Media Statements

January 22, 2024 

Elevations RTC Response to the Jan. 22, 2024 bomb threat 

Attributed to Jennifer Wilde, LCSW, Executive Director, Elevations RTC 

“Today at approximately 1:30 p.m. MT, Elevations RTC, received a bomb threat to the campus. We acted immediately by informing law enforcement and evacuating all areas of our four buildings and neighboring Viewpoint Center. Local law enforcement with K9 units and members of Homeland Security conducted an extensive search and found no evidence of bombs or suspicious items. Students and staff were allowed to return to campus at approximately 3:30 p.m. 

“At Elevations, we are deeply concerned and appalled by this recent attack, which occurred only days after a baseless lawsuit by a former student against Elevations RTC was announced during a press conference that was live-streamed on social media and attended by his attorney and the CEO of Unsilenced. This deplorable act of intimidation directed towards a community committed to the healing and growth of children is unacceptable. We stand united and resolute, committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for our students, and we will not be deterred by malicious acts.

“Our primary concern is, and will always be, the safety and well-being of our students. We want to assure all families and the public that our students are safe. We have implemented stringent safety measures and evacuation protocols, which have proven effective in ensuring the secure departure of all from the premises during these threats. We are working closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the responsible individuals will be held accountable. Anyone with information regarding the threats is encouraged to contact the Syracuse City Police Department.”

January 16, 2024 

Elevations RTC response to Jan 15, 2024 press conference announcing Richardson lawsuit 

Attributed to Jennifer Wilde, LCSW, Executive Director, Elevations RTC 

“Elevations RTC was unaware of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a former student until a reporter contacted our program, asking for comment after learning of the lawsuit during a press conference streamed via social media by attorney Alan Mortenson. Elevations cannot respond to a lawsuit it has not seen, although we firmly refute Finn Richardson and his attorney Alan Mortensen’s claim in the Salt Lake Tribune that Elevations had “kidnapped” the teen from Washington D.C. 

“Elevations RTC is accredited by COGNIA and The Joint Commission and is a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. We have helped nearly 700 children and families in crisis. We are often the last hope for families who have exhausted all other options to help their child. Family dynamics can be strained, and many students have experienced trauma, including physical/mental abuse, neglect, substance abuse, or being pulled between parents in bitter custody battles, as was the case with the Richardson family. 

“After an extensive divorce proceeding out of state, the court awarded full custody of Finn and a daughter to the father in Washington DC, who, with full legal and physical custody, placed Finn with us after a full evaluation from medical professionals. While at Elevations and in safe hands, Finn made an allegation of sexual abuse by his father. The therapist, Mr. Faust, did report the allegation to the authorities. At issue with the state was how soon Mr. Faust reported the allegation, not that he failed to report the allegation. Knowing the allegation occurred at the home of the out-of-state parent and the alleged abuser was thousands of miles away, the therapist briefly delayed reporting while he reviewed the matter, taking into account the ongoing dispute and social dynamics between the parents. The therapist reported the allegation; the father was investigated, and no charges were filed. 

“All of this occurred nearly two years ago under a state statute that has since changed to require reporting abuse allegations without delay for judgment or investigation. Our staff has been retrained to follow these new guidelines, and we will continue to behave within the law and in a way to protect the interests of our students, whose safety and well-being remain our primary priority.”

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The Elevations Team

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