Ex-Staffer at Home for at-Risk Kids Says She's Haunted by What She Saw - NBC4 Washington
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Ex-Staffer at Home for at-Risk Kids Says She's Haunted by What She Saw

"It's all a play on words when you put your hands on a kid," Aislinn Johnson said



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    An aerial view of Clarinda Academy's campus.

    Aislinn Johnson was on duty at Clarinda Academy the night that staff restrained Jesus Lopez, then a 17-year-old foster child from Washington, so severely that he lost consciousness and woke up covered in bruises, NBC News reports.

    Sequel Youth & Family Services, Clarinda's for-profit parent company, provides behavioral health treatment to children in 44 facilities across the country. In a previous report on allegations of abuse and improper use of restraints at the facility, NBC News detailed the incident and the state investigation that followed.

    Since then, parents, and former students and employees have reached out to NBC News to share their stories. Johnson is one. She said she witnessed multiple incidents of Clarinda staff using improper and physically abusive restraints on children throughout the approximately seven months she worked at the facility.

    In a statement provided to NBC News, a spokesperson for Sequel wrote that Clarinda staff believed that Lopez was a threat to himself, and that a restraint was necessary. However, said the spokesperson, staff did not use proper restraint technique. Sequel then "conducted a comprehensive internal review, contacted regulatory authorities, suspended employees, and implemented additional training."