Update Or Rather Lack Of on Dunn Versus Happy Hill Farm aka North Central Texas Academy (Glen Rose)
Update Or Rather Lack Of on Dunn Versus Happy Hill Farm aka North Central Texas Academy (Glen Rose)
16 October 2009 at 3:33:51 PM
Previous post on this. The comments from Ed Shipman regarding the employment form that requires one to take a religious test reminded me that I hadn\'t checked status on the civil case that was filed last year against Happy Hill (update: 2013- Happy Hill is now renamed North Central Texas Academy). The last time there was a filling was in February of 2009. A short recap. This is from the filing which you can look up for yourself in the Somervell County Courthouse and naturally until the case goes to court or, as per the defendants wishes, a summary judgment is given that would preclude going to court, the outcome is not decided. In some cases, I have excluded some info and abbreviated-if you want to see exactly what is said, go look at the case.
Case # C09983 Brian Dunn, Janel Dunn & Leisel Moseley versus Happy Hill Farm Academy/Home & Happy Hill Farm children\'s Home Endowment Fund, Happy Hill Farm Children\'s Home Inc aka Dallas Cowboys Courage House and/or the Entities that employed Plaintiffs as of the date of their discharge.
The Plaintiffs filed an objection to the affidavit of Todd Shipman. The affidavit "states that the Defendant Happy Hill Farm operates under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services".
Argument by the Plaintiffs (which, again, must be proven in court)
Defendants admit that Plaintiffs reported violations of the law to law enforcement entities wrongly prescribing drugs to minors. After they made this report, they were discharged by Defendant Happy Hill Farm.
Defendant Motion of Summary Judgment should be overruled. Plaintiffs have provided some evidence that Def HHF is a treatment facility and mental health facility as required by Section 161.134 of the Texas Health & Safety Code.
Because Plaintiffs have provided some evidence that Defendant Happy Hill is not operated under the jurisdiction of a state or federal agency and because Defendant Happy Hill Farm has failed to establish that such exemption applies to it as a matter of law, Defendant HHF is not exempt from Plaintiff\'s claims under Section 242.133 of the Texas Health & Safety Code.
Because Plaintiff has provided some evidence that Defendant HHF Foundation is related to Def HHF, it should not be dismissed from the case.
... Def HHF would not and did not take any governmental funding .. was not operated under the jurisdiction of any state or federal agency, is not license as a school by TEA... has a $14 million endowment (Endowment Trust). Todd & Ed are officers/board members of both entities.
Janel Dunn reported to TDPS a violation of law that Grace B****r, RN, was improperly executing prescriptions for children without authority to do so and that Dr John Michael White was involved in the improper execution of prescriptions for children. Plaintiffs Brian & Janel Dunn were deeply concerned over such unsupervised and improper execution of prescriptions posed serious health risks to the children at Defendant facilities. Plaintiff Brian Dunn reported these same issues to his supervisor, Susan Blair. A few days after he reported these issues his employment was terminated by Defendant.
Update: According to a commenter, below, this case is on appeal.
Once again only one side of this story is being published here. There are always two sides to every story. Happy Hill Farm Academy has been in existence since 1975. It has been licensed by TDPS for a very long time. Annual reviews are done. If there were any kind of purposeful impropriety it would have been brought to light over these many years. The Founders, the long term staff, the thousands of children who have been helped, the huge influential donors, the dedicated Board of Directors would have reported any kind of abuse or impropriety. The truth is kids have been loved, educated and sent into the world better equipped to lhandle life. Families have been healed by all the hard work done by all the dedicated, long-term staff. Happy Hill has employed hundreds of happy and satisfied people. Can we stop this now. What's wrong with you people? Why do you continue to seek to sensationalize by not reporting impartially? Why don't you come and see for yourself? Why don't you spell the people's names correctly that you are reporting on? Why would you aid and abet hurting the future of children who might be educated and helped at Happy Hill by continuing this craziness? Let it rest and move on to something else.
@cookie. The case is public record. As mentioned in the story above, anyone can read the entire filed civil case by going down to Somervell County court house. A court will determine whether the claims are true or false at some later date, unless the case is dismissed with a summary judgement.
I'd have to agree this time with cookie on this one. It's time to give Happy Hill Farm a rest. They do decent work and until one of us puts in the hours for next to nothing pay that those folks do in order to better kids lives, we'd best hush. If there is indeed "news" to report out of there, stay after it, but if you are stretching...........and stretching to bad mouth them......let it go. There is plenty to "report" on in Somervell County without wearing out the people out there.
@SomervellSally-there is no *stretching* to report bad news about Happy Hill but rather a recap of what is filed publicly. Any time there is a lawsuit againt a person or entity, it is public information. My recap says nothing about whether the plaintiffs actually have a case or not, that will be up to the court system to decide.
Just because time has passed in a slow moving judicial system and an organization makes changes to its appearence, does not mean issues regarding the health or well being of children should ever be "laid to rest"... it doesn't matter how long it takes, how much good the organization did for many children, or what is being done now. If one child was ever put at risk, under any circumstances, that is one child too many. The good done for some does not cancel out the harm done to others... no matter what.
The face under the mask worn by an organization in public will eventually be revealed... no matter how pretty the landscape, how well dressed the children, or how kind the face of the spokeman is. Deceptive hearts and actions will be revealed... that is the thing that time (who knows how long) will tell... until then people can assume whatever they want about either side... no one but those directly involved (and God) know how things happened and what harm may have or have not been done. Until that point there is no reason to hush up... kids are still there and people still don't know the truth.
Should I be worried if I were looking into Happy Hill regarding my child? This is actually the first item I've reached, but plan to research more... my next stop is their website. Should I look anywhere else?
I just finished reading the other 2 posts I found of yours just by clicking on the links in each to go to a prior post. Interesting details... some of the anonymous are boosting HHF so much it makes them appear that they are financially involved etc. I havent made it to the actual website yet, but it's open on another tab for me to get to in a minute... See, our daughter is a bit troubled. shes 13.. shes had some occurances in her life lately that we are not capable of healing her from. She needs counselng and direction. Christian direction... emo, screamo, thick eyeliner under & over eyes etc. misdirection from friends, boys boys boys. We'd love to see her as the happy girl she was only a year and a half ago... she actually looked and acted her age instead of trying to be 17-20... HHF is not the only avenue we were looking at, but it was one of the first thoughts being as we live close enough. Any thoughts?
We've had a number of people comment pro and con including Mr Shipman. I can't say if it's a good school or not; I only know it had a lawsuit pending against it, had a guy arrested for impropriety with one of the minors, and used to use a religious test to decide who would work there. I have heard, informally, that they changed their IRS status in the last year.
Sorry about your daughter, it's hard to raise children, eh? Hugs to you!
Thank you. Yes, it's tough to raise children, especially nowadays. I am second to youngest of 8 children all from same parents. My siblings were born from 1962 to 1975. I am 1973. I don't know how my Mom ever survived with any sanity left! But things were slightly different then too. I have two kiddos, 13 yr old daughter and 10 yr old son... sometimes I'm surprised I am not grey headed yet! (My husband is starting to get that way lol) Thanks for your advice to check things out further. I do keep an open mind and try to see all good and bad then weigh each.
@ SmallTownGirl, I would say do more research, I had my children there, but have taken them out. I will not say anything negative, but I always wished I did more research. It did not work for me, it may work for you I wish you good luck in your search.
Hmm.. I personally attended Happy Hill Farm Academy, and can attest that Nurse Grace and that creepy Dr. White administered drugs to children in an improper manner. Many of the children when I was there bragged about how easy it was to obtain amphatemines from them by simply saying ' I'm having problems focusing in school.' To test it out, I did the same, and they prescribed me amphatemines that I could not stop taking because they forced me to take it every day from then on. Apart from the comments about all the children they helped, all the children they just threw away, are omitted from record giving them an excellent record. I hope this helps to shed some light on how they treat children there apart from all the other very positive messages above. And about the comment to just go see for yourself, you know they just show you thir star children living in the Cowboy house that are treated very different than the rest of the children. That is a terrible, terrible place that makes children take harmful prescription drugs, and I feel it has ruined a big piece of my life. It's a very miserable place to stay and I hope anybody that reads this finds a different place to put their children, for your family's sake.
Thank God that those with a story silenced by such a "wholesome Christian ministry" have a place (here) to share the things weighing on their hearts... it may be a small town blog, but as of right now 4452 views to this post have been made! Praise God for truth being revealed... Thank you to the Salon for giving those silenced a voice. I hope one day you do a blog topic just for those folks...
Thank God there are "higher courts" than district courts! No merit?!? That's almost laughable. It had enough merit to completely change the face of an organization... enough merit to cause most of the original board and wealthy donors to terminate their support... enough merit to cause recruitment of students to come from overseas (conveniently minimizing parental involvement)... enough merit to change it's licensing with the state... enough merit to change it's name and bury the darker side of HHF in the millions of websites that pop up in Google... and I am sure enough merit to cause those with secrets to hide to lose sleep at night wondering when the truth will finally come out.
@anonymous -if you would like, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org -would love to hear and talk about the other side of this -also reminded that happy hill is now called north central texas academy -we do wonder if that change was made also to comply w the requirements of being 5013c -we believe they were violating tax rules previously by having a religious test for employment . One more thing -although I didn't post about all the details I'd this case so as not to possibly prejudice any potential jurors , I read the whole thing , including all of Todd shipmans deposition. Quite eye opening
I do agree that the farm did a lot to help a lot of kids, and my wife and I still keep up with many of the kids that left the farm, their lives having been turned around because of the experience. However, I will say that there was some suspicious activity going on with the administration when we were coordinators there. There was suspicion among many of the coordinators that our farm phone lines were being monitored, which was not part of any kind of agreement we signed. Things that coordinators said in private phone conversations were somehow found out. Many of us began using our personal cells to make calls, which was difficult due to the lack of cell service there. One coordinator even tested that theory and prearranged a conversation with his fiance' on his personal farm phone in his apartment where he made some outlandish statements that he and his fiance' both planned ahead of time, and he was called into the office the next day and questioned about the comments and then fired. He asked them where they got their information from, because he had never told anyone about it and that it was all false, and that they only way they could have known was if they had tapped his phone line since kids are not allowed in coordinator quarters. They could never answer it, but fired him anyway. We could not access the internet unless we bought a "special modem" from the farm, which they wanted back when we left, on good terms, I might add. When they only offered us 1/4 of what we paid for the modem to get it back, we refused, and they threw an absolute fit almost to the point of threatening. I think that the original intent of the farm was a great idea, but in recent years, with the change in leadership, it became more about money than ministry. We see it now with it being a boarding school instead of a place for at-risk kids. Saddens me, really. There were those kids that resisted what the farm was trying to do to help them, and many of them left the farm before graduation or reverted back to their old lifestyles after leaving. But there were those that are better people now because of their time at the farm, so for that, I applaud the farm's program. We use some of the principles of discipline we learned there with our own kids now.
Can you explain the process on how people can get the court records like Todd Shipman's complete deposition (as well as all other parties' depositions)?? Those testimonies would be enlightening to all interested persons, prospective students/ parents, and supporters. From their website it appears that a new name did not bring new management.
@anonymousone- These are open records. Anyone can do an open records request as long as you know the file name, court case #, etc, and the information will be sent to you, at a cost, but the sheer thickness of that file make it better to go in and look at the file. You can make copies from the case but I have also found over the last few years that an Iphone works great for taking photos of the pages. (I wasn't using an iphone when I last looked at the file). Copies can get to be quite expensive and I believe they are at least $1.00 per page, so you see the advantage of bringing your own camera source.
How to find a case. Go down to Somervell County courthouse and go look at the district cases that are filed. If you aren't sure where the indexes are, ask the employees in the front behind the counter, they will be happy to show you. Each one will have a case # associated with it. I can't remember how the cases are sorted in the index but seems like it wasn't by date. Once you find the case, make a note of the case # and ask the courthouse employees who are sitting in the front section if you can please look at the file. The other thing you can do is, since you know the case #, go back and find it in the stacks to read. First time, you won't know exactly where to look, though, so best to ask.
@former coordinator. Ugh on being spied upon. I'm with you that if part of the conditions for being an employee is the expectation that you have no private life and your phone calls will be monitored, then that should have been clearly spelled out in the employment contract.
@Jpaden- It's my understanding, as I have looked at the lawsuit, that the people contesting this live in Hood County, not Chicago. I did allow your comment but please understand that allusions to President Obama in the future will prevent your post from being approved.
@Jpaden – Using your own logic: IF a “thief” can become President of the United States, how far fetched is it to assume that crooked doctors, lying nurses, and greedy school administrations can continue to operate in small towns?!?
Also, maybe you can define what the “discretionary” reasons were that made the DA not to move forward with the CRIMINAL charges? (See public records of the case) Forgive me for asking, but being from Chicago, maybe I am not smart enough to know how Texas justice works.
Hmmmm… by chance I wonder if you know Barbara Johnson?!? You know, the "teacher' from the other blog entry "Happy Hill Aka North Central Texas Academy PR in Wake of Lawsuit"?
Incidentally, one of the commenters, whose comments were not approved, mentioned that he thought Grace Barber and Dr White had not been disciplined I don't know about Dr White but I was curious about Grace Barber, so looked on the Texas Board of Nursing site. Found this document. from Nov 2 2008 in which she did receive disciplinary action.
The document says, in part "On or about February 7, 2008 through April 1, 2008, while employed as a registered nurse with Happy Hill Farm Academy Home, Granbury, Texas, Respondent prescribed and wrote prescriptions for Concerta, a Schedule II Controlled Substance, for Patient MR, on official prescription pads which were pre-signed by Joe Michael White, MD for Patient MR. Furthermore, Respondent provided a prescription for Concerta to Patient MR, even though the patient had not beeen seen bgy Joe Michael White, MD. The prescription provided to Patient MR was a continuation of an identical to the prescription he was on from his treating physician. Patient MR subsequently was seen by Joe Michael White, MD who confirmed and continued the prescription given. There is no reason to believe that MR was injured or adversely affected by the prescription provided by Respondent.
In response to Finding of Fact Number (7) Respondent stated these prescriptions were used between Dr White's visits and only to refill a prescription. Respondent states that Patient MR's family had requested Dr White to be the Patient MR's physician. The facility's normal practice was to fax the new patient information and a verbal order form. Respondent states that she must have forgotten to fax the information to Dr White's office. Respondent was unaware that she should not have used the pre-signed prescription pads until she was notified on April 25, 2008, by the Texas Department of Public Safety, during an investigation into the matter. Respondent turned in the remaining prescription pads to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
On MY 11, 2008, Respondent underwent a polygraph test, which was administered by Doug Sutton, Lubbock Texas, and complete on May 11, 2008. According to Mr Sutton there was "No Deception Indicated" regarding diversion of controlled substances. Respondent takes full responsibility for her actions and since this incident a new system for prescriptions has ben implemented.
...The evidence received is sufficient to prove violation of Section 301.452(b)(1), Texas Occupations Code and 22 Tex Admin Code 217.11(1)(A) and (S) 22 Tex Admin Code 217(1)(B)
The evidence received is sufficient cause pursuant to Section 301.452(b), Texas Occupations Code to take disciplinary action against Registered Nurse LIcense Number 410439, heretofore issued to Grace E Barber, including revocation of Respondent's license to practice professional nursing in the State of Texas.
page 4 of the order, which I will not put here indicates that Barber had to do remedial educatoin with a fine, and as long as the order was in effect, could not work outside of Texas with a multistate licensure privilege. She had to turn in her license, and pay a $250 fine, and that, once the order had been complied with, she would be issued an unencumbered license and multistate licensure privileges.
"The evidence received is sufficient cause pursuant to Section 301.452(b), Texas Occupations Code to take disciplinary action against Registered Nurse LIcense Number 410439, heretofore issued to Grace E Barber,including revocation of Respondent's license to practice professional nursing in the State of Texas."
Is she still practicing nursing in Texas?
28 - ShortTerm12ThisIsGrace
17 Jan 2016 @ 2:51:20 AM
I went to HHF for less than a year, but I will never forget my experience there. I have many health problems both mentally and physically, and I was given medications by Grace. Due to my gastro health problems, I was unable to eat the cafeteria food. However, to be fair, I wasn't aware of my condition at the time I was enrolled, but it was frustrating how nobody believed me and thought I was faking the stomach pain when in it was actually my Celiac Disease flaring up.
Because of my extreme weight loss, Grace gave me protein pills. I don't recall any doctor being involved re this. I was also given Clonidine to help with sleep by the psychiatrist at the farm, however -- I later learned that my personal psychiatrist was never informed of this. I made many requests to go home and see my doctors, but they were denied by the staff because I was "being taken care of" by their doctors.
I remember once that I passed out during athletics due to low blood pressure caused by the medication and poor nutrition, but I was not taken to the ER as I requested. Instead, I was sent back to the unit and given orange juice.
While enrolled, I pretty much just accepted this as their "tough love" philosophy. I was only a young teenager, and I was from the city, so I just sort of figured this was part of being one of the "tough country folk". I actually looked down on myself for not being able to handle their philosophy and felt inferior and weak. I had a nervous breakdown which ultimately led to my parents removing me from the school in order to go into a psych hospital. I didn't say much about the HHF practices while hospitalized, because I just didn't think much of it.
Later, however, while attending a normal private school, I started to realize that their treatment of me was actually quite inhumane. Why would anybody be denied the right to see their physician? What authority did they have to keep me from going to the ER? They never took me seriously when I voiced my health concerns, and my condition ultimately worsened with each day I was there.
I was never a "troubled teen". I attended in hopes of working through my mental illness, but this was only exhasperated by the farm's philosophy. I was told that my mental illness wasn't real, and was even laughed at when I explained my situation to somebody. (In all honesty, I do remember his name, but I won't say. His job, I think, was similar to a coordinator, but was over their heads. Perhaps he managed them? I don't know, but I do know that there was one for girls and one for boys.)
I told my parents all that had happened. They contemplated filing a suit, but I talked them out of it due to the many residents who considered HHF their home and had no true family outside the farm. It took a long time for my health to recover, and I do sometimes regret not going through with the suit. The statue of limitations has passed, so I will never be able to make a claim against them.
Happy Hill was not a good place for the mentally ill. Yes, I made some great friends and do keep in contact with them as well as coordinators/coaches/teachers, but HHF did great harm and absolutely no good re my disorder. I, and especially my parents, will always be emotionally scarred by my experiences there. I wish I had said something sooner.
I worked at Happy Hill 14 years ago. At the time the kids seemed to have the best of everything. The meals were home cooked and they had a housekeeping crew that worked hard to keep things deep cleaned. They have the kids go to chaple so they can hind behind the non profit label. The problem I had was Admin decided they had over paid me and took half my pay check away without any notice which is aganist the law unless court ordered. They also had worker working without the proper safety equipment. One man was ordered down into a sweage tank without any protection!!!! They hide behind the Christian thing and they are far from walking the talk.
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