Academy shuts down residential program after teen death

Academy shuts down residential program after teen death
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A residential treatment program at a Philadelphia school for students with behavioral challenges and disabilities has closed, more than a week after a teen died following an altercation with staff members.

The program is ceasing operations following notification by the state Department of Human Services’ Bureau of Human Service Licensing, Debbie Albert, a spokeswoman for Wordsworth Academy, told NBC10.

“Wordsworth has a long history in serving youth and families and we remain committed to our mission,” Albert wrote in a news release. “We plan to use this time to improve our Residential Treatment program by enhancing operations, staff training, and our residential facility.”

The program serves 90 children, all of whom will be transferred to other facilities.

All other Wordsworth programs continue to operate, Albert said.

A 17-year-old student died on Oct. 13 at the academy in Philadelphia’s Wynnefield Heights section.

Sources close to the police investigation have told NBC10 that the student had an iPod that didn’t belong to him and began fighting with staff when confronted about it.

The student lost consciousness while being restrained by staff.

Medical administered first aid and called for Philadelphia medics, sources told NBC10.

“Although we are shocked and saddened by this event, it is an ongoing investigation, and we are unable to comment further at this time,” said Albert.