• Report: #980773

Complaint Review: Houston Ballet Center For Dance

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  • Submitted: Tue, December 11, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, December 11, 2012

  • Reported By: Diana — Santa Monica California USA
Houston Ballet Center For Dance
601 Preston Street Houston, Texas United States of America

Houston Ballet Center For Dance Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy Child was bullied by students, received unfair treatment by chaperons, staff did not have tools or skills to handle situation and administration, academy did not correct problem or give us full refund Houston, Texas

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Andrea Guite and Madison Young harassed and bullied Anya Fitzpatrick at Houston Ballet Academy Summer Intensive 2012. Because nothing was addressed appropriately and without timely professional skills one of these girls is still causing problems in her home town studio in Utah.

The chaperons had no skills or tools to handle situation appropriately and the head chaperon was very rude to me on the phone, made incorrect statements and in a meeting verbally announced  that "You know  Madison, you are our favorite."  The girls continued to distort information and created a hostile environment for Anya which spread out like a disease influencing other chaperons attitudes toward Anya, they succeeded in making teachers, staff and students leery of Anya. Some of the teachers began to humiliate and make fun of Anya in class.

The whole environment became toxic. The girls were menacing, mischievous, intimidating and managed to coerce others. They glared in class, spread false rumors, attacked and blamed Anya in ways that she could not defend herself. She was unsupported by the adults in charge and I had to make inquiries, suggestions and asked for situation to be dealt with fairly.

 Anya was also knocked down the stairs at the training center by careless dancers who did not apologize, assist her or escort to the physical therapist. She experienced injury to foot/ankle that continues to aggravate her.

On each account the girls focused on in regards to Anya, her character, ability or behavior was disproven or never proven. Two witnesses stood up in a meeting and stated "why are you guys picking on Anya?" 

She was clearly discriminated against,bullied and harassed. There are children's protection laws that administrators, teachers and parents are obliged to notice, correct, amend, and devise consequences for. To my knowledge the two girls mentioned above parent's are not aware of the details of the events that transpired and the center has provided me no access to communicate with them.

All participants involved signed a contract which stated that bullying, harassment and discrimination is not tolerated and grounds for termination. The bulliers/aggressors setup an environment that created emotional distress and trauma to Anya. She endured repetitive, systemic and continual attacks. These threatening and persistent actions caused Anya mental, emotional and physically stress and anxiety. She was unable to participate or function in a normal healthy environment with professional adults to manage the situation. It was clear Anya was unsafe and not getting the training or care she was entitled to as a participant. Both the center, chaperon and Andrea and Madison all broke or violated the contract.

I removed Anya from the program as soon as I could after fairly giving time for staff to address the situation and asked for a full refund.  6 months later I have not yet received a complete and full refund, no acknowledgment from the girls parents about anything that has been to address these causes of default and Anya's loss of a summer of opportunities for dance or any other summer school program do to the withholding of our monies and untimely and corrective support. 

Studies show that the motivator usually goes unperceived by others and they continue to get away with this. A parent from the  Houston Ballet Summer program phoned me late in the fall asking me what happened to my daughter and asked if one of the girls involved was Madison Young. Because people don't want to get involved or loose scholarship opportunities nobody has the courage to speak up. One child actually posted on Facebook things these girls said about Anya to the other girls in the program. Because you sign a contract with Houston the girls are not allowed to talk about anything that happened so it all stays hushed and inside the box concealed.

I would like to see this imbalance of power corrected, the perpetrators investigated, training for both sides in handling situations like this appropriately and full financial retribution. Anya also deserves an opportunity to receive the training she missed. 

Houston ballet has  all the individual stories from both sides. I have not been enlightened to the other side of the story, statements, etc and am expected to take financial loss for this biased one-sided investigation and unfair determination. I am asking for the parents of Madison and Andrea as well as Houston Ballet to refund  the total loss of tuition, housing, deposit, registration, lunch, activity fees never attended, airfare, transportation, chaperon, shipping, costume/uniform fees, pointe shoes, etc. The total expense loss is 7,000. Houston's accounting department received a total of 4,490.00. 


The center completely ignores the situation and as made minimal strides to correct this endeavor. Shelly Power is the only person who made minimal attempt and I imagine is being guided by board, supervisors and company attorney to ignore this. The center receives a substantial amount of it's funding from the government, the public and from the participants of these summer training programs. The academy lies within the jurisdiction of federal, state and civil laws. Anya's rights have been violated on numerous accounts and she had to pay a price to be mistreated. Houston does not deserve to profit from their lack of implementing their contract. I would seriously investigate deeply where you send your children and research all the staff involved. 

A concerned citizen and parent.
Diana Carey

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/11/2012 07:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Houston-Ballet-Center-For-Dance/Houston-Texas-77002/Houston-Ballet-Center-For-Dance-Houston-Ballet-Ben-Stevenson-Academy-Child-was-bullied-by-980773. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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