Oh, just some background. It is tangled. To the naive viewer, CEDU seems stand-alone. It hasn't been for a while. Marguerite Sallee was CEO of the Brown Schools from September 2001 to Spring 2003.
Marguerite Sallee In 2001 Sallee became CEO of the for-profit The Brown Schools, then a Nashville-based company that now operates 12 schools for troubled youth in five states. Its 2002 revenues were $170 million.
“Sallee returns to education and youth services roots,” Brown ballyhooed in a press release upon her appointment. Upon her appointment to The Brown Schools, Sallee said in the release, “I am ready to immerse myself fully in the organization and do everything in my power to help us achieve our greatest potential in terms of education and quality care fo the young people we serve.”
Eighteen months later, she was off to her Senate job.
The AP press release touting Sallee’s appointment makes no mention of her tenure at The Brown Schools. The company is owned by McCown, DeLeeuw & Co., a Menlo Park, Calif., holding company.
During Sallee’s stint as CEO [ September 17, 2001--Spring 2003], the company sold off six residential treatment facilities for youth to Franklin, Tenn.-based Psychiatric Solutions Inc. (PSI) and another to Ardent Health Services, based in Nashville. The sale of the six hospitals to PSI yielded $63 million. Current president Bob Naples says the facilities generated a lot of cash but little profit and were a magnet for lawsuits by former clients, whose costs were paid at public expense, including Medicaid. Besides, says Naples, the sale “reduced debt on the balance sheet.” The corporation is now based in West Palm Beach, Fla.
One debt left in the balance is litigation over the death of 17-year-old Chase Moody in October 2002, when Sallee was CEO. The Brown Schools owned and operated On Track, a therapeutic wilderness camp in rural Hill County, Texas, that Moody attended.
A state investigation found that Moody was the victim of physical abuse connection with his death. He was being restrained by at least three youth workers when, according to the autopsy cited by the Austin American-Statesman;he suffocated on his own vomit.(Another Brown Schools suit -- this time against The Oaks)
The state cited the facility for 28 violations of Texas health-licensing standards, the newspaper said. It said Moody was the fifth youth to die while being restrained in The Brown Schools’ Texas facilities since 1998.
November 20, 2001
The Brown Schools said Darrell Massengale has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer. He will be responsible for overseeing the company’s financial operations, which include 33 schools and facilities serving more than 1,500 young people. “In his former position, Darrell was part of the leadership team in a company that literally created a new industry,” said Marguerite W. Sallee, president and chief executive officer of The Brown Schools.
Massengale comes to The Brown Schools from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), where he was chief financial officer. While at CCA, his responsibilities included financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning. Massengale had been with CCA since 1986; he had served eight years as secretary and treasurer, and five years as controller.
BROWN SCHOOLS LAUNCH MILLION DOLLAR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
(June 11, 2002) CEO Marguerite Sallee announced a “one million dollar annual scholarship program to make CEDU Emotional Growth education available to families in need.
Naples replaces Marguerite Sallee, who left the company last spring to become staff director of the U.S. Senate's Sub-Committee on Children and Families. He was involved earlier this year in The Brown Schools' strategic divestiture of its behavioral healthcare division in order to focus exclusively on education. He previously served as the company's chief administrative officer and has been a member of The Brown Schools' board of directors for several years.
About Rocky Mountain Academy
Rocky Mountain Academy is a co-educational, college-preparatory boarding school that blends a strong academic tradition with outdoor adventure learning and CEDU Emotional Growth curriculum. The fully-licensed and accredited school is recognized for helping adolescents transform negative behavior to create a positive future. Students build personal responsibility and accountability, and develop skills in communication, leadership, and problem solving. Rocky Mountain Academy is an emotional growth education program owned and operated by the Brown Schools. For breaking news and to register to participate in the anniversary celebration, visit their web site at www.rockymtnacademy.com/20
About Brown Schools
Founded by Bert Brown in 1940, Brown Schools is the largest national provider of education, therapeutic and family support services for children and adolescents with extraordinary needs. The privately-held company’s mission is to save lives, heal families and create hope. Brown Schools serves approximately 1,500 young people daily in a variety of programs and specialty services offered through a national network of 21 facilities in eight states and Puerto Rico. The company's broad spectrum of care includes residential treatment centers, alternative education programs, therapeutic wilderness programs and emotional growth boarding schools. In 1998, Brown Schools acquired CEDU Family of Services, a pre-eminent provider of college preparatory education and emotional growth programs founded in 1967. The company has primary financial backing from McCown De Leeuw & Co., a leading private investment firm whose mission is to build companies that make a difference. Visit our Web site at www.brownschools.com
When discipline turns fatal
The Death of Chase Moody, 2002
Texas lacks tough law on prone restraint that's banned in three states
By Jonathan Osborne and Mike Ward
The deputy's headlights broke the middle-of-nowhere October darkness as he rolled down the red-dirt road to a campsite. He fixed his cruiser's spotlight on the scene: tent silhouettes, a small fire and -- as Mason County Deputy Harold Low would later describe in his official report -- 17-year-old Chase Moody chest-down, pinned to the ground by three camp counselors.
Low handcuffed one arm and flipped the boy over. That's when he saw the vomit and realized that Chase wasn't breathing. The Richardson teenager did not make it off the hilltop alive that night, and he wasn't the first to lose his life this way.
Moody was one of thousands of Texas children and tens of thousands nationwide who have become part of a booming $60 billion industry that promises to reform teens who have veered off the path of acceptable behavior. Whether they have serious psychological problems, rebellious streaks or parents who have lost their patience, these children soon find themselves at the mercy of a system for which there is scant oversight or accountability and spotty record-keeping. And there is no easy way for parents to compare the track records of various programs.
The inability to rein in the widespread use of improper physical restraints, such as the one the state investigators believe was used on Chase Moody, is emblematic of efforts to regulate the industry itself.
That night, at the On Track therapeutic wilderness program, Chase Moody became one more name on a list of what are believed to be hundreds of youth and adults in this country who have died in the past decade after being held in a physical restraint in a residential care setting. Chase Moody also became at least the 44th youth or adult in Texas to die under similar circumstances since 1988. And in the aftermath of his death, Chase has become the latest reminder of state lawmakers' unwillingness to pass tougher laws governing restraint that could prevent other people from dying this way or even to better track the body count. "How many more kids have to die before they do something about it?" Chase's father, Dallas lawyer Charles Moody, asked.
In 1998, at the request of the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimated that 50 to 150 adults and children die each year during or shortly after being placed in a restraint. The analysis was based largely on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and New York, the only state that in 1998 investigated all deaths in institutions. The Courant confirmed 142 restraint-related deaths of adults and children since 1988. The true death count, according to the Courant, could be three to 10 times higher because many cases are not reported to authorities,according to the statistical estimate. In 1999, a report from the U.S. General Accounting Office pointed out the government's deficiency. (Read more about the GAO's findings about the lack of regulation and adequate record-keeping of the use of restraints at statesman.com/specialreports/restraint/).
Four years later, no one knows the toll, largely because efforts to track or research such deaths have not taken hold in every state or at the federal level. At least two more youths have died this year after being restrained: one in Colorado, the other in California. Chase Moody was at least the third youth to die in Texas last year.
The Brown Schools, which owned the camp and based its administrative operations in Austin, have disputed the autopsy with their own expert, who contends that Chase died from excited delirium, which means he became so agitated and enraged that his heart stopped.
(Read more about the medical argument of traumatic asphyxia vs. excited delirium at statesman.com/specialreports/restraint/.)
Regardless, critics say the tragedy could -- and should --have been prevented. As Charles Moody told the state Senate Health and Human Services Committee in April, Chase "choked on his own vomit, and nobody even knew it."
Prone restraints, such as the one Chase Moody wound up in, are discouraged in Texas and many other states, and entirely banned in at least three. Texas prison officials consider such restraints so dangerous that they ban guards from employing the techniques on even the most violent inmates.
Prison rules prohibit pressure from being applied to a convict's neck, back, chest or stomach and mandate that "the supervisor shall ensure the offender is continuously monitored to identify breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness or other medical concerns, and seek immediate medical treatment if necessary." They also mandate that offenders shall be placed onto their side or into a sitting position "as soon as practicable." "Once they go to the ground, there can be problems," said Larry Todd, spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
- News Articles On Cedu Closing
- (republished as new information appears) Timeline of CEDU Closing a summary, link-heavy post in chronological order of CEDU history, from founding to the present time.
- April 14, 2005: Class Action Suit Filed Against McCown deLeeuw by Suddenly Jobless Faculty, Staff -- suit alleges violation of WARN Act.
- April 6, 2005: McCown deLeeuw spokesman and TIAA-CREF spokesman blame each other for the schools' sudden collapse. An outbreak of integrity does not ensue.
- April 6, 2005 What would a person of integrity do? More on the new tradition of responsibility from McCown deLeeuw: stiff the employees out of their paychecks.
- April 7, 2005: The CEDU closing is a catastrophe for employees and for the local economy.
- April 4, 2005 CEDU closing is also a California economic disaster -- CEDU owes local small businesses thousands.
- Interview with Paul Johnson, CEDU : Why did The Brown Schools board, and their masters, MDC, treat us this way? (MDC had not made 401K contributions, part of the staff compensation package, for 3 months.)
- April 3, 2005 King George's Head doesn't close school, has parents who are helping.
- April 3, 2005 Employees out Paychecks, Parents Out Tuition, but McCown deLeeuw Still Solvent. I can't decide which is more outrageous, the parents who were billed for tuition, who won't be reimbursed, or the employees, who were robbed of three weeks' pay.
- April 3, 2005 TIAA comes through with funding -- too late. The primary creditor supplies a bridge loan, but it's too late: most of the kids have left, are finding other programs.
- March 29, 2005 More on CEDU closing text of articles from the Bonners Ferry local papers, outlining the hardship on students' families and on faculty, staff, and the ecoonomies arouond the schools.
- March 27, 2005:CEDU Is Closing --my first article on CEDU closing.
- March 27, 2005 Austin Statesman article on Brown Schools bankruptcy filing. Link to actual filing, which has details.
- February 12, 2005: Rocky Mountain Academy Folds
- April 6,
- April 5, 2005 Save CEDU! an alumnus declares it should be saved.
- April 4, 2005 A Parent Contrasts the Caring of CEDU and the Heartlessness of its owners, MDC
- April 12, 2005 A Faculty Member Reflects on her experience at CEDU and the meaning of the closing.
- CEDU Closing Shocks One Industry Expert (I've also heard from others who are equally shocked and outraged by MDC's decision and lack of care for the clients and families.)
- Other Articles on Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Treatment Programs
- The Lure of Treating Kids Roughly to "Improve" Their Behavior (April 15, 2005)
- Why Parents Seek Therapeutic Boarding Schools Newspaper Article: Therapeutic education industry booms as parents seek help for kids. (Published in the Chicago Tribune 1/20/2004-- by Bonnie Miller Rubin) Background and History
- CEDU: Who are the principals -- the decision-makers in the wreck of an educational institution.
- 1990 Fortune Article mentioning McCown deLeeuw, mentioning that the firm believes in the "new paradigm" of bottom-up organization:
target well-positioned but underperforming businesses and restructure them to stress empowerment of employees, creativity, and openness.
- March 31, 2005: The Wall Street Journal surveys the "struggling teen" Industry -- a rather hurried job. One of the glossed-over questions is why are these facilities for-profit at all?
- March 27, 2005:Preliminary Notes on CEDU management -- I got confused about who was managing CEDU when, so this was a first go-round.