This is a message to desperate parents out there. Parents of young folks who’ve made some bad choices here and there. Parents with loved ones they fear are taking dangerous roads in life. Parents of the psychologically troubled who just don’t want to have to deal with it.

Don’t you love your children? Don’t you want them safe? Don’t you want them both physically and mentally healthy? I’m sure you do. In that case, quit making such rash choices.

I’m talking, of course, about the plethora of shortsighted caregivers who have sent their children to places like Academy of Ivy Ridge, Robert Land Academy, Eagle Point Christian Academy, Thayer Learning Center, Provo Canyon, Tranquility Bay, Casa by the Sea, and dozens of other such facilities whose existence makes me violently ill.

Think about something. How did you folks hear about these places? How much did you know about them before deciding to pay them thousands and thousands of dollars to permanently scar and abuse your children? That’s right. You heard me. Scar and abuse. That is what has happened in the past. That is what is happening now at these places. That is what will continue to happen until people learn to grow a brain. The places listed above have injured, raped, and killed their students. I’m not kidding. I concede you probably didn’t know these places have done that, but that is no excuse.

Think about it. When you decide to buy a car, do you just buy the first one you see from the first lot you visit? Don’t you go to some length to be sure the car and the dealer are somewhat reliable? I’m sure you do. Even if something turned out wrong, you can fix it somehow. But you still checked stuff out and that’s smart. Another question. When you visit a gynecologist, if you so much as heard an obscure rumor that this doctor has sexually abused patients before, wouldn’t you find another doctor? You would. I mean, the rumor could be wrong, but who wants to take the risk? If you heard a restaurant near you was serving spoiled food, you sure as hell wouldn’t eat there, right?

So, tell me. Why on earth would you send someone whom you apparently love more than anything in the world to some place you’ve barely heard of and know little to nothing about and have never even seen, and seriously expect everything will turn out fine? Even if you did at least do a thorough search about these places, did you seriously miss all the websites of organizations and memorials warning people that these places are dangerous and have killed their students? Did you really believe that was all a crock and the facility’s own website had to be true? When your child’s well-being and even life are on the line, you still even took that chance?

Seriously. Look these places up! Don’t just read their own sales pitch. You know better than that. Read everything and anything you can get your hands on about these places. Keep an eye on the sources of information as well. You’ll learn everything you need to know.

Yes, NYRA is very much against these places for obvious youth rights reasons, but even so, if you follow everything I just said, I don’t need to give the whole “you should never send your kid to places like this” spiel. You will have figured that out on your own. Well, I should think anyway.

If you’ve done all this and you STILL think these behavior mod facilities, particularly ones whose programs have had students die in them, are what your child needs, here’s a better idea. Don’t contact these schools or camps. Contact your local family services office and let them know you are not a proper caregiver for these young people and that they need to remove your children from your custody and into foster care. You know why? Because it would be win-win. You’re too dumb or too clouded with irrational urges to be a safe parent to these youth, so they’d be away from you. Also, if you’re so desperate to send them away to a behavior mod facility, it looks more and more like what you really want is to not be burdened with their problems (however understandably emotional), and you just want your kids out of sight so you don’t need to think about it. This accomplishes that, too. Why not? You’re giving up your child either way. If you want to stay this person’s parent, then BE a parent. Don’t bury your head in sand as soon as things look difficult. There is NO excuse for that. Ever.