[i:4e02478d79]Missing Bacliff teen had been on Dr. Phil show
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle 11/9/06
After her best friend was found dead days ago, the disappearance of Kimberlee Ramsey, 15, of Bacliff has taken on greater significance, according to Houston EquuSearch officials.
Kimberlee, who was recently seen on an episode of the TV show "Dr. Phil," was last seen leaving her home in the 4600 block of Seventh Street in Bacliff at 7 p.m. Oct. 29.
The body of her best friend, Terressa Lynn Vanegas, a 16-year-old Dickinson High School student, was found on a former soccer field behind the school. Terressa had been missing since Oct. 31.
Kimberlee and her family were on the "Dr. Phil" show to discuss the dangers of being a runaway. After the taping, Kimberlee was sent to Aspen Achievement Academy (Utah) for wilderness therapy. According to EquuSearch, the therapy did not work for Kimberlee.[/i:4e02478d79]
Kimberlee has been found. She is being questioned regarding the death of her friend.
Aspen Achievement Academy also goes by the name Aspen Education Group, and I thought it might be linked to Landmark Education. AAA has programs and schools throughout the US. Some parts of their program are rooted in LGATs. A quick Google search brought up many hits on the abuses, controversies, people seeking restitution, forums with stories so similar to those who have experienced LGATs, that it was stunning.
Utah, with its polygamous groups, seems to be known also for its wilderness achievement programs. There is no regulation of these "therapeutic" boot camps, ranches, and despite research that says their tough love methods do not work, they continue to get funding via government grants and high "tuition" payments. There are countless allegations of abuse and neglect by untrained counselors in the "troubled teen industry."
One survivor has gone on to become a lawyer and I emailed her about Aspen and her reply is below. She gave me permission to distribute her materials. Her website is a great resource on the troubled teen industry.
"Regarding Aspen Education Group... We don't know anymore about the missing girl than is available in the news report. We will keep a look out for any new information as it develops and let you know. Please, if you find out any additional information, share it with us. Dr. Phil has repeatedly enrolled kids in abusive programs. He has enrolled kids on his show into Provo Canyon School and a number of other programs. We exposed this travesty through some media channels and did a letter writing campaign to his show online and via snail-mail. I didn't receive a response. And, survivors and parents were not allowed to post their adverse experiences with the industry on the Dr. Phil message board at his site. We were all blocked from exposing the ugly side of the industry through Dr. Phil's network. This more than suggests that he is in bed with some very unfortunate and wicked people.
There are many more things you can do to help expose the myriad of abusive programs. We have a list of volunteer opportunities from which you may choose or you may create your own actions with our support. It is completely up to you. Please participate in the following easy online actions:
Please take the following actions:
Rep. George Miller (D-CA)has introduced HR 1738, the "End Institutionalized Abuse Against Children Act!". This legislation was introduced on April 20th, 2005. The purpose of this legislation is to regulate ALL facilities, US and Abroad, that service families and "treat" children and teenagers. Please contact your representatives immediately and often asking them to support HR 1738! You may look up your Representatives Contact Information by Visiting: [www.house.gov
SIGN "YES ON HR 1738—THE "END INSTITUTIONALIZED ABUSE OF CHILDREN ACT" PETITION NOW!-- This legislation was introduced by George Miller on April 20th, 2005. The purpose of this legislation is to regulate ALL facilities, US and Abroad, that service families and "treat" children and teenagers. To sign, visit: [www.petitiononline.com
SIGN PETITION TO CLOSE PROVO CANYON SCHOOL: Provo Canyon School is one of the oldest teen "treatment" programs. They have been found guilty of cruel and inhumane treatment of children multiple times by multiple courts. They have been sanctioned and the Federal District Court has placed injunctions against them. Yet, they remain open with the same abusive staff and same cruel practices. The licensing department of Utah and CPS of Utah state they have never received a complaint against Provo Canyon School. But, the Utah Dept. of Licensing has been listed as co-defendants in at least one of the lawsuits filed against the program. Please take a moment to sign this petition at: www.beyondbusiness.net/closepcs.htm . Thank you.