A 15-Year-Old Scappoose Boy Dies While Being Restrained at a High Desert Wilderness School
A 15-year-old Scappoose boy died while being "restrained" at a wilderness school in the Oregon high desert on Monday night after he exhibited "defiant behavior." A camp counselor with Bend-based Obsidian Trails has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in the death. It occurred at a remote location in Lake County in south Central Oregon. It was the first known death in Oregon within the controversial wilderness schools. They focus on putting children in the outdoors under harsh survival conditions to teach them discipline and responsibility. Last winter, an investigation of Obsidian Trails by The Oregonian found that it was employing family members connected with another death in Utah in a similar program, and that this industry is completely unregulated by Oregon authorities. William H. Edward Lee, 15, was pronounced dead Monday night at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, said David A. Schutt, the Lake County district attorney. The boy ". . . was standing and taken to the ground by the counselors," Schutt said, for defiant and disruptive behavior. "He was physically restrained. The person arrested was on his back." A second counselor, a woman, also held Lee for the five- to 15-minute struggle. When the boy stopped resisting, Schutt said, the woman counselor noticed he had stopped breathing.
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