Leaders at Adriel school and group home say they are “saddened and concerned” about developments in the past week that have resulted in the arrest of five juveniles and two being sought by authorities in connection with an automobile theft.
“We are saddened and concerned any time a youth chooses to leave the safety and security of the Adriel campus,” president and CEO Kay Wyse said in a prepared statement. “Our foremost concern is their safety and well-being. We understand that many of their actions are the result of the maltreatment they have experienced at the hands of their family and/or others. It has always been and remains Adriel’s mission to serve youth who have been rejected by others. This leads to the potential for working with youth who display very challenging behaviors.”
The West Liberty group home has been criticized in recent months by village residents who say they do not feel safe living around the school.
“I believe it important to remind the community that Adriel is not a locked facility,” Ms. Wyse wrote. “The youth here are not locked up; nor are they forced to remain on campus. Adriel staff is not permitted to physically restrain any child unless that child has placed himself/herself or another human in imminent danger. At the times when Adriel staff are no longer able to monitor the youth via sight and sound, we call the police for assistance.”
She went on to praise the authorities that help deal with issues when they spill over into the community.
“We are thankful for the support and assistance provided by the West Liberty Police Department and other first responders as we continue to serve these youth. We are also grateful to be part of a community that understands the importance of the work done at Adriel and continues to support the mission of helping kids in need.”
In the prior week, West Liberty Police Chief Shane Oelker reports his officers responded to one incident April 1, another on Saturday, two on Monday and two in the early morning hours Tuesday.
From those incidents, five juveniles face delinquency charges and two 15-year-old girls were wanted in connection with the theft of a motor vehicle from the Green Hills Community campus.
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