Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Readers on Each Side Respond to Residential Treatment Story

October 20, 1992

No doubt you will hear from many outraged parents who decry the violation of the civil rights of children sent to locked residential treatment schools. ("Parents' Last Resort," Oct. 4, 1992). For our 16-year-old son and our family, such a school was the last hope after many attempts to use local resources had failed.

Our son, previously a gifted student, had spent a year partying and skipping school, while we tried contracts, family counseling, informal probation and continuation school to help him get back on track. Nothing worked. He was arrested (but never charged) three times for possession of marijuana and had started using cocaine.

Sending him to school in Utah for a year was the most difficult thing we ever did. But it put him in a position to see very clearly--through sober eyes--that he was responsible for his behavior and choices. He hated it, but he learned. Now an adult with a child of his own, he tells us we "did the right thing" because he was "out of control."

We will always be grateful for that school in Utah. And our son deserves a lot of credit: He chose to cooperate with the program--not all the students do.

So before indignant civil rights advocates rail against parents who send their kids off to locked treatment schools, let them walk a mile in our shoes. . . . No we wouldn't wish that for anyone.

(Due to the nature of this letter, The Times has agreed to withhold the writers' names.)

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|