Exclusive Look Inside the State's Highfields Investigation

By: Lori Dougovito
By: Lori Dougovito

The state's Department of Human Services recommends disciplinary action against Highfields after interviewing the people at the heart of two abuse allegations.

Documents obtained by News Ten outline a shower hazing incident on January 28 and an outdoors verbal and physical altercation on February 13.

Regarding the shower incident, a resident claims four boys threw spoiled milk, pine scented cleaning solution, shaving cream, shaving cream cans, shampoo, conditioner and dominoes at him. The employee in charge says the boys told him about their plan and he didn't stop them or report the incident because it seemed like harmless horseplay.

Regarding the outdoors incident, a resident claims he was walked around Highfields in the cold for at least 20 minutes without a coat or shoes on. The two employees involved say they were trying to calm the resident down, but it didn't work. When the resident wouldn't calm down, there were harsh words exchanged and eventually one of the employees struggled with the teen. They ended up on the ground, in the snow. The resident says the employee even took off his glasses and challenged him to a fight.

Highfields has already drafted a corrective action plan because of the abuse allegations. Now that the state's investigation is complete, a spokesperson for Highfields says it can move forward with plans to meet with Ingham County Judges and request a hearing with DHS.


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