After Student’s Death, California School Districts Cut Ties With Utah Boarding School

Over the past three years, multiple school districts in California have sent troubled students to Diamond Ranch Academy in Hurricane, Utah. Now the boarding school is in danger of losing its license after the death of a 17-year-old girl.

Taylor Goodridge passed away at the facility in December. The school’s license was placed on probation pending an investigation. In February, an inspection revealed that Diamond Ranch had failed “to provide and seek necessary medical care for an ill client who died several weeks after initial onset of symptoms.” Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a citation, which it labeled “extreme.”

Allegations of mistreatment at Diamond Ranch have persisted for years. The for-profit academy is one of a number of out-of-state boarding schools certified by the California Department of Education. Districts rely on the facility when they cannot meet the needs of students with serious emotional or behavioral issues. The CDE says it inspects every 2-3 years.

At least seven school districts in the Golden State say they will no longer foot tuition for the embattled academy. According to NBC News, 18 school districts — almost all of them in California and Washington — have spent a combined $2.6 million to send students there. These include Livermore Valley Joint Unified, Dublin Unified, Laguna Beach Unified, Irvine Unified and Newport-Mesa Unified, the Calaveras County Office of Education and the William S. Hart Union High School District. 

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