+ confessions of a red-headed stepchild: stand by me

Thursday, November 18, 2004

stand by me

I am finding out day by day that nothing can be accomplished without friends, without the backing and support of like minded people who are brave and willing to stand up for what they believe in. I have been very fortunate to have faithful friends and co-workers that have, through the ups and downs, remained at my side.

I haven't really told the story about blowing the whistle on BCTI but I think that now is the perfect time, as everything is unraveling in a fashion I never dreamed possible.

I used to work at Business Computer Training Institute. I previously wrote about why I left and my attempt to make them correct their illegal business practices here.

After three years of employment at this company, their lack of ethical treatment in dealing with staff and students began to touch me personally. My students and co-workers were my friends and I became protective of them.

The Oregon Department of Education is totally awesome. They know me by name and were the only organization that treated my allegations seriously. Since the beginning of this investigation the place has lit up like a wild fire. There are things bubbling to the surface that no one could have ever imagined.

3 employees are filing charges against them for discrimination. They were fired when it became apparent that they didn't share the same religious views as upper management (they wouldn't participate in a prayer circle at work). They are also being investigated for breaking Washington law by recruiting students from outside the welfare office. Read more about it here.

3 campuses have shut down (two in Oregon, one in Washington) during the investigation. The Washington campus that shut down was caught cheating on federal assessment tests, tests that would indicate if a student had the necessary skills to benefit from the program. Read more about that here.

I just want to give a shout out to the students and staff that were brave enough to stand up with me to tell this company that they can no longer take advantage of the disadvantaged. That there are people who look out for others in this world and will not tolerate unethical practices, especially in the name of the Lord (BCTI owners are founders of a church, smells like a tax shelter to me). This all reminds me of one of the best movies of all time, Stand by Me, when Gordie tells the story about the big "Barf-o-rama". Yes the fat boy started it, but it turned out to be the masterpiece it was because everyone else joined in.

To truth and justice!