This testimony was found on HEAL-online's website. All rights goes to the author who has chosen to remain unknown
Hello, my name is ******* **** and I am 16 years old.
Orange County Mental Health and the Capistrano Unified School District recommended me to go to Red Rock Canyon School through the courts because I was truant. On March 14th, I was arrested at court and held overnight and at 6:00 am Westfield, or Westerfield Transporters came and picked me up and drove me out to Red Rock Canyon School.
They were nice. Apparently, my mom did not sign the papers but my father was manipulated into signing them. The courts made Red Rock out to be something much greater than it was. Anyhow, I was told on the way there by the transporters that right when I got there I would be allowed to call my mother and my boyfriend of almost one year.
I got there, and they told me that I couldn't write letters to anyone, including my parents, or have any contact with them whatsoever for the first 21 days I was there. Need I remind you, this is a level 14 lockdown facility. I couldn't leave. But for kids there that do try to run and get over the fences, apparently the only requirement for staff members is that they bring the child back alive when they go looking for them. I can recall a story that was told to me by a lady named Gina who worked there about a young girl trying to escape, and when they got her, she did not fight back, but yet they tackled her, stepped on her face, and cracked her jaw.
But back to what I was saying, the first 21 days there were the worst hell. I had to wear these shoes they would call "Jesus Sandals", was only allowed to have my jeans, I had to be "belt looped" everywhere I walked off the unit, and I had to be body searched before and after showers. Every time we use the restroom we had to have the door 6 inches cracked, no less. I was on Green Unit, and my group leader was Alan Shalby. Him and the registered nurse, Nicole, were the only nice people there. My therapists name was Carol Williams, and I later came to the conclusion that she was a polygamist.
After 21 days, you get one family therapy phone call per week, where you and your therapist talk to your parents on the phone on speaker for 45 minutes. After my second therapy call with Carol and my mother, Carol ended up hanging up on my mother because she was "being rude" and I was "breaking the phone rules". The phone rules were "No cussing, no bashing on staff, no bashing the program, no guilt-loading, and no manipulating/lying". Apparently I broke them by saying that "I didn't feel my medical needs were being met". During my first treatment team meeting, Dr. Shannon told me that my family therapy had been suspended and I wouldn't be allowed to contact my mother for 60 days. When Carol hung up on my mother that afternoon, my mom knew something fishy was going on.
Somehow, she had a man named Kelly come to Red Rock to speak to me about what had happened. Apparently he is the man who "gives these places licenses to operate". We spoke in Brian Pace's office. I brought up the fact that I was scared and didn't quite know what was going on with my mother and how long I would be staying for. He replied by saying that I'm just a child and I shouldn't know what's going on in my life as far as how long I'm supposed to be in "treatment" for, and that adults have more rights that children, therefore I should just listen and behave myself because there's nothing I could do to get myself out of there. About the whole "not meeting my medical needs" part, you see, I have had surgery on my spine 4 times, and to this day there is something wrong with my spine that hasn't been fixed yet.
While I was at Red Rock, whenever I asked for tylenol, they told me to "drink water". After a while, they gave me advil, and I was coughing up blood from it. They did nothing. The following weekend, I had a fever of probably 100% or more, and a horrible cold. I asked a lady who takes care of the "student store", Tami, if she could call my mother just to let her know I was really sick. Tami called my mother and told her "Naomi isn't feeling well but she's being given medicine and as much rest as she needs. No worries." My mom didn't know until she got a letter from me that I was given an allergy pill for my cold and fever, yet I have no allergies, and was forced to go sit in the schoolroom and work on schoolwork all day long and was never given a chance to rest.
Now about the staff...well there's a lot of shadiness, and a lot of "drama" and rumors breaking confidentiality of the children. Last year, (I was not there but certain staff members like Annie, Gina, Laura, and Alan Shalby all on Green Unit have told me this themselves) the paramedic, Adam, had sexual relations with a young girl in the program. They brought it up to him and questioned her, but when they came to the child, she put the attention on someone else, and he was never given a consequence. In fact he still works there. Even the days I was there, I would see him flirting with all of the young girls, ages 12-17. In my unit, there was actually and 11 year old girl there, when the minimum age was 12, who was placed there for "attitude problems".
Anyhow, another horrible staff member was Melvin, the weekend supervisor. He was always going around, staring inappropriately at all of the young girls. There was a girl named Sabrina who was there while I was, and he apparently "wanted to be with her". Which is quite interesting, considering Melvin is waiting for his child to be born. The mother of the baby is a woman who worked at the front desk, and they conceived the baby on the Red Rock campus in Melvin's office. And Darlene Blackburn...you have her down as "Girl's Resource Room". Darlene is the IEP teacher for both girls and boys, and Tami M. is who the boys and girls go to for resources, such as toiletries, clothes, ect. Oh, and Vincent, the PE teacher; when I told him I had back problems so I couldn't participate in PE, he let me sit out everyday, but he would never call me by my name- he would call me "broke back", making fun of the fact the I have rods and screws up and down my entire spinal cord. And Brent...well he is very manipulative. He is the person that loves making sure these poor kids are becoming institutionalized, so they think that it isn't "wrong" for them to be there.
Now, Oscar. Oscar is very scary. There is a ground of four girls on Coral Unit who always physically beat up the most vulnerable girl in their unit at the time. As a punishment, Oscar would make them all go into a small room together called "RI", or "re- investment", from 5 AM until 11 PM. They would eat their meals in there. The RI rooms are very cold and you aren't allowed to have any of your belongings including your sweater or shoes until you get out. Oscar would send them there daily for this amount of time. Bo Hunt is Oscar's sister, or they are related in some kind of way. There was never a day where I didn't walk by Bo and see her screaming at a different kid each time, putting them down, making them feel at fault about everything bad that's happened to them.
Kaitlynn Robertson is the Green Unit teacher, and she is a drunk. She'd always come into work very hungover, and very grouchy towards all of the kids. She rubs it in the children's faces that she gets to go home at night, but we don't. Angela, the nurse, was another large problem for me. She was always very rude, and when I would ask for help with my back pain, she would always tell me I was "drug seeking". Excuse me if I said this once before, but to kindly correct your information, Alan Shalby is the group leader on Green Unit. Steel Unit is no longer running, but before I left they were going to open it back up again because all of the other male units were filling up. Green Unit was very crowded. There were two bunk beds and one normal bed in my room, which I'm sure exceeds the legal population of a tiny room in a place like this. Kasey Nelson no longer works for Red Rock either. This place is very unhealthy and unsafe for children.
I was there for fourty- something days. With barely any contact with my mother, I prayed to God every night that he would bring a miracle my way. In the end, he answered my prayers, and my mother drove out and picked me up and pulled me from the program out of the blue and placed me in a very nice dual diagnosis treatment center that was a 60 day program in Long Beach, CA called Center for Discovery. My therapist at Center for Discovery saw the report and told me she was disgusted to the point of vomiting from reading all of the nasty, untrue things they wrote on the report about myself.
I was released from there on May 24 and am at home now. I apologize for my email being so scattered, but hopefully this information will be useful. I saw my surgeon two days ago, and I'm waiting for the CT scan to come back. The second I find out what is wrong with my spine, my family is going to be filing a lawsuit against them for not meeting my medical needs while I was there and not meeting my therapeutic needs. There are a few things that I left out. Sherman Habibian, the owner, is engaged to a nurse in the clinic at RRCS named Lacey. And also, they have two potbelly pigs there at Red Rock in a pen, and the students sexually abuse the poor pigs all of the time.