Monday, November 1, 2010

State investigator letter details student attacks, sexual behavior at New Mexico center for students on autism spectrum

From KOB-TV in N.M.:

A letter written by a state investigator describes out-of-control students attacking each other and engaging in sexual behavior at a facility designed to monitor students with conditions like autism and Asperger's syndrome.

The letter is from the Children Youth and Families Department and was written to a company called Camelot that runs the facility in southeast Albuquerque. The letter was written in March after investigators documented sexual and physically violent incidents between several students.

In the letter, the state investigator expressed concern that Camelot did not have adequate supervision over its students.

CYFD Spokesperson Romaine Serna told KOB Eyewitness News 4 that Camelot is required to have at least one staff member for every three students, but that the requirement wasn't being followed.

"We had information that those ratios were not being followed and as a result of that there were some injuries or inappropriate behavior that occurred with the children at the facility," Serna said Thursday.

In the letter, the state ordered Camelot to follow a corrective action plan.

CYFD says Camelot has followed the state's corrective action plan and will remain licensed.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 wanted an explanation from Camelot itself about what was in the letter, but a company vice president refused to talk about what was documented.

"I'm just not comfortable doing that," Charlene Hoobler said over the phone.