The case

I'm first gonna selebrate this blog entry, it's numer 110. And it's a milestone on this blog, as it finally loocks away from my exchane year, and my sad feelings after my return. I will finally publish most of my case agains Into and Forte. (This is part 1/4)

 

This is the first of several blog posts named the case. Theese blog posts will be complimented nicely with my case. This is the same case as have been sent around the world. To the US (FIEA) to Into, TV channels and newspapirs in Norway. And Into Educations head office in Gernamy. 

The case will definately be published on www.vg.no (norwegian newspair) probobly in norwegian. 

The case you see here have not been redigated in any way (Except from removing most of the complaints against the Moe's)

Enjoy. 


 

Complaint about Into Education Ltd. (Norway) and

Forte International Exchange Association Ltd.

regarding the treatment and placement of

Mikkel Adrian Almenningen - student no. 007Y12NM

 

October 6, 2011 Mikkel Adrian entered into a contract with Into Education Ltd. (Norway). The contract stated that it concerned a stay in the US as an exchange student. There Mikkel was to live with a US family and attend a typical High School. In the unlikely event that a host family could not be found, the contract would be cancelled by Into. Its partner in the US were responsible for finding a family. (See enclosure 1 and 2).

 

FIEA?s application form

 

We were told by Into Education that we needed to fill out an application for Forte International Exchange Association Inc. so the US organization could show a potential host family who we were. In that application we were to include letters from both parents and Mikkel. We were to include pictures of our family. (See enclosure 3) We sent these letters in trying to be frank about Mikkel?s positive and not so positive sides. We told FIEA that Mikkel was a vegetarian, that he had dyslexia, that he was politically involved on the left side here in Norway and that he was honest to a fault. We also told a potential host family that Mikkel thought everyone was equal, and that included animals and humans. We figured it was better to be safe than sorry in our representation of our son. After all, what we wanted was a safe and qualified family for our son.

 

Our claim is that Forte International Exchange Association failed in its duty to find an appropriate family for Mikkel Adrian. This is most likely due to the fact that they take in too many exchange students and end up doing make-shift work to get as many as possible into the US.

 

Our claim is also that Into Education must have been aware of this practice. Several of their exchange students have commented on the state of their homes. They have also said that their representatives have told them that they have too many students to be able to take care of them properly. It would be strange if word of this did not come to the attention of Into Education.

 

Into Education and Forte International Exchange Association have, therefore, been in breach of their own contracts as they have not been able to provide our son with the services promised on their web-sites and in their brochures.

 

FACTS OF THE CASE

Finding a family

Our honesty made it more difficult to place Mikkel. In a mail to Mikkel February 13 (enclosure 4), Into asked him to clarify what he meant by: "Something that is very important to me is equality. Sexual orientation, gender or age shouldn't matter." A family had expressed their interest, but wondered what he meant by that.  In another mail to Mikkel dated March 20, Into told Mikkel that vegetarians were difficult to place. But he was told several times that a family would be found for him and if not that the money would be refunded (mail of March 19 from Into). It was important that Mikkel know whether it was likely that a family could be found for him. Otherwise, he would have to lay other plans for the autumn.

Monday, August 27, 2012 Mikkel received the information he had been waiting for. A family had been found. We received a placement report (enclosure 5), pictures of the home (enclosure 6) and a Double Placement Agreement (enclosure 7). We sat down with Mikkel and looked at the pictures of the home. They looked spartan but OK and we felt confident that FIEA had made certain that the family was qualified according to the Department of State regulations for host families in the US (enclosure 8).

Ray and Becky Lindsey

Mikkel Adrian was met by this sight when he arrived at Ray and Becky Lindsey?s home on the 29th of August. It was as if it was a different home from the one he had been shown.

https://mncgeg.dm1.livefilestore.com/y1mLuynIrgmQ7h3VQqTKJRI2z9P2HvzpEcqGnt9whw-DNO-rvduxYuC0F4wKgYbh92TIssE952JU2-QT5fp4LLMuiYpqs-E3Krrl4pNKnS2B0A/040.JPG?psid=1https://mncgeg.dm1.livefilestore.com/y1m6A23QM6SJEsIGiRqTPpnco6IlNkI8ZOBUoqqXvvp0KU6zNhotkVDQhjAHJcduuSGxWnm5mklTsHRk95NJF1TyU5qJsyLiEw4cD3f8kVu5dQ/026.JPG?psid=1

The kitchen                                                                   Mold

https://mncgeg.dm1.livefilestore.com/y1mM-I1J050HQa7bVrHmhxflmwav_yhr-lGQKFNOvH0Ke0cs-5Wh7xkoRCXPH7jlt8I5FyU5MmzIExD0XQBfjZCTQifGkAdsQdcOTT6GoqDtYQ/030%20(2).JPG?psid=1https://mncgeg.dm1.livefilestore.com/y1mQO0IDpW2abtOPn1FE7Rvw4HOCoZllSvcajF8vTF5E7XAqxEhGSrKbhYy1VC6ocRkkvnvw2DUr1Ts5IxKxTHizfcB0uB9aS4H4pAnBYMAYmo/041.JPG?psid=1

Bathroom

https://mncgeg.dm1.livefilestore.com/y1mZ56bI-e-IZPrRbTfrcoxAjuWASKgSE81SoQ4gZlkT3iHyskyDbYU76FCvaskOnxh5j1IpnjWwDCWddQedd2EwyuzhaJjfoU1IitlO5q5DWI/038.JPG?psid=1

 

Mikkel soon made friends with both adults and teen-agers.

After attending the Lindsey?s church the first Sunday, Mikkel was shocked at the preacher?s gay-bashing. According to Mikkel the preacher said:

?No they sayd that god has destroyed all sivilisations, and for the reason that people are gay. He hated gay people.?

That same day Mikkel saw Stori (the 3-year-old daughter) get spanked. He started feeling unsafe in the home. Like I said previously, Mikkel is honest about things and took things up with his family. That caused strange reactions from Ray. Becky was mostly quiet and shy.

Dread of staying in home

On September 2, Mikkel sends a mail to Into informing them of his situation and hid dread of staying in the home of Ray and Becky. While he likes the children, he feels unsafe with Ray. Into passes the mail on to Forte on September 2.

Warning from Into

In the meantime Mikkel had posted pictures of the Lindsey?s home on Into?s closed facebook page. He thought that the group was private, but was obviously wrong about that as we (the parents) received a warning from Into on September 4 that this was a breach of their contract § 5 about showing discretion regarding the host-family (enclosure 9). Any further breaches might result in being sent home. Mikkel had already admitted to sending the pictures and writing about the family and had sent a copy to Into before deleted this from the Into group?s facebook page. We passed the warning on to Mikkel.

Mikkel?s talks to Christine Lovell

Mikkel spoke to Christine Lovell (his local representative) about his concerns. She told Mikkel that she had brought the concern that the family did not qualify as host-parents to her area representative, Becky Sanderson from Texas. Becky Sanderson is responsible for several states and should know what is proper procedure. Christine is fairly new to the game and went to her superior for the final verdict. Becky Sanderson told Christine that Christine Lovell should approve of the family on the condition that improvements were made within a month's time.

Mikkel was told by Christine that it would probably take a while to find him a new family since not all exchange students had gotten a home to live in. She seemed to take his concerns seriously. After her visit to the family on September 5, that all changes.

Ray?s erratic behavior

An example of Ray?s erratic reactions occurred when Mikkel told Ray on September 3, that he had asked to be moved from the family.

At first Ray seemed fine with it. ?he said that he had alreddy talked to my contact Cristine and told her that i seemed uncomfirtable, and that it was nice to have (me) anyhow.?

On September 4,on the other hand Ray told Mikkel that ?Outside the house me and ray had a talk. he said that ever since I came I have been ungreatfull and had a bad attitude. He also think that I am a spoled rat (Agree wit spoiled)
He said that when Cristine comes tomorrow it was not that I would ask for a new host family. Because he was gonna say that I could not stay with him anymore. So I needed a new host family or I should book my plane tickets back to norway. He also hoped that I had a plan to try live with you. I said no I have no plans. I've not talked to (name) about that.?

Later that day Ray continued in the same vein:

?And he said later that i could stay and change my belifes, attitude and everything else so that this coud work out for uss.

He said that he hoped we could still be friends on facebook. But he has blocked me and unfriended me.

Difficoult to understand him?

Mikkel asks for advice from his friend

You will have to contact FIEA & let them know your coordinator did not fill out the host families paperwork honestly. They changed info on the application to make things look "ok" for them to be a host family. Ask to see a copy of their background check. Your parents should have the right to see that. You can tell them that he has short temper & dont think it is a safe environment to be in. Have the FIEA to check with the government to see what his real income is? I think the coordinator recorded more than what he makes, so he would qualify.

It says the host family has to be financially stable. As you can see, they are not. They get food stamps & wic. Anytime something comes up about money they get grouchy & get fussy. They dont communicate well with each other. They dont even make sure their kids eat 3 meals a day. He does not make 24,000 a year. Have the company get a copy of his tax return for proof of income.

 

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