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Thursday, April 14, 2005


Alison M.

Hi Mr. Locker, I don't know if this page is ever checked, but I stumbled upon it when searching online to see what had happend to the Cedu facilities since closing. I am not sure if this page is ever checked, but I wanted to say that it is a comfort to know that there are people speaking out against the Cedu program. I was sent to Cedu for a duration of seven months just a year and a half ago (I was 17). I had come from another much less oppressive and restrictive emotional growth type of school (The Grove School in Conn.) when I arrived, due to some, honestly minor, mistakes which freaked the school out and led my mother to send me there. I had worked for years on the problems that had originally gotten me to an emotional growth school and had significantly matured, developed insight, and stabilized in that time (I was sent at 13). Cedu was, as my father (also an attorney, along with my mother) said, significantly parallel to communist governments and was, as I said, extremely oppressive. Now I know that's a little dramatic, but I felt strongly for the first time that I was being isolated under the control of corrupt people. They treated me from the get-go like I was a criminal, although I was extremely well-behaved (only received one 'restriction' there, no doubt for some ridiculous purpose that I can't even remember), and insisted (going with the assumption that I was a kid that was going down the wrong path in life) that everything I had improved and every new aspiration and goal I had set, starting anew years before, was incorrect and that I was too "sick" to see it. In short, they started to reverse my progress. Being used to being under the strict rule of others, I made my head hard and I rolled with the punches. I pretended to understand, but did not want to be involved in their teachings that, especially since I was already insightful and that made several of them angry, attacked me, discredited my progress and, in short, brainwashed people. Yes, I'd say that basically, CEDU was a brainwashing program. Those who stayed for two years basically had to succumb to their idiosyncratic notions and ideas of how one should conduct oneself each day. It made itself out to be magical and useful in acheiving dreams, but that is honestly a load of crap. My phone calls were monitored, mail from my stepbrother was thrown away before I could read it, lies were told, atrocious punishments were implemented, personal viewpoints were discounted, and negociation with students was not a concept they were at all familiar with. I think CEDU started as a noble program, but it fell fast. It requires a very delicate balance to efficiently carry out it's purpose in helping kids, which, first and foremost, requires the hiring of very qualified people, as well as caring. This was not done, especially as I'd see the middle school students being restrained by untrained staff. There were unjust things going on, i.e., the rule that we can call social services (or whoever it was) whenever and wherever we found it necessary, but were indirectly punished if it really ever happend, and had to hear from others constantly about how 'magical' and 'beneficial' it was to people's kids. We could not object, and, if we did, we were discredited- for clearly we, the sick delinquents, were too caught in our dwindling lifestyles to understand the degree to which they were helping us. Anyhow, after 7 months I was finally pulled out and was able to (finally!) attend a local public school (in vermont, near my home), graduate, and go to college in Los Angeles (Loyola Marymount Univ.- with no help from cedu, who encouraged my parents to forbid me from applying to college so that I could receive the full and beneficial Cedu 'education'). I know a majority of the staff hired were not evil, and were rather oblivious to what was going on,which was very much the problem. Others had their own personal issues-and they came in bundles. These issues greatly affected the way they viewed us and often we were the butt of their own mental breakdowns. Never had I been so terrified in my life. My life is now quite successful, and I am generally happy. However, like your daughter, I often have terrible nightmares and post-trauma that I cannot kick. Thoughts of that dark place often lurk through my mind, and I am sometimes so consumed by them that I burst into tears and break down. I feeel that visiting the place will perhaps help me overcome this, but I do not know if that is possible. Anyhow, I would love to hear your responses to any of this, and I just wanted to say that it is nice to have someone validating those of us who suffered. You are one in a growing number. I am quite sorry for your daughter too; going through cedu at such a young age, even for the duration of 4 months, must have been terrifying& scarring. I hope she is doing well and getting on with her life, as I do the rest of the people who have had to suffer through cedu. Warmest regards, Alison May

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