2017: Schroder pleads not-guilty. Trial August 2017

Joshua Schroder
From Goodyear Police Department

Joshua Michael Schroder was arrested February 2017 and charged with nine counts of sexual conduct with minor and two counts of contributing to delinquency of minor.

His victim was a Swedish foreign exchange student for whom he was the sponsor’s coordinator/representative. The student’s host-parents reported their suspicions to the police.

Schroder began grooming the exchange student shortly after her arrival. From September until Schroder was arrested in February, the abusive relationship escalated. 600 texts were sent between the two the month before Schroder’s arrest in addition to the sexual contact.

Schroder’s trial begins August 2017.

 


Maricopa County Supreme Court

The Arizona Republic

Buckeye 4 Locals

2009 Jun 3: Host-mother fights AFS to keep exchange student in USA

While details vary from exchange student to exchange student, many students are sent home even though the host-family wishes them to stay. That can happen any time from the very beginning to the very end of the exchange. In this case, Gail Rosenblum speaks of how AFS tried to send the student home a month before graduation.

Star Tribune

By Gail Rosenblum | June 3, 2009 — 9:38pm

… Abdullah arrived in Minnesota last summer with an AFS-affiliated program called YES (Youth Exchange and Study). …

Abdullah’s stay got off to a bumpy start. He smoked cigarettes (but has since quit), and bought knives for target practice, neither of which sat well with his first host mother. …

Abdullah was removed from his first home in the fall (which happens with 25-30 percent of exchange students) and was placed briefly with Noel Evans, an Eagan attorney, before moving in with Mullaley and her family. …

Evans and Abdullah got along so well that, when Evans returned to Saudi Arabia in March, she contacted Abdullah’s mother, Seham Farah, and they became friends. Evans invited Seham to visit Minnesota as soon as she could secure a visa, …

Evans was unaware that the AFS handbook requires that parental visits be approved ahead of time. Last Friday, an AFS spokeswoman called Mullaley to tell her that Abdullah would be shipped home a month early — missing graduation. … Evans called AFS to say that Seham’s visit was her idea. Besides, as she and others noted, Abdullah … was picked as Unsung Hero for helping a teacher, volunteered with elderly neighbors, and spoke to younger students about Saudi life. He also brought up his algebra grade from an F to a B. …

Late Tuesday, an AFS spokeswoman called Mullaley with the news that Abdullah could stay through the weekend. …

Evans is now working on behalf of Abdullah’s 16-year-old sister, who has been barred from the program because of her brother’s case. …

The entire article can be read at Star Tribune

2016 Jan 26: Coffman guilty of sexual abuse

Cleveland

By Adam Ferrise | updated January 26, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Edward Coffman, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony. Summit County Common Pleas Judge Todd McKenney sentenced him Tuesday to the maximum prison term for the charge. … The 14-year-old girl was living with a host family in central Ohio. She visited Akron to meet with Coffman’s family, who was friends of the host family.

Coffman flirted with the girl two days prior to the assault. He assaulted girl July 18 or 19, 2014 at his home … Akron police began investigating after the girl reported the incident to her host family and went to a Columbus-area hospital for treatment. … Police matched Coffman with DNA found the girl’s sexual assault kit.

The entire article may be read on Cleveland

Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory loses accreditation

In 2005, Tri-Valley Learning Corporation (TVLC) in California established  charter schools ranging from elementary school to high school. The high school is Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory (LVCP). About 90 foreign exchange students attend the school. Investigations into irregularities (see below) started February 2016. As a result of these investigations, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) withdrew LVCP’s accreditation*. The school district denied LVCP’s petition of charter renewal December 2016. LVCP is no longer listed as having SEVIS F-1 certification. The school has said that they will stop their student exchange program from July 2017.

3rd February 2016 Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) sent the Governing Board of the TVLC a Notice of Violation (NOV). Among other things, the NOV concerns the below violations with regards to LVCP’s exchange students.**  Media got hold of the information and several in-depth articles about this issue can be found on the net.

16th February 2016 two students were involuntarily transferred to a school in Stockton. Livermore Police Department and Stockton Police Department intervene. As more information comes to light the police begin investigating matters at LVPC. Alameda County District Attorney began investigations into allegations of fraud, mismanagement of its foreign exchange program and child endangerment.

Based on the Governing Board, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District  Board‘s findings, LVCP’s accreditation as a foreign student exchange institution was not renewed for the school-year 2016/2017.

  • TVLC/LVCP charged illegal tuition/overreporting per – pupil expenses to Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS).
  • TVLC/LVCP attempted to transfer exchange students against their will to a school in Stockton.
  • TVLC/LVCP endangered the health and welfare of its students
  • TVLC/LVCP was dishonest in representing the scope and size of its foreign exchange program to the District.
  • TVLC/LVCP sought to obtain, through coerced written signature, an agreement from minor students to give up their legal educational rights without consulting their parents or guardians.
  • TVLC/LVCP established a charter school in China without
    notifying authorities or requesting revisions to its charter.
  • Fraud.

LVCP’s accreditation is not renewed. November 2016 TVLC file for bankruptcy at the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California (Oakland).


  • LVCP still lists itself as WASC accredited on its website.

** Copies of correspondence and reports between the parties can be found on LVJUSD’s site

2016 Aug 25: Livermore charter school officials face charges tied to child cruelty

Angela Ruggiero writes about allegations of child cruelty at Livermore Charter School:

LIVERMORE — The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed misdemeanor charges of assault and battery, child cruelty and failure to report child abuse against three employees connected to two Livermore charter schools in a case of abuse against a foreign exchange student in January.

Prosecutors charged then-principal of Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory Eric Dillie, who is now the principal of Livermore Valley Charter School and then-vice principal Randy Taylor, who is said to have resigned this week, with a misdemeanor charge each of failing to report the alleged child abuse.

Brock Van Wey, 42, of Livermore, who worked for California Preparatory Academies, was charged with misdemeanor assault and child cruelty, said Livermore police Officer Cynthia White in court documents.

The allegations against them arrive the same week more than 400 students fled the two Livermore charters the first week of school and enrolled in district schools instead.

The charters are run by Tri-Valley Learning Corporation, which has been under the district attorney’s investigation since February after allegations that two Chinese students were transported against their will to a sister charter school in Stockton in a separate incident.

The corporation also has been under fire for allegations related to financial mismanagement, illegally charging foreign exchange students tuition, not paying teachers on time, and a slew of other complaints by parents, community members and the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.

Chris Van Schaack, assistant superintendent of the school district, said he expects more students to transfer out of the charters and into local public schools given Thursday’s charges.

Although Van Wey wasn’t employed by the charter school, he worked for California Preparatory Academies, which has been helping the charter school with its foreign exchange program. California Preparatory Academies, headed by Bill Batchelor, is now the Squaw Valley Academy, a private school sharing a campus with Livermore Valley Charter Prep at 3090 Independence Drive.

According to the court documents:

On Jan. 28, the 14-year-old student was in an after-school tutoring session at the charter school when Van Wey accused him of copying homework and humiliated him in front of others. The student got upset and left but was found by Van Wey behind a grocery store and told to get into Van Wey’s car and go back to campus.

“Van Wey forcefully grabbed (John) Doe by his arms, picked Doe up and held him in a cradle position,” White said.

The student tried to get away but Van Wey’s grip “was too tight.” Van Wey reportedly cussed at the student and shoved him headfirst into the car, White said. The student was then driven back to the school.

The student had a laceration to his shin and complained of pain to his knees as a result of the incident. Van Wey reportedly told Taylor, who then told Dillie of the incident the next morning. Both Dillie and Taylor are legally bound to report instances or suspected instances of child abuse to law enforcement. The two allegedly never did, the documents state….

Read more at The Mercury News

Review of CIEE, Portland USA

This review of CIEE, Portland, USA, was originally posted on March 12, 2016 on yelp.ch by Claudia P.

I’ll be honest and say that if you want to spend a year abroad, for your own sake DO NOT trust this awful organization. I’ll tell you my story and I’ll try to describe what I went through when two years ago I decided to do an exchange year in high school in the US (I’m Italian).

I applied with an organization from my country called youabroad (they were seriously amazing, helpful and cared about the students); the problem here was that for the exchange in the United States they had CIEE as a partner and they were responsible for almost everything, families included.
I lived a nightmare and seriously thought more than once to go back home like my German and Norwegian friends did, because they couldn’t handle the shit CIEE was putting them through. I (and most of my exchange students friends there) had to change family THREE TIMES because of really serious reasons and every single time CIEE not only didn’t help, but made the situation worse. I ended up in North Texas and had to live in a family who’s house was dirtier than any place I’ve ever seen, they didn’t care if we (I shared the room with a german exchange student) ate or not, they didn’t take us anywhere and their 13 y old kid was aggressive and violent among other things. Basically they wanted us to stay with them only to clean everything and babysit their four kids. When we finally managed to change family CIEE made it look like it was our fault and sent us a ”warning letter” saying that if we ever did anything wrong again (what?) they would have sent us to our home country.

After that we lived with the local coordinator for a while who was everything but nice, obviously pissed she had to take care of us. School wasn’t even started yet so we could’ve moved anywhere in the country to a nice family that really cared to live this experience; INSTEAD, she wanted to keep us in the same town so she would’ve got paid. Then, I ended up in a family where the host father was always either drunk or mean to the host mum (or both). The school bus didn’t come where they lived so every morning they would give me a ride at 5.30 am to go to school and I had to ask around random people for a ride home. I don’t even know why the hell they wanted to host someone. A norwegian girl lived with them and had just changed family, they sent me there anyway.

Went back to live with the local coordinator who was seriously having problems with all the students that needed to change families because she found shitty ones. Lived with her for a while and then found a family myself asking around in school (that’s what they told us to do, because they were not capable of finding A SINGLE decent family). I lived with my friend’s family for the rest of the year and slept on a couch in a little room but at least they were nice and treated me like a human being.

In all this mess CIEE never really helped only made things worse, they always blamed you for not trying hard enough to make something work but the truth is that I know too many people that lived a nightmare because of them. Seriously would not recommend them to my worst enemy. After all I still enjoyed my year abroad because I was like enough to meet really nice people and great friends, some people that had nothing but still tried to help me in every way they could. It’s one of the most amazing experience you can do even tho it’s never easy, it makes you grow up and learn a lot from yourself and others. BUT do not trust this organization because it’s seriously one of the worst.

Helpline US Department of State

1-866-283-9090 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) The Department of State activated the helpline to ensure the health and safety of its exchange participants. Students have a right to be treated fairly and to report abuse without retaliation or threat of program cancellation. (Dep of State)
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