January 10, 2009 should have been a day just like any other. At the ranch a 14 year old boy was in the final stages of his stay at the ranch, when he fell ill. The ranch located miles from the nearest town was not a place where you should fall ill.
Even ordinary illnesses could turn fatal and then of course the so-called counselors - the musclemen guarding the teenagers - have to be convinced that the complaints of one of the residents are not act planned to get them to transport the teenagers to a place where it is easier to escape. When the boy entered the hospital it was too late. His life was cut short and ended way too soon.
All that delay which is kind of ordinary when taken into the account that the victim lists of teenagers who have died while they were placed in such treatment programs are way too long. There is only one conclusion for parents thinking of sending their children to facilities like Diamond Ranch Academy: If you child have even the slightest health problems then keep them at home!
For the 14 year old James Richard "Jim" Shirey his stay at Diamond Ranch Academy ended with his death. Back in 2009 they tried to find the cause of his death several times. It is not clear whether the cause was found. Maybe the autopsy was performed locally under the stress of keeping jobs in a small community with few jobs and an economy under pressure. In fact it would not be the first time when the cause of death is altered to keep the facility out of the case. Just remember the Martin Lee Anderson case.
There is no reason to blame his parents. They fell for a very crafty marketing machine. How many websites are promoting to fix the problems of teenagers? Thousands!! A lot of the so-called educational consultants are paid by both the parents and the facilities when they recommend certain wilderness programs and facilities to the families. In fact most in the Ed-con industry would not be able to keep their business running if they were not small recruiting outlets for the wilderness programs and special boarding schools.
It is a business built on scams. Just look at the cases where parents have been made into believing that a certain boarding school is better than a local offer by a school district. Modern school district have experts. They know about the double payment educational consultants receive and they are no longer giving in. They take their day in court and they do often win.
But unfortunately parents are still being fooled. They don't have the knowledge professionals inside the education system have. They are easy pray, when parents in some cases are paid or given discount in exchange of praising a certain schools or wilderness programs.
It is easy to say that deaths can be accidental and fewer children dies at the ranch compared with other schools but when is a death one too much? We believe that every death is one too many and that even one death should result in an evaluation of the entire business.
The tragedy which took place on January 10, 2009 should have resulted in a suspension of the operations just as it has been the case with many other schools and wilderness programs. For reasons unknown to us it did not happen.
James Richard "Jim" Shirey got only 14 years in this world. May he rest in peace. We will pray that he is in a better place than the "hell ranch".