The Cañon City Daily Record recently published an in-depth article on the program at the Academy at Royal Gorge, including this conversation with director Brian Lemons.
Brian Lemons, who opened the school with Hinton, said events in his own childhood motivated him to get involved with children.
“I knew what it was like not be happy at that age,” he said. “Those are tough times for kids.”
Lemons said he was unable to talk much about Hinton, because of legal concerns. But, he did offer his initial reaction to the charges.
“I was surprised,” he said. “A lot of students were surprised as well. Some of our parents wrote letters of support.”
Lemons said staff hired goes through a strict background check and that all teachers hired are licensed in Colorado. While not specifically referring to Hinton, all staff members say steps are taken to ensure the safety of the children, including making sure a staff member is never alone with a student — three people are required to be together at all times.
While Hinton faces charges, Lemons wants to move forward.
“We’ll get through it and let due process take its course,” he said.
Troubled Teens: What Are the Alternatives?
There are two suits going against the organizations that Hinton has been associated with. One is specific to Ivy Ridge; the other is broader.
General class action suit (The "Wood Complaint"): (defendants include Lichfield, Ken Kay, Karr Farnsworth, David Gilcrease, and "John Does I through XX).
I imagine Hinton will be one of the Does. The amended complaint:
If you want to join the suit, go to https://www.wturley.com/
Ivy Ridge class action suit: