Utah boarding school loses license over death of teen in custody and instances of "severe physical neglect"

After a teenager died in agony of an easily-treated illness at the Diamond Ranch Academy in Utah, local authorities in the rural area made clear there would be no legal consequences for staff or the operators of the "troubled teen" facility. The state's Department of Health and Human Services, however, has withdrawn its license and a state medical review panel determined "breaches in the standard of care" occurred there.

It turns out they hadn't even told Taylor Goodridge's parents she was sick.

That report and the licensing decision show how Taylor's death exposed multiple issues at Diamond Ranch Academy. Acting separately, each authority concluded that school medical staff failed to provide life-saving care as Taylor suffered and eventually died at just 17-years-old. On December 20th, 2022, Diamond Ranch Academy called to say Taylor had suddenly passed away; her family hadn't known she was even sick. "I think about what she would have done later in life, and where she would have been," said Dean Goodridge, Taylor's dad. "During the memorial, I was the last one to see her, I'm the one who helped close the casket."

This story reminds me of residential teen camps like Elan, which meet most of the formal criteria of cults and tend to operate at the dead center of a venn diagram of religion, corruption and profit. The usual procedure at this point, where they can no longer depend on local authorities to shield them, is to move the camp elsewhere. Somewhere with a better place to hide things, perhaps.