Northwest Academy investigated for abuse allegations; students also exposed to contaminated water

Local News
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The Nye County Sheriff’s Office has been actively looking into allegations that the staff has been using excessive force against students at Northwest Academy.  

Northwest Academy is in Amargosa, which is about an hour and a half north of Las Vegas. The school is for at-risk and troubled teens.

Detectives interviewed a former student of the academy who said he was physically assaulted by 29-year-old Caleb Hill, who’s a teacher.

Nye County Sheriff said the former student said he was assaulted, even thrown to the ground by Hill and picked back up off the floor on numerous occasions.

As detectives interviewed staff and students at the school, they received numerous complaints about Hill’s use of force with them.

Hill acknowledged that the tactics he used were against the school’s policies. Hill was arrested and booked into the Nye County Jail on charges of child abuse and endangerment.

Detectives continued to speak with students who complained of injuries including broken bones, mostly in their toes, but the staff refused to get them medical care.

Deputies also discovered that the water at Northwest Academy is contaminated with arsenic and other harmful substances.  It turns out that the staff was providing bottled water to the students, but they were limiting them to only three small bottles of water a day.  

A lot of students also reported rashes on their skin which they believed was due to them showering in contaminated water.

Doctors were called to the school to exam the students, and doctors confirmed that the rashes on the students were a result of the contaminated water they were showering in.  The doctor also said that three bottles of water a day is an insufficient amount.

The water is being retested for its current arsenic, flouride, and nitrate levels.  Nye County Sheriff said it obtained a report from the State of Nevada’s Department of Environmental Protection that reads as of the last water test at Northwest Academy on Nov. 6, 2018, the arsenic levels in the water were over three times the drinking water standard.

Detectives also discovered that Northwest Academy stopped treating the water around October 2016.  

The Nevada Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Safe Drinking Water started trying to work with Northwest Academy in early 2018 to bring the school’s water system back into safe drinking water regulations. The school was given a deadline of Dec. 2018, but as of Jan. 28, 2019, Northwest Academy is still not in compliance.

NCSO obtained a search warrant for the blood and hair samples of the children to test for arsenic and other harmful substances they were exposed to while housed at Northwest Academy.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

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