Tipton Academy

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Information
Current status Closed
Detainees.gif Capacity 50
Checked October 6, 2011
Open.gif Opened 2005
Close.gif Closed 2011

Tipton Academy was a behavior modification facility located on Arnold Street, Tipton, Kansas [1]

The facility was for boy only, but the owner ran a facility for girls - Meadowlark Academy only in a nearby city. The facility could detain a total of 50 boys.

They accepted to detain teenagers against their will without trial and stated it so on their webpage [2].

The program did last 9-12 months according to the website but the enrollment contract stated that the best result can be achieved with a stay of about 18 months. The parents do also had to sign a contract that last a year minimum [2].

The program was founded in 2005 [3]. They were licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment [4]. The building used to be the former Tipton Elementary School [5]

Program structure

The facility used a level system. The names of three levels are known.

The detained teenagers began on the orientation phase which basically is isolation until the teenager broke down and accepted the banishment.

The upper levels were called Honor or Elite.

In the enrollment contract it was stated that it was not allowed for the parents to indicate a date if the teenager asked when he was going to be released. If they choosed to, the child will be expelled from the facility. A part of the program was to apply pressure to the detained teenagers by making them believe that they could risk being kept at the facility until they are adults. Parents with residents at the school seem to support detention of their child without time-limit regardless of criticism of the concept of Indefinite dentention from several human rights groups [6]

Communication

The parents were not informed about visitation and phone policies until they had signed the enrollment contract and paid for the stay. However in the enrollment contract (2008 version) it was stated that the teenager had not right to phone calls until he had passed the orientation phase. The phone calls was be monitored and if the child did choose to speak about subjects the staff members felt out of the question, they had the right to terminate the call. According to parents never versions of the contract stated otherwise[7]

Education

The facility worked together with Lakeside High School in Downs, Kansas and Smoky Hill Education Service Center [8]. Recently they have introduced a summer school program [9].

Misc.

The boys could work with dogs as a part of their therapy. It was called the "Special Puppy Program".

Consequences

The staff used to threaten to the teenagers with exile to Tranquility Bay while it was open regardless of the fact that this facility belonged to a competitor [10].

News

March 2009 an article in the Salina Journal told how hard they worked to maintain their license from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment [4]

April 2009 it is mentioned that three former residents took a car from the town [11]. It is not known if they were residents at the facility at the time of the crime or they had graduated / expelled

June 2009 two residents from the facility were charged with stealing a car which had been loaded with items from a wedding the day before [12]

July 2009 the academy was charged with two misdemeanor counts of maintaining a public nuisance, one count each for two stolen car episodes, which took place April 11th and the second June 14th [13]. The managers Kevin Richey and Director Michael McClendon were also charged [13].

November 2009 a boy managed to escape the facility [14]. The escape involved a stolen car. The article indicate that there had been at least two incidents involving Tipton students and cars parked in the city.

A boy was returned home after a telephone call reveiled that there could be ground for an investigation into claims of abuse [15].

The facility closed suddenly during the summer of 2011 due to some unknown problems with the authorities [16]

Notable alumnis

  • Jonathon Spedden [17]

External Links

Info pages

Survivor groups

Messsage boards

References

  1. The facility on FlashEarth
  2. 2,0 2,1 FAQ page from the facility
  3. Program data on NATSAP
  4. 4,0 4,1 Youth academy operators defend programs, By David Clouston, Salina Journal, March 20, 2009
  5. Small town has large “can-do” attitude, by Lori Thielen, Eye on Kansas, July 17, 2006
  6. So big deal. How is that going to hurt, that an acting up manipulative teen gets a little fear motivation gee whiz, call the cops!!Statement applied by IP-number 68.113.212.177
  7. THIS IS OLD INFORMATION OR NOT TRUE. I have a contract in front of me. It tells me all this. Students visited last week even ones not designated to talk to us were very happy and the atmosphere was relaxed.
    We have had our son at 2 other schools and he will like this one. They also have pet dogs to assist therapy.Statement applied by IP-number 68.113.212.177
  8. Academics, homepage of the facility
  9. Summer Programs, homepage of the facility
  10. The thread Tipton Academy on the The Tranquility Bay Discussion Board
  11. Court Appearances: Valcoure, Capraro, & Tipton Car Theft, by Mike Schrant, KDNS/KZDY, April 20, 2009
  12. Stapleton and Burk Make Court Appearance, by Mike Schrant, KDNS/KZDY, June 22, 2009
  13. 13,0 13,1 Charges Files against Tipton Academy, by Mike Schrant, KDNS/KZDY, July 22, 2009
  14. The Lake: Tipton Academy Escapee Still Missing, KD Country 94 & Z-96.3, November 17, 2009 (Facebook)
  15. Tipton Academy, page on the website of Community Alliance For the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY)
  16. Soap Opera Closing of the Tipton Academy, by Mike Schrant - KDNS/KZDY, July 20th, 2011
  17. Spedden Jumps from Topeka Viaduct, by Mike Schrant, KDNS/KZDY, July 21, 2009