The case part 4/4

The last part.

Enjoy (again comment, email, and I will send you the document)


Psychologist?s evaluation

Due to our phone conversations with Mikkel, we knew that he was not suicidal. After he was sent home we got a psychological evaluation of him (enclosure 13).

For some reason Forte insisted on sticking with the suicidal version. In a conversation with Rachel Bush this is very clear.


-------- Opprinnelig melding --------

Emne:

Re: Att: Ruth Bush/Re: Mikkel Adrian Almenningen - Norwegian exchange student with Forte International Exchange Association Inc. - student no. 007Y12NM

Dato:

Mon, 8 Oct 2012 17:01:03 -0500

Fra:

Rachel Bush <rachel@wilkinsonattorneys.com>

Til:

lilomaal@gmail.com

 

Dear Ms. Almenningen,

 

I called and spoke with the office and they referred me to Ava Chen. She informed me that Mikkel has expressed suicidal thoughts to the host families on multiple occasions and that as a result Forte is sending him home. They are concerned that this is an inappropriate burden for the host families to carry. Additionally, it creates liability for Forte as they have been informed of his expression of these thoughts to the host families. My investigation of the problem leads me to the conclusion that it is too late in these series of events for me to intervene on his behalf. I am sorry but I will not be able to represent you or your son in this matter. If you feel that the company has acted unfairly I would report it to a government agency in Norway that handles complaints against businesses. Feel free to seek a second opinion on this matter. There is no charge for any service I have rendered.

 

Best regards,

 

Rachel A. Bush

The Wilkinson Law Firm

700 S. Walton Blvd, Ste. 2

Bentonville, AR 72712

Phone: (479) 273-2212

Fax: (479) 273-5655

So not only had Becky decided that Mikkel was suicidal, she had also supposedly gotten information from the various families to the effect that Mikkel had talked about killing himself in all of the families. Well, according to Ray Lindsey, he had not said any such thing ?I did not tell them you wanted to kill yourself fyi.?

Liability case?

If indeed, Forte has heard about this suicidal tendency then it is strange that they did not seek immediate medical attention for Mikkel rather than risking his life. Yet nothing like that ever happened or was even aired. CSFES? own Danielle Grijalva asks if this isn?t a liability case in and of itself. Mikkel?s case is not unique in any sense. It just so happens that he has parents who will not take things lying down and neither will he. And according to Ms. Becky Sanderson that is the reason he was being sent home (see phone conversation above).

Into closes ranks with Forte

We tried to fight Forte?s decision and are still fighting the collaboration between Forte and Into. It is amazing that a company that claims that it is looking after the best interest of our son, is standing with the company that has a clear rule breaker in their midst.

Forte sends us their dismissal letter and we try to rebut their comments (enclosure 10 and 14). We also have a meeting with Into on October 15 with Manager Marit and Tonje (enclosure 11). As you can see, Into made a strange offer, one that really wasn?t an offer as the exchange student would have had to be part of a high school here in Norway. Instead Mikkel has taken a year off his studies and saved up his money for this trip, something we told Into early on.

We asked them for a better response from Forte and a written explanation by Into of their actions. (enclosure 15 and 16). Forte manages to get a statement from Sharon Bollmeyer portraying my son as uncaring, calculating and poorly raised. In addition she states that she would have to be the only live person in her home if Mikkel was to make it as an exchange student with her. (enclosure 17). This was the same uncaring son that placed himself on the line for his host-sister, tried to help a friend he thought might kill himself, tried to defend the rabbits in the store and apologized for everything anyone accused him of ? even if there was nothing to apologize for. However, Sharon Bollmeyer never mentions anything about our son being suicidal or depressed. We would also like to point out that Sharon Bollmeyer bases most of her information on hearsay.

Forte tries to pressure host-families

Thankfully Ray Lindsey was enraged with Forte?s treatment of himself and the other host-families, which is why he sent Mikkel angry facemails:

10/15-2012: Conversation between Mikkel and Ray Lindsey

Ray LindseyEverything you are doing to fight this company is causing drama for the families here that may or may not care about you. We are being asked to sign something that says Forte did not take you out of a home that wanted you there. I have not read the actual paper yet, so I do not know if what it says is true enough for me to sign. I do know this...yes, we wanted you to stay. Forte did not make the decision to take you from this home that wanted you. You, yourself wanted to leave a home that wanted you. And while that is perfectly okay to want to leave somewhere, it somewhat defeats you're argument that the company treated you wrong by pulling you out of homes. You also did it yourself, and had your reasons. I don't know all that happened with other families, but if the company made the decision for you to leave their homes, I'm certain they had their reasons just as you did when you decided to leave our home. I'm not going to lie for you or for the company or for anyone. I guess is what I am trying to say is fight the company if you want, but could you leave me out of it somehow and quit causing us drama? I see the good in everyone, and you're not a bad guy, but I am starting to regret that we let you come stay with us.

In it Ray even manages to state that they wanted Mikkel to stay. But the main thing is that Forte were pressuring the families to sign a statement.

Later that day Ray sent another angry mail to Mikkel:

Ray LindseyForte is trying to get me to make written statements about anything that will help them with their case. I don't like what they are doing or what you are doing as I am getting stuck in the middle. I wasn't trying to be mean Mikkel. I was even told not to talk to you at all. I just had to state that for the record. I will be honest and say this...I don't trust Forte and I don't trust you. I don't hand out trust easily, and I know how one can keep enemies close for certain reasons. I did not tell them you wanted to kill yourself fyi. They have tried to get me to make statements against you and I refused. I wrote something that would not help them or you and shouldn't have hurt either, but apparently they believe if it won't help them win they can leave out certain truths. I just want out of it, but I had to tell you that for record purposes. I'm sorry if anything I have to do hurts you, but it can't always be helped.

This time Ray tells Mikkel that he has refused to write what Forte wanted him to write and that he and the others have been told not to contact Mikkel.

Claim

This is a clear case of the exchange organizations ignoring the letters from the parents and student. We were open about all of Mikkel Adrian?s traits. We tried to make the language as simple and clear as possible, so people could choose fairly. Yet Forte International Exchange Association (and through them Into Education) managed to place Mikkel Adrian in families that did not even fill the State Department regulations? demands of a host-family. Then they go ahead and blame Mikkel Adrian for anything that arises out of those situations.

Because Mikkel Adrian was reassured that there would be a proper family for him, his plans in Norway were put on hold. These two organizations managed to break a young man?s dreams. His 60.000,- NOK have gone into the pockets of seemingly greedy and arrogant entrepreneurs, people who are willing to overlook illegal behavior in one of their own representatives, while treating Mikkel Adrian like dirt and refusing to listen to his side of things.

Both Forte International Exchange Association and Into Education have clearly been in breach of their own contracts and marketing campaigns. They have not delivered what was promised.

It is only fair that Mikkel is refunded the amount he paid for his trip. It is either that or the placement of Mikkel Adrian in a proper family, one that has actually read his and our letters.

We find it reasonable that Forte International Exchange Association tidy up their own organization, as they were told to do in 2010 when they were placed on probation. There is a need for local representatives and area representatives who will follow the rules and regulations as set forth by the State Department. Any other type of representative (such as Becky Sanderson) should be beneath the dignity of an organization that claims to have the best interests of exchange at heart.

The fact that Forte placed a diagnosis on Mikkel Adrian that turned out to be false is a terrible thing. They need to stop doing this when they clearly have no competence in the area.

Into needs to make certain that their partner organization follows the rules and regulations as set forth by the country they reside in. If a student complains, then there is probably reason for the complaint. Mikkel Adrian has heard from several friends that there are serious problems in the US and that they cannot trust their representative to represent them. Into has serious trust issues with their students when exchange students have to turn to independent parties to be heard and helped.

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