WTF

Barre Police Are Being Used As A Private Baby Sitter Service For $60 Million Seven Hills Foundation Stetson School Who Can’t Keep Their Dangerous Students On Campus

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The Stetson School is a residential school in Barre that is part of the Seven Hills Foundation and serves high risk kids with a variety of issues. From their website:

Stetson School’s integrated model includes psycho-education, cognitive-behavioral therapy, insight-oriented and relationship-based psychodynamic therapy, and behaviorally-oriented treatment, as well as psychopharmacology. Treatment interventions are geared toward the age, needs, and cognitive capacities of youth, including a clear recognition of the needs and capacities of our younger preadolescent youth and youth with intellectual disabilities.

It’s all fine and dandy and all, but the school isn’t very good at keeping track of the kids, nor are they good at keeping them from accessing dangerous weapons. The other day the Barre PD posted this:

Oh good, an armed and dangerous, mentally unbalanced kid is walking around Barre with an axe. Perfectly normal. Thirty-five minutes later the story was updated.

Now it’s completely gone from their page. This happens a lot:

Like it did on June 7.

Again on June 14.

August 12

September 26

And in January a former employee had her car stolen:

From the Turtlegram:

The SUV owner, Katie Berthiaume, who lives about a quarter-mile from the school, said she worked at Stetson School for nearly 10 years as a special education teacher and special education director. She said she left the institution because she felt that its students were increasingly dangerous and violent.

“It put her in a difficult spot,” Ms. Berthiaume said. “We did get the vehicle back, but to the tune of a few hundred dollars to pay towing fees and deal with the insurance company and all that. My husband took a day off from work unpaid (Thursday) to help me take care of all this stuff. It’s pretty upsetting.”

“We’ve had helicopters over our house looking for students. We’ve had police dogs on our property looking for students.”

This is insane. The people of Barre basically have to live in constant fear because the Stetson School can’t do the one thing they’re supposed to do above all else – keep the kids in the school.

But wait, according to the Stetson School’s website they already have that covered.

Our residential treatment program is a place for treatment rather than simply a placement for youth. The caring environment provides around-the-clock structure and supervision while members of the interdisciplinary treatment team provide an environment that supports behavioral and emotional safety.

I don’t think they understand what supervision means.

My question is, why is the police department deleting all of these posts? Because they take them all down after they find these kids in someone’s backyard. It’s almost as if the Stetson School doesn’t like the bad publicity, but also uses taxpayer funded resources to clean up a mess that was really their fault to begin with.

Then again, this is the same town that fired their police chief three years ago because he was “too nice.”

Why is the town acting as the full time bounty hunter for this organization? Why does Seven Hills not provide them with security? This is a dangerous population of boys they’re dealing with, and clearly what they’re doing right now isn’t cutting it. Are they waiting for someone to get seriously injured or die? Because that can happen when dangerous young men are carrying around weapons and stealing cars. It’s not like the Seven Hills Foundation can’t afford an investment. Their President, Dr. David Jordan, collected a salary of $315,861 according to their 2013 tax return.

The town has tried to work with the school, but has not been met halfway:

During its Sept. 3 meeting, the board said Stetson officials have been unwilling to participate in a public board meeting. Instead, it wants to meet on its own terms at the school. On Aug. 29, the school’s lawyer wrote a letter to town counsel stating that the board gave the impression selectmen “view the students as prisoners who must be kept inside the property boundaries at all costs.”

So they wouldn’t meet with the town whose resources they use to profit because the town views the students as prisoners who must be kept inside at all costs? Well, yea. That’s what it is. If the kids were allowed to leave then this wouldn’t be an issue. But they’re not. Because it’s a residential school for dangerous boys. From their website:

In March of 2013 Stetson School became an affiliate of the Seven Hills Foundation of Worcester, Mass. The school has since undergone a welcomed change in managerial staff and overcome many of its past problems. They have since shifted their custodial model from providing care for male children with sexual behavior problems to attachment-oriented, trauma-informed, and developmentally sensitive treatment.”

Seven Hills Foundation brings in over $60 million a year in revenue and pays out more than $42 million in staff salaries.

You hire full time private security, or you pay the town for a detail cop. Or you build a wall. Something. All I know is using the police in the manner they are now is unacceptable. Especially since the police are literally starting a GoFundMe for a K-9 to track these kids down.

A police department doing a GFM to keep the town safe. That’s just embarrassing.

Either way, the town should probably tell the Stetson School to get their shit together or move to Webster. Don’t wanna come to the board of selectman meeting to discuss a town issue? No problem. Have fun in Webster.

 

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40 Comment(s)
  • Concerned Citizen
    March 29, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    When a journalist has only pieces of information for a story it is unethical to fill in the blanks with opinion. The sheer volume of inaccuracies in your body of work covering this SCHOOL is overwhelming.
    Some enterprising lawyer is going to have a field day referencing your provocative posts when you are identified as co-conspirator in a wrongful death suit after one of these Barre reactionaries shoots an ABUSED CHILD in their backyard. Words are dangerous, especially when read by zealous armed citizens with “a cause” coupled with a lack of interest in becoming part of a real solution.
    I’m a fan TB…but you’re better than this, so be better. You are inciting idiot commenters who are posting thinly veiled threats of violence directed at CHILDREN who are repeatedly referred to as monsters.
    Are you going to be able to sleep at night; wondering if your words contributed to the DEATH of a CHILD who, by no fault of his own, was subjected to horrific abuses early in his life and then subjected to another level of abuse when exposed to the judgement and violent reactions of a gaslit community? Is that worth a few new readers coming to your site?
    Please consider trying to be more objective in future coverage of this issue. Your financial perspective is way off base and extraneous. If you are as concerned about minimizing violence as you say in your article then please stop pouring fuel onto an emotional community ready to explode. Those citizens and damaged children need supportive and solution-based reporting, not another reason to blindly follow a campaign of misinformation and fear.

  • SMH
    Build the WALL
    March 12, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Build a fence around these facilities because walls work. Concord’s detention school has a fence as does the prison, because walls work.

    Arlington taxpayers also fund at least one police position to chase group home runaways and take assault reports of students against staff or other students. This, even after the largest home for bad girls closed.

  • BB53
    March 11, 2019 at 11:39 am

    I think if you check back a few years you will see one of the little angels escaped and murdered someone in Philly.

    • Rick Robinson
      March 11, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Link or GTFO

  • Sport
    March 10, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Great story but this also doesn’t touch on the BFD resources being drained to assist with these kids on a weekly basis. The fire Dept takes atleast one or two of these kids a week to the local hospitals as Section 12s (psychiatric evaluations) sometimes more often than twice and it’s not uncommon to take 2 in one night when they run away together. Thus causing the town ambulance to be Unavailable for a minimum of 2 hours and sometimes both ambulances. So the moral of the story is that when these kids run away and don’t want to go back to school they request an ambulance causing the paramedics and emts to leave the town uncovered for real emergencies such as heart attacks, fires and car accidents.

    • Peggy
      March 11, 2019 at 1:00 am

      I have seen too much- the issue is not the kids. The issue continues to be the staff, the management. Directors, case managers, clinicians. It’s all a joke on the towns expense. The kids are given drugs, allowed cell phones, go off campus steal from stores. Lies being told to the court to keep kids happy or on their good side. The place needs a clean house starting with the group home.

  • True justice
    March 10, 2019 at 1:00 am

    The citizens of Barre should not have to live in fear of these monsters. The administrators at the school needs to start controlling little Walpole before someone gets killed.

  • Mike Leach
    March 9, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Government by its nature is reactive. And unlike a private entity who is primarily motivated by results; this school is more concerned with process, results not so much.

  • Emily
    March 9, 2019 at 10:12 am

    This scares me to DEATH since my daughter and grandchildren live in Barre. I can only assume that the all mighty dollar is the bottom line for the seven hills foundation. People in charge of that foundation need to step it up. Maybe if they didn’t get the paycheck they get or maybe lived in the town in question they would get it. Scary situation all the way around

  • Independent Thinker
    March 9, 2019 at 9:03 am

    This is why all law abiding citizens should be armed. Something is wrong when an announcement goes out that someone has escaped who is considered to be dangerous, or that people should lock themselves in their homes. As if that is going to do any good. Beside, why should good people be locked up in their homes? Dangerous people who have committed violent acts are the ones who should be locked up, for good.

    This is also an example of why we don’t want these types of institutions in our towns. If the progressives east of 128 feel it is so important, then let them stick one in Newton or Wellesley.

    • Dependent Thinker
      March 9, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      I’ll just wait for the police. That should be enough.

      • Independent Thinker
        March 10, 2019 at 9:20 am

        If you are going to wait for the police, please ask the bad guy for a time out in order to give the police enough time to respond.

        • Dependent Thinker
          March 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm

          Noted.

  • Rick Robinson
    March 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Having worked there under the previous admin I hate to see the students and staff vilified when the problem is the administration. Seven Hills took over and appointed an administrator who up-ended programming allowing this chaos. These young people need rules and structure, there must be consequences when they break the rules. Unfortunately that’s not what happens, they are allowed to do as they please without reprisals….there is behavioral programming in place but administrators don’t support implementation and often staff are undermined by admin when when they try. There are many fine and devoted people that work there and we should keep in mind that just as shit rolls downhill so does bad management.

  • Concerned parent
    March 8, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    A few years ago I interviewed there for the nursing position. I was told by the woman interviewing me that the majority of the boys there had a history of raping, or sexual assault. They are violent and most had been in trouble with the law. These are kids that their parents can’t control and can’t take care of. They should be treated as criminals and not like free people who contribute to society. Anyways when they started telling me that they would train me on how to restrain the boys and throw them in a padded room I walked out!!
    I now currently have a 13 year old daughter who goes to Quabbin which is a stone throws away from Stetson. (Good planning) my daughter was at a BB game with her friends recently when one of these little assholes escaped and made his way to the school where he was found in the gym. Fabulous! A sexual deviant roaming free near a bunch a teenage girls. What could have gone wrong.
    Seven hills needs to do something before they hurt someone!! They may be teenagers but they are criminals!

    • Emily
      March 9, 2019 at 10:16 am

      My grandchildren also go to quabbin… scares me to death!

  • Hugh-Bo Mont
    March 8, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Put ankle bracelets, like the ones used for house arrest, on the kids.

  • Big Wick
    March 8, 2019 at 9:36 am

    “Stetson School’s integrated model includes psycho-education, cognitive-behavioral therapy…” and more psycho-this and psycho-that. What a bunch of psychobabble BS. Fence, razor wire, armed guards, dogs. Electroshock and lobotomies might do wonders as well.

  • Captain Trips
    Captain Trips
    March 8, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Place should be run like a prison. Problem kids are sent there. Place is too lenient.

    Some tough love, ‘Scared Straight’ modalities are in order there.

  • Kermit the nod
    March 7, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Wow. This is a tough population. I can see both points of view; the program doesn’t want to institutionalize the patients. Their change in treatment modality is a clear admission that they aren’t interested in having security. On the contrary, these are boys with incredibly dysfunctional sexual and often times violent behaviors. I mean come on; put up a damn fence. Hire security that monitors from the basement and appears when needed. These agencies are all so damn cheap. I bet staff to patient ratios are terrible. And for that matter, who the fuck wants to work there? Without protection? For, guaranteed, crap pay?!?

  • Samantha harper
    March 7, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    I worked as a supervisor there for 2 years! It was terrible. The people who run the place do not care at all about the treatment the kids are there for. They are so worried about the kids calling their lawyers that they give the kids whatever they want. Case managers who hide reports from the judges to make it look like the kid is doing good at stetson. Case managers and staff who give kids vape pens, cell phones and weed. When I reported all of this stuff to my director she told me not to document or report these things. When I reported her to the higher administrators I was put on administrative leave. They ignored all phone calls and emails until I called my lawyer. They brought me back from administrative leave telling me they had no reason to put me on leave to begin with. That same day I went back to work I continued to report and they put me right back on leave and ignored me again until I sent an email to all of the top people at seven hills and stetson bullet pointing every thing that goes on there. Five minutes later they called wanting to have a meeting.
    They will hide everything there. They constantly run out of ratio leaving 1 staff with 12 kids. The ratio is supposed to be 1 staff to 3 kids.
    If you want names and more info about this feel free to email

    • Y
      March 8, 2019 at 11:17 am

      TBS – Get in contact with this person!

  • murdochpatsymcreynolds
    Old Tom Morris
    March 7, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Build a wall? I thought the Turtleboy staff is against building walls.

  • Non Profit My Ass
    March 7, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    There should be a limit on the salaries that these scumbags are paid. 300k? Really. There is no one qualified that will run the place for 100k? Corrupt as fuck.

  • z
    March 7, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    My sister worked for a smaller version of this kind of place.

    The “students” were driven in every day to “School”.
    There was one attendant for each “Student”.
    At no time was any other staff supposed to be one on one with the “Student”.
    Even with an attendant more than 1 staffer was shived with a pencil.
    Also some staff broken arms.

    And you know what happens when these “Students” Graduate?
    They are left to fend for themselves in the regular world.
    The state isn’t going to pay for their care and feeding once they are done with school.
    Unless they can figure out how to get SSI crazy money and welfare.
    Still, they’ll be on the street.

    My sister felt sorry for the kids but quit. She was about to get assaulted for them or killed.

  • Ron Tin Tin
    March 7, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I hope they are successful getting a K-9 unit. Every town should have one for more reasons than just this. The school should step up and purchase the dog and car too. It’s not like they haven’t worn out their welcome with all the times they have probably called the police

  • R. Lee Ermey
    March 7, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    A 30 foot wall with razor wire, guard towers on all four corners and hungry German shepherds prowling the grounds will cut down on escapees.

  • Deval Patrick
    March 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Nonprofit is just code for lotsaprofit to the right individuals. Barre PD’s pleas for help should be screenshotted so when an LTC holder blows away a student suffering from ‘trauma’ while he’s trying to rape his daughter, it has already been established that they are considered armed and dangerous and not safe.

  • Francis Sidebottom
    March 7, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Law enforcement officers are in thousands of schools around the country for many reasons , the 10 dollar a month subscription on this blog is because advertisers do not want to be associated with this blog therefore this blog creates an opinionated variation of situations to get you to give them your money

    • IT Guy
      March 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm

      If I ran this blog I would ban your IP.

      • Barry
        March 8, 2019 at 8:12 am

        The comments section is way better with this asshole. It’s good to have a few of these comments sprinkled throughout to remind readers that these people really do exist.

    • god
      March 7, 2019 at 6:54 pm

      Dr David Jordan! With your 300k salary you still are unable to afford the reasonable subscription free?

    • Big Wick
      March 8, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Still off your “psychopharmacology,” Francis? Take your meds. Get a grip. Of your pud. Maybe those will calm you down.

    • Kim Wescott
      TheCureForHope
      March 8, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Absolutely obsessed with us, huh Francis?

      Reading and commenting on EVERY SINGLE BLOG!!

      Bahahaha

  • randiguy2006
    Randall Guy
    March 7, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Same thing happens at the nursing home down the street.

    Cant we put these people down?

    • WeRFucked
      March 7, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      R-Gay… if the old timers are dangerous with and running around with an axe, then yes.

    • murdochpatsymcreynolds
      Randall Guy's Dad
      March 7, 2019 at 7:55 pm

      Randy, get back in the men’s room stall and earn your keep.

  • Maggie the Cat
    March 7, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Disgusting. These non-profits should be ashamed of themselves, but of course they’re not.

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