situation.]
We advise current and/or former staff to report any abuses you may have witnessed while working at Sedona Sky Academy. For information on your rights and how to take action, visit www.heal-online.org/blowthewhistle.htm. If you were fired or forced to resign because you opposed any illegal and/or unethical practices at Sedona Sky Academy, you have the right to take action.
If you were harmed (family or survivor) by Sedona Sky Academy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you remember the long-term employees and from which years. This will help! Also, if you recognize any of these staff as having worked at another program, please send in any information about their past or present employment at other facilities and/or cults.
Please don’t place your loved one in Sedona Sky Academy and rescue them if they are there now.
|Tammy Prince Behrmann||Owner (New)||Behrmann is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/DaEngine.asp|
|Darren L. Prince||Program Developer||Prince is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/DaEngine.asp|
|Stevie Stanford||Clinical Program Director||Stanford is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Stanford is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Paul Ravenscraft||Admissions Director||Ravenscraft is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Paul Ravenscraft formerly worked for Academy at Swift River. Academy at Swift River is confirmedly abusive as are most Aspen Education Group programs. Ravesncraft is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Taylor Watts||Counselor||Watts is retained from Copper Canyon Academy. Watts is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Rodney Adams||Counselor||Adams is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Adams is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Belle Shook||Counselor||Shook is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. There is an Isabelle Shook that is a licensed professional counselor. This may not be the same person. The licensed Shook appears to work for the Mingus Center in Cottonwood, AZ and has only been licensed since 2010. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Juniper Campbell||Counselor||Campbell is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Campbell is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Ariella Allaman||Counselor||Allaman is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Allaman is licensed solely as an Associate Counselor in Arizona and has been licensed since 2011. Source: http://azbbhe.us/DaEngine.asp|
|Kathleen Buri-Baca||Counselor||Buri-Baca is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Buri-Baca is a licensed professional counselor in AZ and has been since February, 2014. Source: http://azbbhe.us/DaEngine.asp|
|Daniel Harner||Counselor||Harner is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Harner is a licensed professional counselor only and has only been since 2010. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Mike Gurr||Residential Director||Gurr is retained staff from Copper Canyon Academy. Gurr is a licensed professional counselor only and has been licensed since 2007. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Maureen Dummigan White||Workshop Facilitator||Dummigan-White is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/DaEngine.asp|
|Ken Buxton||Academic Director||Ken Buxton formerly worked at CEDU in California. CEDU is/was a cult-based program. Buxton is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Roxanne Jasman||Operations Director||Jasman is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Paul Taylor||Executive Director||Paul Taylor has been working in residential programs based out of Utah and on Utah fraudulent and abusive methodology since 1989. Taylor is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Josh White||Program Director||Josh White has been working in residential programs since 1994. If you know the other programs Josh White worked for, please let us know. White no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Shannon Rhoda||Admissions||Rhoda no longer appears to work for this program.|
|James Cahill||Psychiatrist||Cahill no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Linda Cathcart||Counselor||Cathcart no longer appears to work for this program.|
|George Davies||Therapist||Davies no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Doreen Ellis||Counselor||Ellis no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Susannah Fox||Unit Staff--Sycamore House||Fox no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Maryanne McKowen||Counselor||McKowen no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Sara Wasserman||Counselor||Possibly related to Mel Wasserman, the founder of the CEDU programs. Wasserman no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Annette Apple||Registrar||HEAL has contacted the AZ Department of Education and we are awaiting confirmation regarding any alleged licensure or certification of Copper Canyon's educators. Often, the Department of Education will require additional information such as full legal name and birth-date of the individual being verified. We recommend parents considering any program ask for the license/certification number of any educator and contact the State's Department of Education Licensure/Certification office to verify that the educators are properly licensed and certified educators.|
|Bethany Becker||Teacher||HEAL has contacted the AZ Department of Education and we are awaiting confirmation regarding any alleged licensure or certification of Copper Canyon's educators. Often, the Department of Education will require additional information such as full legal name and birth-date of the individual being verified. We recommend parents considering any program ask for the license/certification number of any educator and contact the State's Department of Education Licensure/Certification office to verify that the educators are properly licensed and certified educators.|
|Mary Boyce||Teacher||Boyce no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Hank Dingemans||Teacher||HEAL has contacted the AZ Department of Education and we are awaiting confirmation regarding any alleged licensure or certification of Copper Canyon's educators. Often, the Department of Education will require additional information such as full legal name and birth-date of the individual being verified. We recommend parents considering any program ask for the license/certification number of any educator and contact the State's Department of Education Licensure/Certification office to verify that the educators are properly licensed and certified educators.|
|William Hickey||Teacher||Hickey no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Jason Metzger||Assistant /Teacher|
|Curt Pickup||Teacher||Pickup no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Karen Bueler||Medical Coordinator||Bueler is not a licensed medical doctor, physician, nor physician's assistant. Source: http://www.azmd.gov/glsuiteweb/clients/azbom/public/webverificationsearch.aspx. Bueler is not a licensed nurse nor medical professional. Source: http://www.azbn.gov/onlineverification.aspx|
|Susan Collier||RN||Collier no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Marian Diamond||Nurse Practitioner||Diamond is a licensed registered nurse in AZ and has been since 1979. Source: http://www.azbn.gov/onlineverification.aspx|
|Vicki Henry||Transportation||Henry is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Jeanie Wildes||Nurse Practitioner||Wildes is a licensed registered nurse in AZ and has been since 1988. Source: http://www.azbn.gov/onlineverification.aspx|
|Tamira Woodward||RN||Woodward no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Alicia Athey||HR Manager||HEAL chose not to perform a licensure verification on Athey as clerical/office positions often do not require specialization or licensure.|
|Summer Bullard||Logistics||HEAL chose not to perform a licensure verification on Bullard as logistics/planning positions often do not require specialization or licensure.|
|Karen Nicholson||Exec. Asst.||Nicholson no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Linda Peterson||Billing||HEAL chose not to perform a licensure verification on Peterson as clerical/office positions often do not require specialization or licensure.|
|Nici Campbell||Willow Unit Staff||Campbell no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Anne Harmes (former)||Juniper Unit Staff||Harmes no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Tina McCarty||Sycamore Unit Staff||McCarty is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Randy Young||Special Projects Coordinator||Young no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Kelly McCool||Special Projects/Athletic Director||McCool no longer appears to work for this program.|
|Zabrina Boudreau||Juniper Unit Staff||Boudreau is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Susannah Fox||Counselor||Fox is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|William Love||Teacher||Reportedly resigned from program on July 10th, 2012.|
|Stacey Reynolds||Finance Manager||HEAL chose not to perform a licensure verification on Reynolds as clerical/office positions often do not require specialization or licensure.|
|Stephanie Coleman||Admissions Counselor||Coleman is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Wendi Green||Therapist||Green is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Aaron Rasband||Counselor||Rasband is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Maureen White||Counselor||White is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Samantha "Shammy" Navarro||RC3||Navarro is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Deborah Randall||RN||Randall is a licensed registered nurse in AZ. Source: http://www.azbn.gov/onlineverification.aspx|
|Tamara Todd||Willow Community Dir.||Navarro is not a licensed mental health professional. Source: http://azbbhe.us/verifications.htm|
|Tracy Edwards||Executive Director||Edwards formerly worked at Bromley Brook School (closed) and Academy at Swift River (now closed).|
|Copper Canyon Academy is an Aspen Education Group program. Thomas J. Croke, Educational Consultant, has denounced Aspen Education Group for putting profits over the safety and care of children in Aspen programs.|
|Former Staff Report: Melanie Lenihan|
|Copper Canyon Academy Repeatedly Fails to Comply with Arizona Licensing Standards: Summary, Citation 1, Citation 2, Citation 3, Citation 4, Citation 5, Citation 6, Citation 7, Citation 8, Citation 9, Citation 10, and Citation 11. The information available from Arizona Licensing Agencies is for 2009 and 2010.|
HEAL SPECIAL REPORT:
COPPER CANYON ACADEMY
ENROLLMENT AGREEMENT REVIEW
HEAL has found multiple problems with Copper Canyon Academy's enrollment agreement including apparent unconscionable terms and/or contradictory terms leaving us to believe that Copper Canyon Academy is running a money-making scam on families in need of assistance. We will be alternating between "quoted text" from pages of Copper Canyon Academy's enrollment agreement (as was downloaded from coppercanyonacademy.com on October 2nd, 2010) and HEAL's questions/concerns. HEAL will not repeatedly link to the enrollment agreement in full throughout this review, and, we advise readers to scroll back and/or open the enrollment agreement in a new window while reviewing our work for accuracy or if additional contextualization is preferred. This is an independent review and if you are in need of legal assistance or advice, please consult with an attorney.
Enrollment Agreement (page 1)
"This agreement ("Agreement") is entered into by and between COPPER CANYON ACADEMY, L.L.C., a Delaware Corporation (hereinafter "Copper Canyon Academy"), operating Copper Canyon Academy, a therapeutic boarding school in Lake Montezuma, Arizona which is described in the program materials that Sponsor has received previously and which is made a part of this Agreement by reference (the "Program") and PARENT'S NAME-______parent(s) and/or guardian(s) of the Student (hereinafter the "Sponsors")."
"Upon Sponsor's initial payment of the nonrefundable Admission and Enrollment Fee, which is set forth more specifically in Paragraph 4."
"If the Student satisfies Copper Canyon Academy's screening criteria, Copper Canyon Academy shall accept the student and, except as otherwise provided herein, permit the Student to complete the Program. If the Student fails to satisfy Copper Canyon Academy's screening criteria, the Student will be returned promptly to Sponsor and Copper Canyon Academy will also return the prepaid tuition fee to the Sponsor, less a $750.00 evaluation/screening fee and a deduction for all reasonable expenses incurred by Copper Canyon Academy...which is separate from the nonrefundable Admission and Enrollment Fee."
"Assuming the Student is accepted into the Program, the term of this Agreement shall be a minimum of six (6) months..."
"On the Arrival Date, Sponsor shall transfer, by a Power of Attorney in the form received and executed by Sponsor, temporary custody of the Student to Copper Canyon Academy for the duration of the Agreement..."
Copper Canyon Academy does not include the "Program Description" in the materials made available online. However, Aspen Ranch did include the program details in their online materials and HEAL believes the program description is likely similar or the same as that of the Copper Canyon Academy program. You can review the program description and HEAL's analysis of that description at www.heal-online.org/aspenrch.htm.
Copper Canyon Academy was formerly improperly licensed as an adult therapeutic foster home. It appears in December, 2011 that they changed their facility type with the AZ Division of Licensing Services. And, now they are licensed as a Juvenile Group Home (i.e. Foster Care). Source: http://hsapps.azdhs.gov/ls/sod/Juvenile.aspx. This is a serious concern.
Copper Canyon is NOT accredited as an alternative school by the State of Arizona. There is a Copper Canyon Academy charter school in Peoria, AZ that serves children in grades K-8. It is the only Copper Canyon Academy registered with the Department of Education in Arizona and is in no way associated with Aspen Education Group's Copper Canyon Academy. It is a serious concern that Copper Canyon Academy is not a "school" nor a licensed youth facility in the State of Arizona. This is a warning sign of a fraudulent and/or abusive facility. See www.heal-online.org/warn.htm for additional information.
The fee structure is discussed below in the discussion of page 2 of the contract.
Copper Canyon is misleading in regards to the nonrefundable portions. In the above, it sounds as if all monies will be returned less $750 and reasonable costs. However, this is contradicted on page 3 of the contract.
HEAL includes the minimum stay requirement of the contract above to assist with calculating the minimum cost of the program in the review of pages 2 and 3 below.
CCA does not include a copy of the power of attorney required by the program. However, HEAL believes that it is likely similar to the power of attorney required by Aspen Ranch, another Aspen Education Group program. You may review the information regarding Aspen Ranch's enrollment agreement, by clicking here.
Enrollment Agreement (page 2)
"The Student is accepted with the expectation that the Student will complete the entire Program."
"Admission and Enrollment Fee...........$2,500.00 (non-refundable)"
"Monthly Tuition Fee (First Month)......$6,600.00"
"Monthly Tuition Fee (Last Month)......$6,600.00"
"Total Due upon Enrollment................$15,700.00"
"The monthly tuition fee covers the cost of room and board, academic classes, regularly scheduled workshops, monthly student fund, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, student seminars, parent seminars, family seminars, equine therapy, equestrian riding, canine therapy, and/or yoga as Copper Canyon Academy determines. Sponsor agrees to pay all attorney fees, court costs, filing fees, and charge or commission that may be assessed by any collection agency retained to pursue collection of any outstanding sums. Sponsor acknowledges that except as provided herein, this advance payment is non-refundable, due to the need for Copper Canyon Academy to budget for the Program as well as the fact that Student will be filling one of a limited number of openings in the program."
"The student fund will be placed in the student's individual checking account and used for buying personal necessities (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, make-up, etc.) and paying for activities (roller-skating, bowling, movies, etc.)."
"Incidental Fees are billed to Sponsor(s) - Medical, dental, orthodontic, prescriptions, optical, urinalysis, lab work, psychiatric and psychological testing, reviews or evaluations, clothing, hair styling, phone calls, transportation to and from facility for trips further than 40 miles...*Additional fee if additional staff needed."
"The current tuition fee is subject to an annual increase effective January 1st of each year. The program shall provide a 60-day notice detaining the amount of the increase."
"Payments not received by the 20th of the month of service are subject to a $50 late fee and may result in discharge of the student from the program."
"Students receiving school district assistance must provide the program with written pre-approval from the district before enrollment. Sponsor is responsible for payments of all tuition and fees not paid by the district." (ends on page 3)
The minimum stay required by this program is six months (page 1). According to the above fee schedule, it appears the very minimum cost of the program is $42,100 and this cost does not include many of the "incidental fees" referenced above which include phone calls and psychological/psychiatric testing, reviews, or evaluations. And, if CCA is like Aspen Ranch, the psychological testing and assessment comes at an additional cost of $2-3,000. In addition, Copper Canyon claims that the tuition covers equestrian riding, but, on page 34 of the contract, the riding costs $45 extra per riding session. So, these are contradictory terms and suggest that there are many "hidden costs" associated with this program.
On what level does a child need to be on before they are allowed to participate in recreational activities such as bowling or roller-skating? How long does it usually take a child to reach this level? What is the longest a child has been in the program without reaching the level in which they can participate in normal social activity or recreational activity?
It seems somewhat unconscionable that CCA requires the right to run lab work and blood work whenever it deems fit and to charge parents extra for doing so when it is part of CCA's supposed "treatment plan". This is a concern as HEAL has seen other programs, for instance, Pathway Family Center, state that they were running these tests, but they were not. Yet, they charged families for these supposed "tests". HEAL suggests families demand proof of every charge, including access to third-party provider information.
Since CCA is not licensed to provide the services they claim to provide, it is unreasonable for them to charge over $40,000. Suggesting that rates are subject to annual increases without legitimate basis for the increases is a concern, unless families can cancel contracts without penalty. However, such cancellations appear to come with forfeiture of fees and this is a concern.
An "IEP" is an Independent Education Plan. It typically refers to children who have been placed in a program by their home school district or board of education. Since IEPs are generally funded by city, state, and federal funds, programs that accept children under these plans are generally required to obey federal laws in regards to civil rights of minors in schools receiving such funds. HEAL makes note of this to alert readers that in other portions of the agreement such civil rights of minors appear to be violated by Copper Canyon Academy and this would present a serious issue given CCA appears to receive some federal funding through IEP/school district placements.
Enrollment Agreement (page 3)
"Any unused portion of the student expense fee shall be refunded to Sponsor upon Student's discharge from the Program. All notices of cancellation must be in writing. A cancellation received in writing less than (30) days prior to the arrival date will result in no refund."
"If Sponsor or authorized third party withdraws Student before expiration of the period of enrollment, or if Student upon reaching the age of eighteen (18) years old withdraws without the recommendation of the Program Director, Sponsor understands and agrees that Sponsor shall immediately (1) pay all outstanding account balances and tuition through the end of the month in which the Student is withdrawn and (2) forfeit the last month's pre-paid tuition..."
"In addition to the Program fee, Sponsor agrees to pay for the following expenses of the Student: transportation from the Student's current residence to Lake Montezuma, Arizona, as the case may be, and return transportation to the Student's current residence; food and lodging expenses for any holding period before commencement of the Program and/or after completion of the Program; all medical, dental, hospital, and related expenses incurred by or for the Student and all required personal items specified on the Student Clothing List. Sponsors are also responsible for any additional escort fees required for transporting Student to and/or from the Program to another location (i.e. airport, doctor's appointment or special event). Sponsors are responsible for the cost of any psychiatric evaluations performed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other healthcare professional."
"Sponsor agrees to accept full responsibility for (1) the repair or replacement of any property damaged, defaced, or destroyed by the Student, whether owned, leased, or controlled by Copper Canyon Academy or any third party, and (2) any personal injury to any Copper Canyon Academy personnel, other students or third parties caused, in whole or in part, by the Student; and to promptly reimburse Copper Canyon Academy for any costs and expenses, including legal fees it may incur in connection therewith."
If you remove your child from the program, you forfeit over $6,600. This agreement puts families in an awkward position and increases the risk to children by creating a circumstance in which parents would be less likely to make the wise choice of early termination of the agreement. The best decision being not to enroll a child in the first place.
It is a concern that the "therapeutic" services of the program are optional and appear to come at an additional cost. This too is contradicted. In the 2nd segment above, Aspen states that Sponsor will be charged additional fees for psychiatric and psychological testing and services. But, in the 6th segment, Aspen says it will cover costs of those services included in the agreement. This is confusing language and contradictory.
The fourth segment is reasonable, or would be reasonable, if CCA's program did not intentionally provoke or cause violent or extreme outbursts by the very nature of their methods. It is reasonable for CCA to demand parents accept liability for their child's actions resulting in damage to people or property. But, only with the caveat that CCA is providing a nurturing environment and not provoking angry outbursts through humiliation or physical assault of the children. Since it has been reported that such outbursts are intentionally provoked by CCA staff at times, this clause may raise concern for families. CCA should insure against such incidents through good business practice and proper insurance that would be required of any licensed childcare program or facility. It is wrong to solely place liability with the parents who are entrusting the supervision and care of their child to the program. And, families should require an investigation into any incidents of this nature to insure that they are not being stuck with a bill that is not their own or their child's.
Enrollment Agreement (page 4)
"In the event the Student runs away from the Program, Copper Canyon Academy will make every reasonable effort to find the Student and return the Student to the Program or to the Sponsor. An accounting of the expenses incurred by Copper Canyon Academy in finding and returning the Student will be made to the Sponsor who agrees to accept full responsibility for any and all such costs and expenses, and to pay the same within seven (7) days of the Sponsors receipt of said accounting."
"Copper Canyon Academy is not liable for any loss of or damage to any of the Student's property."
"Sponsor agrees and consents to Copper Canyon Academy's subcontracting certain services to be rendered under this Agreement to persons or entities deemed by Copper Canyon Academy to be properly qualified to provide said services, at no additional cost to Sponsor unless otherwise agreed to by both parties. Copper Canyon Academy is not responsible for the services provided by such third-party contractors and is hereby released from any liability arising from such services. All clinicians furnishing services to the Student, including any psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health professionals, or internists or the like, are independent contractors with the client and are not employees of Copper Canyon Academy. The Student is under the care and supervision of his/her attending clinician and it is the responsibility of the Student's clinician to obtain the Sponsor's informed consent, when required, for medical, surgical, or psychiatric treatment, special diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, or other services rendered the Student under the general and special instructions of the clinician."
"If the Student's condition is such as to need the service of a special duty nurse, it is agreed that such must be arranged by the Sponsors. Copper Canyon Academy shall in no way be responsible for failure to provide the same and is hereby released from any and all liability arising from the fact that Student is not provided with such additional care."
"Sponsor acknowledges serious hazards and dangers, known and unknown, inherent in the Program, including but not limited to, agricultural and vocational activities, emotional and physical injuries, illness or death that may arise from strenuous hiking, climbing and camping in a natural environment, exposure to the elements, plants and animals, running away from the Program, "acts of God" (nature), the ropes course, kayaking, water sports, stress, involvement with other students, self-inflicted injuries, and transportation to and from the Program's field location(s). Sponsor understands that in participating in the Programs Student will be in locations and using facilities where many hazards exist and is aware of and appreciates the risks which may result. Sponsor understands that accidents occur during such activities due to the negligence of others which may result in death or serious injury. Sponsor and Student are voluntarily participating in the Programs with knowledge of the dangers involved and agree to accept any and all risks."
"In consideration for being permitted to participate in the Programs, Sponsor agrees to not sue, to assume all risks and to release, hold harmless and indemnify Copper Canyon Academy and any and all of its predecessors, successors, officers, directors, trustees, insuers, employees, managers, agents, volunteers, community organizations, administration, heirs, attorneys, executors, assigns and/or related or affiliated business entities including, but not limited to, Aspen Education Group, Inc. (collectively all of the above persons and entities shall be referred to as the "Released Parties" hereafter) who, through negligence, carelessness or any other cause, might otherwise be liable to Sponsor or Student under theories of contract or tort law."
"Sponsor intends by this Waiver and Release to release, in advance, and to waive his or her rights and discharge each and everyone of the Released Parties, from any and all claims for damages for death, personal injury, or property damage which Sponsor may have, or which may hereafter accrue as a result of Student's participation in any aspect of the Programs, even though that liability may arise from negligence or carelessness on the part of the persons or entities being released, from dangerous or defective property or equipment owned, maintained or controlled by them or because of their possible liability without fault. Additionally, Sponsor covenants not to sue any of the Released Parties based upon their breach of any duty owed to Sponsor or Student as a result of their participation in any aspect of the Programs. Sponsor understands and agrees that this Waiver and Release is binding on his or her heirs, assigns and legal representatives and that the Released Parties shall be exempt from liability to Sponsor, his or her heirs, assigns and legal representatives." (ends on page 5)
Even though CCA demands full power of attorney and custody of your child, they do not accept any responsibility in the event your child escapes the program. Programs like Anasazi Foundation at least assume 50% of the financial responsibility in such events. Anasazi is troublesome too and this is not an endorsement, just a comparison of fact. Anasazi's practices in regards to such responsibility seems more appropriate or fair given the circumstances. And, CCA's practices seem weighted primarily on financial gain with no risk for CCA and likely nothing but debt and heartache for families.
CCA is free to steal from your child as a result of the clause freeing them of liability for lost or damaged property. Theft of personal property at programs is fairly common. Theft of personal property at elderly-care facilities are equally as common. It is always a good idea to keep any items of pecuniary or sentimental value safe at home, this includes your children.
In addition, CCA demands control of what "independent contractors" will be utilized and granted the fees charged for their services. However, CCA does not take responsibility for the care provided by the contractors they deem "properly qualified". And, since they are asking you trust their judgment in regards to choosing said independent contractors, they would arguably be liable for faults found with their judgment in the event harm or other violations occur. But, they demand you hold them harmless if there is a problem with the subcontractor. And, they put full responsibility on the outside or "subcontracted" clinician for the supervision and care of your child which rights/responsibilities you transferred to CCA with the Power of Attorney, and, they likely give permission in your stead with your permission protecting everyone else from any liability for any and all harms done to your child while in CCA's program. This seems to be an unconscionable contract with many unconscionable terms.
The above also states that risks of emotional (i.e. psychological) and physical harm are inherent to the program. Psychological and emotional harm should not be an inherent risk and stating that it is reveals the harmful nature of the CCA program.
Stating that the child is voluntarily participating in the program is an open lie and contradicted by the sections on running away/recapture and the authority of parents to place children without their consent discussed below on page 7. Again, we remind parents that they have the right to sign away their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children. This is discussed further at www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm.
And, repeatedly stated is that the parents waive their rights to pursue legal action even in the event of serious injury or death. These appear to be unconscionable terms given the inherent harm in participating in the program.
Enrollment Agreement (page 5)
"Sponsor acknowledges that Sponsor, and Sponsor alone, is solely responsible for Student's personal health and safety, and the personal property Student brings with him or her."
"Sponsor understands it is ultimately Sponsor's responsibility to provide payment to any hospital/emergency response technicians/emergency transport company that may provide services to Student as a result of injury/illness during the Programs."
"Sponsor agrees that this Release extends to all claims of every nature and kind whatsoever, and hereby expressly waives all rights under California Civil Code section 1542..."
"Sponsor agrees to indemnify the Released Parties from any and all actions, causes of action, claims, demands, damages, costs (including attorneys' fees), expenses, liabilities and charges, known or unknown (the "Liabilities") arising out of or in connection with claims and/or actions relating to or brought by or on behalf of Student, including, without limitation, claims related to or arising out of the Minor's participation in the Program."
"In the event of an accident, injury, illness, or other medical necessity, Sponsor hereby authorizes Copper Canyon Academy to: (a) provide emergency first aid to the Student in the field and en route to any hospital or clinic; (b) arrange for any medical, dental, psychiatric, hospital, ambulance or other health-related care for the Student deemed necessary by Copper Canyon Academy's staff; and (c) authorize a physician, dentist, or other health-care professional(s) to perform any procedure(s) that the health-care professional(s) deems necessary for the well-being of the Student. All costs and expenses incurred for these services shall be the sole responsibility of the Sponsor. Sponsor also authorizes Copper Canyon Academy to arrange for a physical examination (including a drug screen urine/blood test, at Copper Canyon Academy's option) and any psychological assessments of the Student deemed necessary by Copper Canyon Academy prior to the Student's beginning the Program."
HEAL thinks it is important for families to understand the indemnity clauses placing them in the position to take full responsibility in the event of serious injury or death of their child in the program. Many families have lost their children in programs similar to Copper Canyon Academy and some of these deaths occurred in Aspen programs. At least two children died at Aspen's SageWalk program in Oregon before it "voluntarily" suspended operations as the death(s) are investigated by authorities. These risks are very real and parents should think if the worst happens and Aspen's methods are responsible, how they will feel with nowhere to turn for justice. Be careful and always seriously consider what you are agreeing to in signing any contract. Again, this is not legal advice. If you would like legal help, please consult an attorney.
Also, parents should understand that in the final segment quoted above they are giving CCA permission to seek and obtain psychiatric, mental health treatment, and medical treatment for the child and at the sole discretion of CCA. In signing the Power of Attorney and the agreement, the parents are giving CCA the right to seek and obtain such treatment. The clinician and/or other mental health professionals will be contracting with CCA on behalf of your child and will likely report solely to CCA in regards to the care of your child. CCA's control and ability to deny you access to the records of such services is an additional concern. In the likely event your child is harmed, how will you begin to determine who should be held accountable? Who can be held accountable when the waiver extends to "volunteers" and "community organizations" with which Aspen contracts? Please consider these issues seriously.
Enrollment Agreement (page 6)
"Copper Canyon Academy shall handle all such protected health information (also "PHI") pursuant to the guidelines promulgated in the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act ("HIPAA") of 1996."
"Sponsor hereby authorizes Copper Canyon Academy personnel to search the person and personal effects of the Student at any time, including a "strip search." In connection with such search, Copper Canyon Academy may, in its discretion, require Student to remove all of his or her clothing and may search Student's entire person, including any body cavities in which contraband may be hidden. Copper Canyon Academy is further authorized to confiscate any and all items deemed by Copper Canyon Academy to be contraband or counterproductive to the Student's successful completion of the Program. The disposition of all items confiscated by Copper Canyon Academy shall be left to the sole discretion of Copper Canyon Academy."
"Sponsor hereby authorizes Copper Canyon personnel to physically control and detain the Student when necessary to return the Student to the Program if the Student runs away or to prevent the Student from jeopardizing the Student's own safety or the safety of others."
"Sponsor hereby authorizes Copper Canyon Academy to use data from the Student's records, tests, and assessments for purposes of ongoing research, provided that the Student's name and identity will be kept confidential and not used in any published materials."
"In the event that Copper Canyon elects to terminate the Student pursuant to the terms of this paragraph, Sponsor understands and agrees that Sponsor shall immediately (1) pay all outstanding account balances and tuition through the end of the month in which the Student is terminated and (2) forfeit the last month's pre-paid tuition."
"Sponsor agrees to attend the workshops for parents and guardians of the students conducted by Copper Canyon Academy during the Program, and to give Sponsor's full cooperation to Copper Canyon Academy personnel throughout the Program."
CCA is not licensed as a medical facility. The Arizona Department of Health is charged with enforcing HIPAA. That enforcement applies to services licensed by the Department of Health. By implying that CCA is governed by HIPAA, CCA appears to be misleading consumers.
Strip-searching without probable cause is a violation of the civil rights of the child. Assuming every child, with or without a history of drug use, is in need of a strip-search is unreasonable. Searching children at "any time" suggests such searches are used as a form of humiliation as opposed to being done for any legitimate purpose. And, this is a serious concern.
Using restraint to detain and control the child while in the program shows that the program is not "voluntary" for the child and that the child is forced to participate in the program through physical force. Congress is working on legislation (HR 4247, the "Keeping All Students Safe Act of 2010") to stop these misuses of restraint in programs and schools that often result in serious injury and death.
Again, CCA references the use of your child and/or your child's data in "ongoing research". What is this research and will you be made privy to all studies in which your or your child's private information will be used? If not, why not? Informed consent to participate in any research includes knowing the purpose of the research and the projected risks involved in participating. This suggests possible violations of the Nuremberg Code (International Human Rights Laws).
HEAL recommends that parents ask what CCA means by "full cooperation". If you witness abuse and try to prevent said abuse in opposition to the protocol of CCA's program, will you be in violation of the "full cooperation" clause? This is likely how CCA sees it. And, anyone who demands full cooperation and/or unquestioned authority over others is not acting in the best interest of that individual or family.
Enrollment Agreement (page 7)
"Sponsor warrants that the Student is a minor, both by age and as a matter of law, that the Student does not qualify under the law as an "emancipated minor," and that the laws of the Student's state of residence permit Sponsor to place the Student in the Program without the Student's consent."
"Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this contract, except at Copper Canyon Academy's option the collection of monies owed by Sponsor to Copper Canyon Academy, shall be settled by binding arbitration conducted in the State of California in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction for purposes of executing upon the award."
"In the event that either party is found in default or material breach of any specific promise, term or condition expressly set forth in this Agreement by an arbitrator(s) or a court of competent jurisdiction, said party shall be liable to pay all reasonable attorneys' fee, court costs, and other related collection costs and expenses incurred by the other party in enforcing its contractual rights hereunder in said arbitration and/or court proceeding(s). In addition, Sponsor agrees to compensate Copper Canyon Academy for all reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred by Copper Canyon Academy in connection with those matters concerning which Sponsor has agreed to pay or indemnify Copper Canyon Academy herein."
In the first segment above, CCA again reiterates how the program is not voluntary for the child. So, this directly contradicts page 4 that states the child has "voluntarily" agreed to participate in the program. This is clearly not the case.
Since CCA chooses to conduct business in and enroll children from other states, including Arizona, they should be able to be sued in Arizona and/or the home-state of their dissatisfied clients. If they do not wish to assume the risk of litigation outside of the state(s) of their choice, then they shouldn't accept children from other states.
The final segment above seems more a tool of intimidation to frighten you from pursuing legal action by having you agree to pay for CCA's attorneys' fees regardless of the legitimacy of your claims. This seems unconscionable.
Enrollment Agreement (page 8)
"This Agreement, and all matters relating hereto, including any matter or dispute arising between the parties out of this Agreement, tort or otherwise, shall be interpreted, governed, and enforced according to the laws of the State of California, and the Parties consent and submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the California Courts in Los Angeles County, California, and any qualified (American Arbitration Association-approved) arbitration services in the State of California, County of Los Angeles, to enforce this Agreement. The parties acknowledge that this agreement constitutes a business transaction within the State of California."
"Sponsor hereby acknowledges that Sponsor has read this Agreement and that Sponsor understands and consents to all of its provisions; that this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof; and that all other prior agreements, promises, expectations and conditions, oral or written, between the parties are incorporated herein. Other than the express commitments set forth in this Agreement and the Program description, Copper Canyon Academy gives no warranties of any kind, express or implied, to either the Sponsor or the Student concerning the Program; and Sponsor acknowledges that Sponsor is not relying on any warranties or representations of any kind other that the express commitments of Copper Canyon Academy set forth herein."
"The parties authorize the release of the Student's information via E-mail, Internet technology, voice mail or U.S. mail. While every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality, Copper Canyon Academy accepts no responsibility for the mistransmission that could result in information becoming available to someone other than the intended receiver. Copper Canyon Academy shall handle all such protected health information also "PHI") pursuant to the guidelines promulgated in the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act ("HIPAA") of 1996."
All disputes are to be resolved in California according to this page of the Agreement. Throughout this contract we have seen numerous contradictory and unconscionable terms. This appears to be an illusory contract offering absolutely no legitimate service to families while charging extraordinary fees to those families. The families take all the risks, absolve CCA of its own wrongdoing, and CCA reaps all the rewards. This appears to be nothing more than a scam on families in crisis or whom have been convinced by CCA and/or its co-conspirators (i.e. educational consultants) that it is necessary.
We included the second segment above to highlight that the contract is the entire agreement. CCA has agreed to do nothing but keep a child confined until their eighteenth birthday or until the program decides they are ready to "graduate" the program. CCA guarantees nothing and offers no warranties or other consideration for the extraordinary fees they charge. It is truly outrageous.
Also, we again see that CCA will not be liable for your private/protected health information being disclosed to unintended parties. This again suggests that they are not regulated by HIPAA as CCA suggests in other areas of the contract. This suggests deceptive practices.
Enrollment Agreement (page 10)
"I hereby authorize and consent to any treatment and psychological testing from a behavioral health professional or an individual working under a qualified behavioral health professional, psychologist, and psychiatrist to be rendered to the above named minor."
"In my absence or in the event that I cannot be contacted, I hereby designate, empower, and authorize Copper Canyon Academy to act in my stead authorizing any specific procedures and/or assisting in making elective decisions relating to the above named minor's care. I am aware that the practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science and I acknowledge that no guarantees can be made as to the result of treatment or examination taking place. It is the intent of this instrument to authorize, consent to and empower health care professionals selected by Copper Canyon Academy to give the care they deem necessary to my child, in my absence, or when I cannot be contacted, or in an emergency situation when immediate care is deemed to be in the best interest of the child by the health care professional's best judgment."
CCA subcontracts all legitimate therapeutic services and takes no responsibility for the outcome of the treatments over which they have authority. This is a serious concern.
It is an additional concern that they have pre-authorization for surgeries deemed necessary by the program and/or anyone with whom they contract for medical services. In other programs, girls who have been sexually assaulted by male staff have been forcibly given abortions. Also, in other programs, girls have been forced to undergo surgeries including unnecessary hysterectomies against their will and without their consent or their family's consent based on the sole authority of the program. This is a serious concern.
Enrollment Agreement (page 13)
"I understand that the information to be released or disclosed may include those relating to sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS or HIV, alcohol/drug/substance abuse under 42 CFR 2.31. I authorize the release or disclosure of this information after having specifically considering and expressly waiving those federal consent requirements and restrictions."
"Information disclosed pursuant to this authorization could be re-disclosed by the recipient and might no longer be protected by federal confidentiality law (HIPAA)."
"If you have authorized the disclosure of your health or other related information to someone who is not legally required to keep it confidential, it may be disclosed and may no longer be protected."
"If the Authorization is being requested by the entity holding, this information, this is the Requestor."
"This form may not be used to release both psychotherapy notes and other types of health information."
"If the Authorization is for use or disclosure of PHI for research; including the creation and maintenance of research database or repository, the statement "end of research study," "none" or similar language is sufficient."
"A covered entity is permitted to condition treatment, health plan enrollment or benefit eligibility on the provision of an authorization as follows: (i) to conduct research-related treatment, (ii) to obtain information in determination, or (iii) to create health information to provide to third party for disclosure of the health information to such third party."
The above goes into additional information regarding to whom or with whom CCA can and/or will disclose or discuss your private mental and medical health information. It is important to notice that the terms apply "that are currently in effect". This language implies that there may be terms not in effect. For instance, as stated above, the implication that CCA is HIPAA compliant means nothing since HIPAA laws generally do not apply to entities that are not licensed medical or mental health facilities/services. So, the HIPAA compliancy would not be provable and would arguably not be "in effect". It seems a shifty way to suggest confidentiality while avoiding disclosing that CCA is not licensed to provide mental health or medical services in Arizona.
The sixth segment above begs some questions be asked of CCA: Does CCA use client information in studies that result in financial benefit to CCA or Aspen Education Group? If my child is included in a research study conducted by Aspen, will we or our child be compensated and informed as to the dangers of participation in such a study?
The final paragraph is a concern as many of the practices (i.e. forcing children to "wipe" with frozen snow/ice packs in freezing cold conditions as occurred at Adirondack Leadership Expeditions, another Aspen program) may be considered a form of torture. Does Aspen run "intense interrogation" tactics in order to research "effective" practices for dealing with POWs? Is this a possible and/or probable explanation for this clause? Generally, schools and other institutions do not need to disclose information to the military or national security and if truly needed, would not need to be disclosed in a contract. This is what leads us to believe that the research at Aspen programs may be something highly unethical and unsuitable for children.
HEAL did not include every instance in which Aspen claims it can and/or will disclose your protected health information (PHI) without your consent. See the enrollment agreement in full for more information.
Enrollment Agreement (pages 16 & 17)
"I agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless Copper Canyon Academy and its staff from lawsuit, claim, demand or action, etc. against them, for assistance in the self-administration of medication as prescribed to this youth, provided Copper Canyon Academy and its staff are following the physician's order."
"Self-administration of any medication is not permitted."
Do the "physician's orders" include the orders given by subcontracted providers under the CCA agreement? Again, we see implications that the program is not voluntary and that taking dangerous mind-altering drugs is not voluntary. In the event a child suffers an adverse reaction under the supervision of CCA, CCA demands they not be held liable for it. This is a serious concern and suggests that CCA should not be permitted to administer drugs with the likelihood of serious side effects that could result in permanent disability or death to children. For alternative ideas, see www.heal-online.org/parent.htm.
Pages 16 and 17 seem somewhat contradictory as one states that the program will assist the child with self-medication and the other states that self-administration is not permitted.
Enrollment Agreement (page 19)
"AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OR DISCLOSURE OF HEALTH INFORMATION"
"All health information pertaining to any medical history, mental or physical condition and treatment received."
HEAL is concerned because "all health information pertaining to any...mental...condition and treatment" would necessary include psychotherapy notes. Since this authorization includes reference to such and the above HIPAA guidelines state that a separate release is required for mental health information of this nature and that such must be separate from a form requiring release of medical health information, this shows further contradiction and reason for concern. Again, CCA appears to openly violate federal laws and this is a serious concern.
Enrollment Agreement (page 20)
"Information disclosed pursuant to this authorization could be re-disclosed by the recipient and might no longer be protected by federal confidentiality law (HIP AA)."
"If this box □ is checked, the Requestor will receive compensation for the use or disclosure of my information."
"If the Authorization is being requested by the entity holding the information, this entity is the Requestor."
"If authorization is for use or disclosure of PHI for research, including the creation and maintenance of a research database or repository, the statement "end of research study," "none" or similar language is sufficient."
Here again, CCA implies that information disclosed to CCA may no longer be protected by federal confidentiality law. This is a "small print" portion of the contract and suggests CCA knows that it is not licensed to provide nor regulated as a mental health or medical facility. This is a concern.
It is an additional concern that CCA intends to use your private health information for personal gain by receiving "compensation" for the disclosure of this information to third-parties. This appears to be an unconscionable term.
We included the definition of Requestor to assist with understanding the fact that CCA is the Requestor and is intending to profit off of selling your private health information.
And, as covered above, it is a concern that CCA intends to and/or regularly experiments on children in its care. This is a serious concern as it implies violations of Nuremberg Code standards (International Human Rights Standards).
Enrollment Agreement (page 21)
"Student, his/her parent(s) and/or guardian(s), hereby authorizes Program Copper Canyon Academy and/or its affiliates to use or disclose PHI of the Student for purposes of preparing and distributing promotional media and marketing materials that are consistent with furthering the goals of Program Copper Canyon Academy and/or any of its programs. The information may be used or disclosed pursuant to this authorization can include, but is not limited to, the following items (to the extent such items would otherwise fall within PHI):...a) Photographs of the Student, whether moving or stills...b) Voice of the Student...c) Name of the Student...d) Any other information, likeness or appearance that may identify the Student."
"All other uses and disclosures of PHI, other than for purposes of public relations and/or marketing, shall be consistent with the permitted uses and disclosures set forth under HIPAA. Pursuant to the authorization obtained herein, Program..., its successors and assigns, or any agent(s) or subcontractor(s) of each of the foregoing, may use or disclose PHI to any individual, entity or agency associated with transmitting information to the general public for purposes of public relations and/or marketing."
"Further, a revocation shall apply only to requested uses and disclosures from the effective date of the revocation, and shall not apply to any and all requested uses and disclosures made at a time when a valid authorization was in place. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any PHI disclosed pursuant to a valid authorization may be subject to redisclosure by the recipient and may no longer be protected under HIPAA.
CCA is a money-making scam that does not care about the youth they claim to service. Using the child and her PHI to further the purpose and benefit to CCA without compensation is exploitative and shows the true nature of Aspen programs. CCA exploits children and by including the above "authorization form" openly defies the "student's rights" laws intended to regulate schools and facilities in Arizona. This is a serious concern and again CCA claims that information disclosed may no longer be protected under HIPAA. Parents should ask CCA, "Are you regulated by any HIPAA enforcement agency?" HEAL believes the answer would be an emphatic "no".
Enrollment Agreement (page 22)
"I____(the "Parent/Guardian"), on behalf of myself and _______, (the "Minor") acknowledge that we wish to participate in the promotional Photographs taken by Aspen staff regarding the programs and activities Copper Canyon Academy and Aspen Education Group (collectively "AEG") and other events (collectively hereafter the "Promotion"). We further authorize Copper Canyon Academy to take and utilize the photographs of my son/daughter for the purpose of: ______during the program, without any compensation to the Parent or the Student."
"In consideration for being permitted to participate in the Promotion, we agree to waive our and the Student's rights of publicity and privacy in connection herewith. We, the Parent/Guardian, do hereby agree to indemnify the Released Parties from any and all actions, causes of action known or unknown arising out of or in connection with claims and/or actions relating to or brought by or on behalf of the minor."
It is exploitative and highly unethical to use a child to promote a program that is evidently fraudulent, deceptive, and/or abusive. This is a serious concern.
Parents should understand that they have the right to waive their own rights, but, not the rights of their minor children. This includes privacy rights. For more information, see www.heal-online.org/legalarguments.htm.
Enrollment Agreement (page 23)
"Copper Canyon Academy will assure that all students are afforded the following rights:"
"To privacy in treatment, including the right not to be fingerprinted, photographed or recorded without general consent, except: ...a. For photographing for identification and administrative purposes...b. For a client receiving treatment according to ARS Title 36 Chapter 37...c. For video recordings used for security purposes that are maintained only on a temporary basis..."
"To be informed of all fees that the client is required to pay and of the agency's refund policies and procedures before receiving a behavioral health service, except for a behavioral health service provided to a client experiencing a crisis situation."
We included the above to show that CCA openly contradicts itself. The Student, according to page 22, has had her rights waived by the parent (which the parent is not legally authorized to do as stated above and here) so the supposed "right to privacy" mentioned above is really deceptive and/or misleading. Since CCA intends to violate the civil rights of minors by conduction full nude body cavity searches at its discretion and at any time and has advocated that the parent attempt to waive the child's rights, the "student rights" segments appear to be additional evidence of deceptive and exploitative practices. This is a serious concern.
Enrollment Agreement (page 24)
[STUDENT RIGHTS Cont.]
"To give general consent and, if applicable, informed consent to treatment, refuse treatment or withdraw general or informed consent to treatment, unless the treatment is ordered by a court according to ARS Title 36, Chapter 5, is necessary to save the client's life or physical health, or is provided according to ARS ss 36-512."
"To refuse to perform labor for an agency, except for housekeeping activities and activities to maintain health and personal hygiene."
"To be compensated according to state and federal law for labor that primarily benefits the agency and that is not part of the client's treatment plan."
"To participate or refuse to participate in research or experimental treatment."
"To give informed consent in writing, refuse to give informed consent, or withdraw informed consent to participate in research or in treatment that is not professionally recognized treatment."
"To refuse to acknowledge gratitude to the agency through written statements, other media, or speaking engagements at public gatherings."
"To associate with individuals of the student's choice, receive visitors, and make telephone calls during the hours established by the licensee and conspicuously posted in the facility, unless: The medical director or clinical director determines and documents a specific treatment purpose that justifies waiving this right; and the student is informed of the reason why this right is being waived and the student's right to submit a grievance regarding this treatment decision."
"To privacy in correspondence, communication, visitation, financial affairs, and personal hygiene, unless: The medical director or clinical director determines and documents a specific treatment purpose that justifies waiving this right; and the student is informed of the reason why this right is being waived and the student's right to submit a grievance regarding this treatment decision."
"To send and receive uncensored and unopened mail, unless restricted by court order."
"To have opportunities for social contact and daily social, recreational, or rehabilitative activities."
On page 7 of the contract, it clearly states that children are subjected to the program and the "treatment plan" without their consent. This is a policy in direct conflict with the "student rights" policies listed above and further shows deception and legal violations on the part of CCA. This is a serious concern.
An additional concern is that much of the "employment" reported to HEAL is in construction and/or maid service at local hotels. The program will likely argue that "maid service" at a hotel is covered by "housekeeping" even though that would not be the intention of the laws governing labor rights of youth. This is a serious concern and should be investigated by families considering placement of their child at CCA or any Aspen Education Group program.
Again, CCA appears to place the responsibility of protecting the minor, the minor's health, and the minor's legal rights solely on the parent. Parents should understand that this may make them liable for the majority of damages in any lawsuit filed by the minor or in the minor's behalf. See the case of David Taylor v. Provo Canyon School for more information on parents' liability (75% of damages to be paid by parents) in the event a child is harmed by the program. HEAL reminds readers this is not legal advice and is an independent review only. For legal help, consult an attorney.
Does CCA utilize methods that are not professionally recognized treatments? If so, CCA should thoroughly explain their methods and disclose the resulting harm and/or suicide rate of children who have "graduated" or been exposed to the CCA program. HEAL is astounded at how many survivors of behavior modification programs, like CCA, commit suicide. It is horribly sad and points to the need for serious regulation and oversight. If a program cannot survive regulation, it should not be operating in the first place.
It is a contradiction to state that children can refuse to participate in promotional engagements or media for the program when the program states that it will use all the information it has to further its own agenda and make more money without compensating the child or the family. Do children who refuse to promote the program get penalized or held back from working through the level system? What types of undue influence, duress, or coercion are used to "encourage" children participate in activities that they oppose or that would cause them harm if they participate? These are serious concerns.
According to Aspen Ranch, visitation and phone calls are dependent on a child's level status. This is likely the same for Copper Canyon Academy. This suggests that the visitation and phone policies are violated as part of the treatment plan imposed on all children at the program as opposed to one or two individuals where deciding to limit any such contact has a legitimate therapeutic basis for those individuals as would be implied to be the intent of the law in Arizona. This is a serious concern as CCA appears to be semi-openly violating the rights of children at the facility.
In the Power of Attorney required by Aspen Ranch, restrictions on mail and other policies that violate children's rights are in place. This is a serious concern and shows a pattern of disregard for the rights of children at Aspen programs.
Again, we ask, what level does a child have to be on before they are allowed to participate in social and recreational activities? This is a serious concern as many children and adult survivors have reported being imprisoned with social contact in isolation or near isolation for many months and even some over years while in these types of programs. And, such policies would and do violate the rights of children in those programs.
Enrollment Agreement (page 25)
"When you feel you have been treated unfairly, someone else's actions have adversely affected you, and you are not able to resolve the situation by verbal communication with the party involved then the next step is to complete a Student Grievance Form (see next page). The grievance policy may be used without penalty. Once you have filled out the Staff Grievance Form the following procedure is initiated:"
"The form should be given to the Director, who will present it to the Administrative Committee for resolution. If the grievance is against the Director then the grievance should be handed to the Assistant Administrator."
"A resolution by the Administrative Committee on the grievance shall be completed within fifteen (15) days of filing."
"In the event the grievance is not handled to the student's satisfaction the student has the right to notify Office of Behavioral Health Licensure...Phoenix, AZ."
It is a serious concern that any grievances, including abuse, that is reported will take up to 15 days to decide internally. Law enforcement requires reports of abuse generally be made within 72 hours of incident in order to properly investigate. Fifteen days is long enough for the child to be intimidated or feel hopeless in seeing help or justice served. This is a serious concern. Similar rules apply in most Child Protective Service offices as well. And, since CCA likely restricts and/or "loses" mail that may be sent to the Office of Behavioral Health Licensure by the child if the child is willful enough to pursue it after seeing that their concerns go unaddressed by CCA, this is a serious concern.
There is no "next page" included in the enrollment materials available online or through the packet submitted to HEAL for review. We do not have a copy of the Grievance Form.
Enrollment Agreement (page 26)
"THINGS NOT TO BRING"
"Stereos, recorders, CD's, tapes or walkmans"
"Black or dark make-up"
"T-shirts with occult or concert"
"Expensive or sentimental items or jewelry"
"CLOTHING TO BRING"
"All clothing must fit comfortably - no tight or baggy clothing. No sleeveless or off the shoulder tops. No gang related clothing. All inappropriate clothing and items will be returned to Sponsors. All clothing is subject to approval by Residential Director."
Why are children deprived of their music or entertainment? Why are they not allowed to listen to or use items that bring them personal comfort and joy? What possible therapeutic end could result from such deprivations?
Since the children will be working with horses in the program, combat boots should be allowed and/or steel-toed boots to protect the children from injury. Programs that require children use tennis shoes when working with the horses have seen serious injury done to the feet of the children. This is a serious concern.
HEAL reminds parents that behavior modification is considered the opposite extreme to self-expression. Behaviorists, like CCA, believe self-expression is bad and should be controlled and prevented. This is a serious concern as it promotes the violation and disrespect of the civil and human rights of others. For more information, see our free e-book.
Enrollment Agreement (pages 27-29)
"Skirts:...Style: Straight or pleated - Knee Length - ...No leggings or pants under skirts...1 Khaki skirt (required), 1 additional Khaki skirt optional..."
"Pants/shorts:...Color: Khaki in stone or light tan only - No Green...Corduroy are acceptable in approved colors..."
"Shirts (uniform shirts provided): ...Students are required to wear the uniform shirt corresponding to their level at all times, except for Level Four's on home visits or Level Four activities...2nd shirt may be worn under uniform shirt however it must be white or same color as uniform shirt - Single color only...No band, gang, or negative images on shirts...White T-Shirts Approved as undershirts or pajamas."
"No gang, satanic, negative friend, or negative image jewelry."
"Underwear - Must wear - No thong underwear - No black"
"Swimming Suits: Once Piece and conservative in cut and style."
"Hair/Hair Accessories:...Hair should be out of eyes and clean...Bandanas are not allowed...Hair must be student's natural color and conservative in cut and length...Hair must be presentable (no "messy buns", hair in eyes, dreadlocks, etc.)"
"Shoes: No colors other than white or grey will be permitted, and no brightly colored shoelaces are allowed (white or grey shoelaces which match the shoe color only)."
"Knee High Socks, are OK in the following colors, White, Black, Grey or Navy"
"Tights, in navy, white or black. NO LEGGINGS OR PANTY HOSE"
"No Make up Levels 1-2"
"Light Make up Levels 3-4"
"Eyeliner is not permitted at any level"
"No unusual colors (neons, bright colors, patterns, etc.)"
"Modest and Conservative"
"Boxers may be worn under long night shirts"
HEAL includes the above to show the overly oppressive environment and limits on self-expression imposed by the program. Colors are known to be beneficial and to assist in mental health pursuits. Why are colors limited? What is the purpose of restricting a child's self-expression to such an unreasonable extent? What is the level system and why does CCA use a "colored-shirt" system similar to that of WWASPS? According to our findings, CCA/Aspen uses the same methods as WWASPS. This is a serious concern.
Enrollment Agreement (pages 31-32)
"Goal: Identify and resolve destructive behavioral patterns"
"Abstinence from Addictive Sexual Behaviors"
"Method: Individual Counseling...Seminars...Group Counseling...Family Counseling..."
"Course of Treatment"
"Completion to graduation of therapeutic program"
"Complete a self-assessment"
"Examine negative self-talk"
"Attend support/12 step groups"
"Seek spiritual support"
Family conflict and relationship problems should be resolved in the home community with local family therapists providing individual and family therapy to each person involved in the conflict residing with the family. These are not appropriate issues for residential treatment to resolve.
Sexual addiction is a ridiculous notion and is not a legitimate addiction. Normal sexual behavior may be deemed "excessive" by those who are not familiar with the normal stages of human development and these subjective judgments should not be used to shame children who are behaving normally for their age and development.
CCA does not appear to be licensed as a substance abuse treatment facility in Arizona. This is a serious concern.
A good way to stop children from lying is to provide an environment in which open sharing and the truth is welcome and respected. Lying is another issue that requires families work together in a local out-patient treatment service such as family therapy or family counseling. Since programs like CCA typically encourage lying if it improves their promotional and/or wealth-building agenda, it is a serious concern. Many survivors of programs have reported being forced to manufacture extensive sexual and drug histories that are neither true nor accurate in order to help convince the parents that placement and long-term treatment in the program is "necessary". This is a serious concern.
Abandonment and attachment issues that arise from adoption are not assisted by further abandonment and apparent rejection through institutionalization. This is common sense and parents shouldn't be scapegoating children who have already experienced trauma. This is a serious concern.
The individual counseling is likely not provided by legitimate providers. This is a serious concern. In addition, group therapy is likely done with the "confrontational therapy" method which has been proven to be ineffective and harmful. This is a serious concern.
It is a concern that one of the objectives of the program is to get the child to seek spiritual help. This implies that the program is infringing on the individual rights of the minor and is a serious concern.
Enrollment Agreement (pages 34)
"Knowing of the inherent risks, dangers and rigors required of any activity associated with horses, I fully certify and consent to the capability and the participation of my daughter in the CCA Equine Riding or Equine Therapy programs, managed and operated by Ruthie Ferrone (Ferrone Equine Services) as an independent equine contractor and Eagala Certified ES for CCA, Linda Cathcart, licensed CCA therapist and Eagala Certified MH, or any other such ES or MH directed by CCA or Ferrone Equine Services to participate in the programs. Therefore, I assume full responsibility for any personal injury/harm, medical expense, or loss/damage of personal property and expenses thereof to my daughter that may be affected directly or indirectly by the result of any accidental mishap or as a result of my daughter's negligence while participating in the equine program(s). I also assume full responsibility for these same liabilities to myself and to any family members who may upon occasional visits, interact with the horses. I further hold harmless Ferrone Equine Services, its members/employees, or any owner(s) of any horses leased by Ferrone Equine Services of any liabilities from these inherent risks to the extent that any such injury or damage is not due to the negligence of Ferrone Equine Services."
"Riding 2X per week/8 rides per mo. @ $45 per additional ride"
"Volunteer to help at the barn"
What does it mean to be Eagala Certified? What is the process? This is a concern. It is reasonable to assume the risks as long as equine therapy and/or "volunteering" or providing uncompensated labor for Ferrone are truly optional and that advancement in the program is not reliant on participation in the Equine program.
It appears that there are additional fees of $45 per riding session associated with the program. This contradicts the statements above that such riding is included in the tuition fees. This is another concern and parents should investigate and demand to know the total expense normally incurred by families involved with this program.
Enrollment Agreement (page 35)
"Your daughter has expressed interest in attending religious services while here at Copper Canyon Academy."
"Catholic........................................Immaculate Conception Catholic Church"
"Non-Denominational....................Parkside Community Church"
"Baptist..........................................Beaver Creek Baptist Church"
"Mormon........................................Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"
"Jewish..........................................Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley"
"Lutheran.......................................Grace Community Lutheran Church"
"Non-denominational bible study....on campus"
Since this form is included in the enrollment packet it is highly unlikely that the child has requested that the program allow them to attend religious services. Regardless, the above does not include all religions that are respected and recognized religions and shows discriminatory practices in place at this program. In addition, it places parents in the position to deny the child the right to attend religious services of her choice by limiting the church or temple choices to the above list.
HEAL includes the above both to highlight discriminatory practices in place at CCA and to show the churches and/or temples that service CCA clients.
Enrollment Agreement (page 36)
"Parent Manual Overview & Orientation"
"Privileges by Level"
"Requirements for Advancement"
"Visits by Level"
"Mail and Packages"
Again, CCA does not include the entire Parent Manual in the enrollment materials they make available online. We do not have the descriptions of the above headers. However, Aspen Ranch does include these materials and HEAL has found that there are severe limitations and overt violations of CCA's "student rights"' policies in place at Aspen programs. In addition, CCA is open about using a "level/phase" system. Level systems and communication restrictions are warning signs of abusive programs. See our warning signs list and teen rights pages for more information. Are you conditioning your child to accept maltreatment, abuse, and injustice? If you send them to an Aspen program, you are and that is a serious concern.
Enrollment Agreement (pages 37-38)
"The CCA transition program is set up as an assessment and evaluative tool in our treatment sequence. When students have proven that they have identified changes that need to be made, have made the changes within the context of the setting, and then have practiced the changes over time, they become eligible to enter the transition part of the program. Usually, but not always, this takes place during Level III of the program."
"In attempting to re-create an environment similar to the family life at home, transition students form a living unit and are expected to take part in group activities (grocery shopping, eating out, movies, hikes, excursions, etc.). She continues to abide by the program rules as well as the rules set up by each household."
"Transition lasts from four to six weeks, depending on the issues and the progress each student makes."
"If serious problems arise while the student is living in transition, she can move back into the higher structure of the school setting to work through the problems and plan for her return to transition."
"Because the transition program is in a staff member's on-campus home, and involves more excursions off-campus than usual, students will be transported in CCA vehicles both to and from school and on transition activities."
Copper Canyon Academy uses a level system which is associated with coercive thought reform techniques proven to be harmful and ineffective. This is a serious concern.
Do children and lower levels of the program ever get to participate or leave campus to participate in social or "fun" activities such as going to the movies, eating out, etc.? If not, why? How long, typically, does it take a child to "earn the privilege" of experiencing any normal, real-world socializing and recreation? Deprivation of socialization at this stage in developmental is detrimental to achieving successful, healthy, and happy adulthood. Why does CCA impose such extraordinary control over the children? One of HEAL's coordinators spent time in in-patient care at a psychiatric facility in the late 1980s. During that time, she was allowed to place calls and receive visits from family from the first day. She was allowed to go out to eat with family from the first day. And, she was allowed to participate in weekly excursions to the movies and local attractions from the first day. This is normal and respectful treatment. CCA is doing something other than therapy. And, this is a serious concern.
The fact that children can be regressed or bumped back a level or more is a serious concern as it breeds a sense of helplessness and hopelessness in children who are still not quite perfect by program standards. This is an obscene and inherently disrespectful program.
It is a concern that staff live on campus. This also suggests a cult-like structure to the program which is also implied by the level system and other associates of CCA/Aspen to cults like CEDU and Synanon.
HEAL heartily recommends you do not place your child in Copper Canyon Academy and that you rescue your child if he/she is there now.
The Following is an excerpt from
'Abused' teens take aim at Lifetime reality show 'Teen Trouble'
January 10th, 2013
"...CCA “is like a Nazi concentration camp,” says Navon’s mother Laurie, who yanked her daughter out after just 6 weeks. “I thought I was sending her to a top notch boarding school. She still has nightmares about it.”
Laurie Navon says the school disciplined her daughter, who was battling anorexia, by placing her on food restriction.
On “Teen Trouble,” Shipp -- who has no formal license or training -- attempts to set wayward youth straight by locking them in jail or forcing them sleep with the homeless.
After teens appear on the show, they are often offered extended treatment at residential rehab centers.
The tuition for these facilities — $6,000-$8,000 a month — is waived in exchange for Shipp’s on-air mentions, the show’s producer, Bryn Freedman, confirms.
Aspen — which boasts on its Web site of being prominently featured on “The Dr. Phil Show,” Nickelodeon’s “Nick News” and “The Tyra Show” — owns 28 facilities across the US.
Several others have closed in recent years amid allegations of misconduct.
In 2011, CCA employee Randy Young resigned after being reported for sexually abusing a student, but the center remained open."
|Aspen Education Group's Teen Therapy Program Featured on 'Dr. Phil': CERRITOS, Calif., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Aspen Education Group's Copper Canyon Academy, an Arizona-based residential boarding school for girls, was featured February 7 on the nationally syndicated "Dr. Phil" how. Dr. Phil referred to Copper Canyon Academy as "one of the nation's top therapeutic boarding schools for girls" when he recommended it as part of a comprehensive therapeutic solution for a troubled, runaway teen. Aspen Education Group is the nation's leading provider of education programs that improve the quality of life for underachieving children, young adults and their families. (Webmaster Note: Dr. Phil is an S.O.B. who profits off of the suffering of others. He has openly praised Aspen Education Group programs (HEAL has multiple reports of abuse and fraud from both parents of and survivors injured by Aspen Education Group.) Not to mention that Provo Canyon School, a more than proven abusive facility for teens in need of closing, has also been featured on his show. Give us a break you frauds.) For complete story, click here.|
|Police Call Log on Copper Canyon Academy: Dates: 1995-2009. Click here for report.|
*(Copper Canyon Academy/Sedona Sky Academy, like many other programs in this industry, keeps a "tight lid" on any specific information regarding their staff, qualifications, and practices. Please contact us with the names of any staff of which you have firsthand knowledge or experience. Thank you for your help.)
Last Updated:July 4th, 2014