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Posted October 9, 2004 

Tragedy at Montana school
by Ken Kay - President WWASP

October 8, 2004

Spring Creek Lodge (SCL), the school for troubled teens close to Thompson Falls, MT, announced last night that a student had committed suicide at the school.

The identity of the girl and the exact manner of death are not being released at the request of the family.

“We are all in a state of complete shock,” said Chaffin Pullen, chief of operations at the school. “Clearly we are deeply saddened by this event and are most of all devastated for the family.”

Pullen added that the girl, from Denver, CO, was under the supervision of a professional counselor and had also seen a psychiatrist since arriving at the school.

SCL was acutely aware of the girl’s fragility and had placed her on “high risk” observation. She had recently been removed from “high risk” after showing definite signs of improvement, a move that required the signatures of four SCL staff members who had direct contact with the girl, including the head of the school’s clinical mental health services.

Pullen said that he will be launching a detailed and immediate investigation into the events leading to the girl’s death. “We will be making sure that this kind of tragedy cannot happen again,” he said.

SCL was arranging for grief counselors to attend to students at the school in the coming days.

The suicide was the first at SCL, which opened in 1996. Since the opening, more than 3,500 teens have attended SCL.

Ken Kay
President, WWASPS
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St. George, Utah 84790

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