Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thacher School Teens Found Safe

UPDATED: Tuesday, 2:15 p.m.
Missing Students Located


By Sondra Murphy
The Thacher School community experienced an anxious weekend after two boarding students failed to check into their dormitories Friday evening. George Nicholas Skan and Tyler Collins Cook were last seen between 7:30 and 9 p.m. Because neither student left clues on their computer and left their cell phones and wallets at school, the school went into high alert.
Both students were located safe Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Santa Barbara Airport, where, according to a Sheriff's Department press release, they were attempting to board an airplane to an undisclosed destination. "We are delighted they were found and are with their families, which is where they should be," said Thacher School headmaster Michael K. Mulligan. "A phone call was made by Tyler to her mother, who responded quickly, and they were found by virtue of good work by KEYT-TV." Cook and Skan were soon reunited with their worried families.
Little detail was available at press time. "This was one of those situations where we had to raise all the flags," said Mulligan. "I just spoke with them and their response was they decided to do this 'take-off road trip' without much thought. It's an example of the prefrontal cortex not being fully developed at this age."
The Thacher School issued a press release thanking all who participated in the search for the missing students. "The Thacher School, the Skans, and the Cooks would like to thank the Ventura County Sheriff's office for their tireless efforts and help, the countless Search and Rescue professionals who combed the backcountry by horseback, foot and air, and the Thacher faculty and students," read the press release. "Thacher and the students' parents are relieved and thankful that they are safe and healthy."
"Thanks to the help and attention focused on this by the news media," said Mulligan, "this matter has been brought to closure with the best outcome that anyone could have hoped for."
The school also expressed gratitude to the Ojai, Ventura and Santa Barbara communities "for their diligence, perseverance, and willingness to communicate information" on the students' disappearance.




UPDATED Monday, 4:05 p.m.
Missing Thacher students


By Sondra Murphy
A search is still under way for two boarding students of The Thacher School who last seen together Friday evening between 7:30 and 9 p.m. George Nicholas Skan is described as a white male, 16 years old, 6’1”, 170 pounds with brown hair and eyes. He has some bald patches in his hair, was last seen wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt, red shirt, blue jeans and sneakers with the word “money” on them.
Tyler Collins Cook is described as a white female, 5’9”, 140 pounds, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a gray hat, blue and green poncho, brown turtleneck shirt, blue jeans with white paint on them and brown slippers. Her hair is brown but has sun streaks that may make her hair appear blonde.
At 10:30 Friday night, it was discovered that Skan and Cook, who are reportedly romantically involved, had not checked into their dormitories following an on-campus movie. Within 15 minutes, search parties mobilized across the campus and nearby trails on foot and horseback until 3 a.m. Saturday.
The search resumed at 6 a.m. Saturday with an extensive air and ground search involving sheriff’s helicopters, 44 urban search and rescue personnel, bloodhounds and volunteers.
“After a further daylight search, we called the police and made a missing minor report. That report is in the statewide system. Ventura County Search and Rescue will begin work in the backcountry shortly. In addition, Cam Schryver has organized a group of upper class riders to comb the adjacent trails,” wrote assistant head of school Peter G. Robinson in a Saturday letter for Thacher parents.
According to Thacher’s director of communications, Chris Land, the search in the area around Thacher uncovered no sign of either student by Sunday and the rescue aspect of the effort was called off, shifting the focus to the urban areas of Ojai, Ventura and beyond.
“The families have not heard anything from the students,” said Land. “There has been no cell phone activity and no bank card activity to help locate them. It has been alarmingly quiet.” He added that they have found no sign of pre-planning by either Skan or Cook to help in the search.
“Anyone at Thacher who might know anything about this has been interviewed,” said Land. “The focus of the search is now on transportation out of the valley.”
Thacher held a press conference Monday at 2 p.m. to distribute photos and give an update on the search efforts. Sherrif’s Capt. Ross Bonfiglio reported that search dogs followed the teenagers’ scents to Reeves Road and stopped. Bonfiglio speculated that Cook and Skan may have gotten into a car at that point.
Possible Monday morning sightings in the Dennison Park area “did not appear to be them,” according to Bonfiglio during the press conference.
Skan’s parents, Paul and Jean Skan, flew down from Alaska in time to attend Monday’s press conference. Paul Skan said his son is a “quiet kid.” Jean Skan called her son, “just a normal teenager.” Cook’s parents were on their way to Ojai during the press conference.
The Thacher School is a coeducational boarding high school located four miles east of the City of Ojai. The 425-acre campus abuts the Los Padres National Forrest and currently enrolls 215 boarding students and 20 day students from 26 states and nine countries.
Anyone who has seen the teenagers or has information on their whereabouts is urged to contact the 24-hour tip line at 654-2417.

166 comments:

Anonymous said...

This description is inaccurate.
Tyler Cook, the girl, is 5'9", with light brown, sun-bleached (close to blond) hair and large brown eyes. She has a thin athletic frame and is tanned but naturally fair. It is very unlikely that she would be wearing fuzzy slippers.
sincerely,
her sister

Anonymous said...

also george skan has a hair disease so his hair is patchy in a couple spots. something to easily identify him.

Anonymous said...

If they were "running away", one would think they would have waited all of 90 minutes for 10:30 p.m. check-in before leaving. Who exactly presumed them to be "runaways" anyway?

Anonymous said...

If not runaways...then where are they? Their families are worried.

Anonymous said...

The search has been called off, The authorities feel that the two have left the area.

Anonymous said...

The search has changed directions, not given up. Have faith!

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Yawn? Really? I bet you would feel differently if it were your kids.

Anonymous said...

I trust the parents will be obliged to reimburse the county for the cost of resources it took to look for these two for two days.

Anonymous said...

I think that reimbursement is the least of our concern right now . Let's just hope for a safe return.

Anonymous said...

They'll turn up.

Anonymous said...

Are you so materialistic that all you can think about is money when two kids are missing? Lets worry about making sure these kids are healthy and safe before we worry about reimbursement. Neither you nor I have any idea what is going on in these kids' lives, and it is important that we make their well being our first priority. I had more faith in the Ojai community.

Mr. Rogers said...

Boring. Anybody think it will rain this weekend?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the assumption is that they ran off? Why would the young man not take his phone or money? Their families and friends must be so very worried.

Anonymous said...

Wherd you read that?

Anonymous said...

I saw that info in the Star blog. Assume that is where the blogger two up from this saw it,

Anonymous said...

The info was from someone who signed his blog as "Uncle" so maybe it is accurate.

Anonymous said...

If this is such a "yawn" why don't you find something else to do, or is blogging at Ojai Valley News your most interesting options. That is incredibly selfish of you to complain because a tragedy, and probably the worst thing that has ever happened to their families, is not entertaining to you. If you're looking for some excitement why don't you go throw yourself off a bridge you insensitive asshole.

Anonymous said...

thank you for description update!

Anonymous said...

Please pray for my friend. I am not a religious person and do not consider myself affiliated with any church but I am turning to prayer. Whether you believe or not, can you send a good thought out into the world for her and for her family. Do so for George's family too, because I am sure that they are feeling anger and turning to blame (I would too). These are good kids and real humans. I understand that for so many of you who will read this this is not a personal matter. You cannot see my face right now and you have not met these people but try to reach into your heart, and even if you have nothing personal to say send out some love and guidance and help.
She is like a sister to me and I know that she did not just leave on a whim. I have lived with her for three years and know her family well. She and I have spent days together sharing our lives. I love her and hope that you can find some positive thought for her.
I respect your right to free speech, but your words (the ones that implied that this was just a boring bit of news) are extremely insensitive. I am not asking you to try to imagine what we are going through (the dreams that we have had and the thoughts that have crossed our minds) but please do not involve yourself if you have nothing productive to add.
I pray that she comes home safe. And hope that her family finds some peace of mind.

Anonymous said...

Many who know of this story are holding Tyler and George in their thoughts and prayers. I do not usually post on blogs; however I would like to give any support I can to those who know and love these kids.
I, too, am offended by "yawn" and "boring", and I believe they must be miserable themselves to try so hard to be hateful.

Anonymous said...

We live near the Thacher School and care very much about this situation. I also think it's sad that someone would be so insensitive as to use the terms, "yawn" and "boring" when speaking about this situation. I pity that person. My husband and I, as well as our three children are praying for those two missing kids and their families. I can only imagine the nightmare this is to their families, and only hope and pray for the safe return of those two kids. You are in our hearts and prayers. In case any of the friends or family of those kids reads this, please know that so many people are reaching out to you and your missing loved ones with prayers and love.

charlotte said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H&T said...

All we can do is prey that these two wonderful students are found. Tyler and George need to know that they are not going to be in trouble, we just need to know that you are safe and in good company. I am saying a prayer for both of these students:Tyler and George. All of the people that are leaving comments saying "yawn" need to get a heart and a life. If you have no other time being mean and selfish, do it on something that is not crutial!!! God Bless their parents, and lets all please send out a prayer that these two students are found even if you do not know them or of them.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considerd a reward for information- might get friends to talk?

Anonymous said...

I assume there is more to the investigation than we are hearing about... has anyone logged into their Facebook accounts or Myspace? Cell phones? It does seem to have been too long for a practical joke... but what if the person that is posting the "yawn" comments is actually one of the missing teens? Or one of their friends that knows where they are?

Anonymous said...

The santa Paula hitch hiking story is untrue. I don't think it's a hair disease by the way. I heard it was a bad hair cut from a friend. And people who are being heartless idiots, shut your mouth. Do one kind thing and light a candle for the two.

Jack said...

when I was a teen, I did something similar during a waikiki vacation trip with my mother and sister. I met up with some cool new friends and we took off on a car ride around the island. I got to be "friendly" with one of the two girls that we picked up at a restaurant. My mom and sister reported me missing to the Honalulu police. I was having such a grand time that I forgot about my mother and sister. I probably thought they would be having a good time on their own since we are in paradise. I turned up after a couple days later to a scolding.

anyhow I am not going to pass judgement on these teens because the teenage brains are wired differently at this age. I hope they turn up soon safely so their parents can find peace.

Let's all pray for these two missing Thatcher kids and for their safe return.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE PRAY!!!

Anonymous said...

Police checked everything. And i doubt people saying "yawn: is them. This was probably a romantic walk or something that turned bad. Don't think stupid things like that. I can't even reply to that. Someone who would do something like that needs some serious help. They're doing something really stupid to get attention. Tyler and George are great students and are varsity sports players. They're smarter than that. They have lives.

Anonymous said...

shut your mouth insensetive people

Anonymous said...

Jack, you spelt Thacher wrong

Anonymous said...

I agree that the people who are saying "yawn" and "boring" are being unbelievably insensitive to those of us who have been searching for days. If only you would put forth the effort towards keeping your eyes open and looking for them instead of towards feeling the need to make light of a horrible situation.
In response to a couple things above, for clarification - his hair is in fact from a medical condition, not a bad hair cut.
Also, thank you to the person who had the constructive, and helpful thought about the cell phones and facebook, etc.(as opposed to "yawn") - I want to assure you that I happen to know that all of their known avenues of communication are being monitored. And finally, I know this community, and the students are some of the most caring I've ever met - they aren't withholding information, they're all worried sick about this and just want their friends home safe. Light candles, my friends, and keep your eyes open. I know the community appreciates all the love and support they've received.

beyondthepale70 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

George does have a hair disease. It is not a bad haircut. There are many people who love and care for these two. If you have nothing kind to add please don't post here. George and Tyler please come home.

Anonymous said...

Why are their pictures not all over the news? I don't understand the lack of attention by the media. Is anyone organizing searches with posters, etc.? If so, how can we help? This is serious and needs serious attention by all. Stop the ridiculous comments and get busy looking for these two kids. Whether or not they left by choice is irrelevant. They need to be found. My thoughts go out to their families and friends.

Anonymous said...

I have seen their pictures on the news. I am sure everyone is doing everything they can...we just don't hear about every single move that is made.
I tried running away when I was a teen and it is harder than it seems to stay "missing"...
I hope they are ok.

Wilbur Osgood Wormsley said...

Those folks could have been duped and/or kidnapped. Regardless of whether they were complicit in their own disappearance, they need to be found. That's what our tax dollars are for.
Reimbursement would be unconscionable; such an onerous & burdensome assessment could be conducive to bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

UH... bloodhounds traced their movement to the freeway which means that they got their by walking which means that they almost certainly weren't forced to go there. They went their on their own volition.

Think about it... this is not a single girl or even single guy who is lost. This is a lovestruck COUPLE. Almost certainly they ran away!

AND they most certainly WILL get in trouble when they are found. They will presumably get expelled and have to pay for the search and rescue, as is right!

Anonymous said...

They were not traced to the freeway, they were traced to a road near the school. It could mean they got in a car, or it could mean something else... it is not definitive proof of anything.
They both lived on campus, so it is not like they needed to run away to be together or anything like that.
From what I read, there didn't seem to be a lot of preparation on their part before the incident... and I thought I heard that his wallet and cell were left behind.
Maybe they planned to sneak out for one reason or another and something else happened. Maybe they did catch a ride near Reeves Road... maybe maybe maybe... no one knows.
It has been 3 days though... where do 2 teenagers hang out for 3 days with no money and no sightings?

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they are hanging out in some day student's garage living it up before they have to deal with all this crap.

Anonymous said...

Tyler, George, please come back quickly and safely.

We miss you, and you're constantly on our minds.

Anonymous said...

I hope the family of these two teenagers don't read this blog and think that the people of Ojai don't care, because we do.
I'm sorry to the family and I apologize for those people who have made rude comments about this horrible event. This comes from me and most others in this community. I will pray for a safe return, and I will pray for an answer.

Anonymous said...

I have heard through a teacher at Thacher that the kids have been FOUND.

I do not have any details at this point, but as of 9:51 on Tuesday morning, they are no longer missing.

Hug your kids.

Sid said...

They have been found. Thank god they are safe. We have been sick with worry.

Anonymous said...

Tyler and George were found at the Santa Barbara Airport. An all school meeting is about to be held. I'm sure there will an update soon too.

Relieved Thacher Parent

Anonymous said...

They were found ok!!!!!! Thank God...!

Jack said...

it's good to hear these kids have been found.

I once met a small town girl name Laura who was going to summer school at ucsb and we shacked up in a motel near the goleta airport being very amorous with each other.

these teens are doing what teens do, their hormones are in overdrive. These two teens are likely from higher social economic class and so there is hightened speculation on whether they met foul play. Kids that attend boarding schools are a mix bunch, some have busy executive parents that love their kids but don't have time for them; others are from foreign countries looking for a better education; some are trouble kids that give their parents more hassle than they can handle. I don't know which category these two teen fall in.

All in all, they've been found (I hope it's true) and it's all good. Not a big deal in the big scheme of things. Kids are starving all over the world and we need to show more compassion for all those souls also.

Anonymous said...

www.Thacher.org for confirmation.

Anonymous said...

THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND!!!

Anonymous said...

They were found in Santa Barbara, she had another cell phone and it gave off their whereabouts---Thank goodness!

Anonymous said...

Actually it was a cell phone that called his mother, but not theirs. He called his mother from a borrowed cell phone and couldn't get through; so he hung-up and left no message-but his Mom called the number back. They were located at the SB airport.

Yes, thank goodness they are alive and well! (and probably in a heap of trouble)

Anonymous said...

Jack....your categories for kids who attend boarding schools are missing one important one. Thacher is an excellent prep school with a tremendous reputation. Many kids at that school want to go there because it will put them at the front of the long line for college entrance to the most competitive schools. You really have no foundation for your posits.

I am glad they are safe.

Anonymous said...

For those bloggers unfamiliar with boarding school and unfamiliar with Thacher....

There are three primary boarding school types: Therapeutic, Military and College Prep. Thacher falls into the latter category. It is universally regarded as one of the top boarding schools in the U.S. and the finest in California. It accepts fewer than 20% of its applicants and sends its graduates to the top Universities and Colleges in the U.S. Competition to be admitted is fierce.

The other misconception is around the wealth of the kids who attend. Thacher's endowment is high enough that it offers huge amounts of financial aid to children who would never otherwise be able to afford boarding school. We're not talking about just a couple of students; we're talking about 30% - 40% of the student body receiving some amount of aid. The result is that the kids are admitted on their merit, not their ability to pay full tuition.

From personal observation, while admissions’ mistakes do get made now and again, even the wealthy kids at Thacher are modest and loving and not the entitled jerks described incorrectly by some of the earlier bloggers. The admission's team does an excellent job of weeding out kids who think the world belongs to them because Daddy's rich.

Finally, Tyler and George, whose safety should have been everyone's paramount concern, and who are now happily accounted for, will face the consequences of their actions. Kids do stupid things, they always have and they always will. These two will no doubt cost their parents a bundle in financial reimbursements for the emergency personnel, face expulsion, earn the enmity of many peers for their selfishness and the worry they caused, damage their educational futures and carry with them forever a painful memory of their stupidity.

Still, I am so relieved that they’re back safely and unhurt. Thank God.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous 1:30 P.M. for distilling the truth about Thacher and educating those who are not familiar with it. Just to add, of the 30-40% who receive financial aid, the AVERAGE amount of financial aid given to students is over 60% of the total tuition, a significant amount which allows all kids with aptitude and desire to attend.

Anonymous said...

Glad the kids were found safe and sound. As to the long diatribes re thacher ...I really do not think that many people care that much about Thacher one way or the other. The kids there are bright but no brighter than the top tier at Nordhoff or Villanova. They all test well and the top kids all go to top schools including Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, UC Berkeley UCLA etc and actually Thacher does not even publish a list of where each kid goes to college after graduation -- wonder why?? Thatcher is very concerned with everybody thinking its so great -- heres a news flash -- most folks with very bright kids want to raise their own kids, and want their kids raised with other kids being raised in their own families. Its all personal preference and few people I know want their kids in a predominately boarding environment. There are some problems with it -- lets be honest. One wonders, had these two been living with their families in loving homes, would they have run away?? Only they can answer that question. My experience is that children need their parents and need the constant love, discipline and lessons that come only with family life at this crucial time in their lives. All this assumes a loving and functional family of course. Anyway, to each his own but just because something is expensive and requires a high SSAT score does not mean it will result in a more functional person. Guess we learned that this weekend.

Anonymous said...

"...The admission's team does an excellent job of weeding out kids who think the world belongs to them because Daddy's rich."

Well, its good that you relate to the masses outside that place with generalizations of kids who rely on their parents, who also happen to be rich.

Also, its nice how you claim that everyone's paramount concern should be the safety of the kids, and yet you spent 3 paragraphs defending the institution before letting out one short blurb on how they are ok. You really have your values in a much better place. (that last line was sarcasm... just in case)

Anonymous said...

I'm a local resident. That 'diatribe' was to long, but i was still glad to know that stuff.

To the person that said "There are some problems with it (boarding school) -- lets be honest. One wonders, had these two been living with their families in loving homes, would they have run away??

I've lived near these kids for more than 60 years now and they come into my store all the time. I used to be prejudiced against them when i first moved to Ojai, but you know something, those kids are almost always the nicest ones who come into my place and I've never heard of anyone running away before. Usually the runaways i hear about come from the kids who are at home. Just goes to show that you shouldn't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Anyway, that's all I have to say. Glad they're back.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last letter ... who cares about thacher admissions?? Nobody I know. kids are safe thats #1 and so now people want to know the story ie why were the police not called till Sat 10am if it was known they were missing fri night?? And hey where were they going on that plane?? Guess everyone doesn't love thacher in spite of all the PR about what a perfect place it is. Give me a break -- These two wanted out big time and tried to get on a plane to escape so it must not be all that perfect .

Mr. Rogers said...

Yawn...Boring...I told you so. What a joke! How insensitive am I, or rather, how obvious was it what happened here?

I called it from the start. Kudos to the idiotic imbeciles that actually believed they were missing in the first place.


I do not know them, but two romantic castoffs is not a new story, and that is why I yawned.

Anonymous said...

As a Thacher graduate I feel compelled to defend the insults thrown at my alma mater. I was a scholarship kid and never knew who had the money and who didn't--the kids at thacher are some of the most well-rounded, sensitive, polite, and caring people you will ever meet. To be honest, I don't think the school even fits into any of those three boarding school categories because it is so much more that a prep school... Thacher above all is a COMMUNITY where people are involved, passionate, and driven. I didn't even know Tyler and George, but hearing the news broke my heart because that's how tight of a bond the community has. Thacher wants to be a part of the Ojai family but often we would walk into town and be judged before we even opened our mouths. Yes, perhaps these kids made a bad choice, but at least they're SAFE.

Instead of judging something you know nothing about, first learn to be a positive member of a community yourself.

Graduate said...

1:50 and 1:57,
You have to be kidding me. Your inability to understand the value of a special, close-knit community that promotes ideals of scholarship, hard work, responsibility, and independence really confuses me. In so many ways, Thacher is heaven for intelligent, motivated teenagers that want to succeed and enjoy a happy life. The Thacher admissions office chooses students that WANT to be there, a quality obvious during the candidate's required interview, and definitely apparent in the application. Students at Thacher experience dramatic changes in life just like anyone else, sometimes realizing that the school isn't the perfect fit, and that's totally understandable.

You're also wrong in assuming that Thacher doesn't publish a list of where students study after college. Every year, the college counseling office releases a college placement list on their site (http://www.thacher.org/academics/college/), but that's beside the point. Thacher isn't only about names and numbers, something you obviously didn't know, and many students pursue unique, different experiences after graduation. Most institutions realize how valuable a Thacher education is, and understand what qualities those students will carry on with them after leaving Ojai.

As a graduate of last year's class, I can tell you that sacrificing family life, which is extremely important to me and my family, for the sake of my education and personal growth helped me to mature and develop a sense of independence unavailable had I chosen to not attend.

I really don't want to argue with you, but reading your comments, which only highlight your ignorance and confuse other readers, makes me feel embarrassed for you, and I really hope you make a visit to campus to realize how incorrect your presumptions actually are.

After leaving Thacher and beginning to experience the world beyond, I have only come to appreciate the kindness, the compassion, and open-mindedness so typical of Thacher's students and teachers more, realizing that I was a part of a supremely wonderful community.

Thank goodness these students have been found. They are great people from great families, and I am so thankful this search is over.

Anonymous said...

once again, nobody cares if people do or don't have money at thacher except apparently the people associated with thacher. why dont you all just publish income statements and quit talking about it. You are embarrassing yourselves. Ojai has plenty of wealthy people and plenty of people who are not wealthy. who cares and what the heck does it have to do with these kids missing?? you guys really think people spend anytime thinking about this crap?? get over yourselves you are not that interesting ...you aint the richest and you aint no mother teresa either.

James Hatch said...

Let's face it, the only worthwhile comment on this blog is the last one made by Mister Rogers. The rest is just banter.

James Hatch appreciates a voice such as Mr. Rogers that is willing, in the face of fear, to say that there is nothing to fear.

The real celebration should not be for these teenage runaways, but instead for the joy that Ojai has found a voice to harmonize and complement that of James Hatch.

Congratulations, Mr. Rogers, you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

james hatch -- keep drinking the ojai kool aid pal.
Now can we please bring the spaceship back to planet earth? Everybody is happy the kids are safe and maybe they need to go home and be with their families. I am sure their lives on earth as they know it will continue and be worth living if they go elsewhere to school. It sounds like they are not very happy at thacher, sometimes what works for one person does not work for another. The important thing is they are safe. Will they be charged for all the costs associated with the search?? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

james hatch and mr rogers,

go play on the freeway you are akin to bozo the clown.

James Hatch said...

Anon.,

Exactly what is the Ojai kool aid?

Should these minors be charged for costs associated with the search? Should their parents? How much? What limit?

Your superior,

James Hatch

Mr. Rogers said...

I am still waiting for all of the hysterics to apologize and admit that Mr. Rogers was right and they were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Why was the Ojai Cert never asked to help search for these kids?

Anonymous said...

Wow... Such small & bitter minds. It's sad that kids acting out of the ordinary, but like teenagers have around the world since the beginning of time, can cause such cruel and childish--obviously envious--responses. Just know that even kids who make mistakes at this age (for which I'm sure they will pay dearly in the short term)will likely end up happier, more balanced human beings than those of you who spew such negativity. It's too bad you were not afforded the absolutely extraordinary opportunity Thacher provides. They turn out intelligent, caring graduates who go out into the world to spread good and positive energy. Our Ojai community is grateful for their contribution to our community and the world at large.

ProudtobeFromOjai said...

Ok, first of all, i just wanted to point out the first people to bring up income and elitism had nothing to do with the school, as someone said.
And who's to say that their family life is happy and loving and utopian as some of you are surmising? How do you know that they didn't come to Thacher to escape that and ran away when their home life wouldn't leave them alone?
Let's just deal with the facts. Yes, the kids did something stupid, and weren't thinking clearly. They are teenagers. I don't know how many of you remember being teenagers, but I can sure as hell tell you that I can completely identify with what their thought process was, stupid as it was. Teenagers are rarely known for their clear thinking at all times. How many of you can say that you never were out past curfew, or vandalized the opposing teams gym, or drank that punch that you knew wasn't really just juice or that "cigarette" that wasn't really tobacco, or got that tattoo of your girlfriend's name because you'd be together forever, only to break up a week later? It's not unheard of for teenagers to run away together, just look at literature. It's what you get when you get a whole bunch of hormones trapped in a body that looks and feels more adult than child, and has the brain capacity to make the person feel like they're adult enough.
Also, yes, there was a massive outpouring of support, help, community both at the school, in the community, and beyond. The kids might not appreciate it yet, but the community certainly does. If it was your kid out there instead of these two, I bet you'd want the community to react the same way that it did. And if the result had been bad, if they had been found dead in a dumpster somewhere, your reaction would have been different. And frankly, until they were found, and their story came out, you didn't know which one it was.
People helped search, etc. because they care about the people around them. And yes, the kids probably owe one hell of an apology to everyone, especially all those who spent countless hours worrying and searching, but that's something they're going to have to deal with themselves. When you're madly in love, and you feel like it's you against the world, it's easy to forget the world cares.
And as for Thacher, there are good kids, there are bad kids, kids that excel, and kids that just scrape by, kids that find themselves in trouble alot, and kids that never even miss a class, just like any other school. And there are plenty of schools that pride themselves on their sense of community. From what I gather, the fact the kids ran away had more to do with the fact that the community cared so much about them that they felt that they could never be alone. How's that for ironic?
Let's just be happy that they're safe, hope that they realize the ramifications of their actions and accept the consequences, and be thankful that we live in such a welcoming and helpful community.

Mr. Rogers said...

Anon.,

My sentiments exactly. That is why I called this a boring story. It is one that over time has repeated itself ad nauseum.

This story is not about whether Thacher is good or bad. It is about two teenagers acting like teenagers . . . not much different than the Villanova-Nordhoff incident.

It shocks me, though, that alumni of such an elite school would fall prey to the fallacy that Thacher is somehow to blame for this, and out of apparent insecurity defend their alma mater with such elitist vitriol.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we are quite getting the point here folks. This nightmare was an awareness exercise for all of us. There should be no difference in how we respond, care or love any of these teens. The school they attend, their parent's financial situation, the color of their skin or their religious affiliation does not matter. We as a community are responsible for supporting young adults as they transition through those bumpy years.

Ojai prides itself on COMMUNITY! The same ridiculous conversation went on in a blog regarding the kids from Nordhoff that vandalized Villa Nova. They are all kids and all have the potential to be presidents or derelicts. What makes the difference? Many times it is the adults who surround them.

So stop judging and go do something to support our youth.

We will most likely be facing more "out-of-the-ordinary" behavior from not just our teens, but our friends and neighbors in the coming year. Times are stressful and when parents are stressed about the mortgage and food bills, the kids feel it. Their worlds feel more insecure. They do silly things.

So, how about getting off the blog and the judgement, and take a moment to be thankful!

Ok, off the suds box.

Anonymous said...

KEYT reports they were headed to a ranch owned by Cook's father in Oregon.

I am happy they are safe. The best outcome.

I am also glad no one was hurt in the SAR efforts. Too bad these kids did not put more thought into the ramifications of their actions. Obviously more to the story than we will probably hear. Guess there are no tests for maturity and common sense. At their ages, they should have known what would happen if they up and disappeared.

Glad everyone is safe.

Anonymous said...

hey graduate ---Well these teens apparently do not fit into your"really want to be there" admissions philosophy. Cause they ran away and tried to hop on a plane outta here so doesn't seem like thatcher is their school of choice ... Over the years those of us who live here have heard a lot of the same junk go on at thatcher as any other high school -- we all put our pants on one leg at a time.

Anonymous said...

5:09pm....you've got a really jealous, argumentative, mean streak....a lot of posts today seem like they've been written by you...if you're a kid as I suspect, there have to be better uses of your time....

Anonymous said...

it has nothing to do with jealousy or meaness, its the attitude of superiority which is just silly, misplaced and inappropriate in light of the real story which is that two kids ran away from thacher which is obviously driving you all crazy ergo all the posts about admissions scholarships etc .. nobody cares about that. We are glad your kids have been captured tho it sounds like they would have liked to hop on the first plane out which based on your diatribe seems to make some sense.... these thacher posts seem to a lot of us very over the top, defensive etc you people seem very agitated about all this. We just know kids are kids, and they are the same whatever school they attend. OK now put your tiara back on!!!

Graduate said...

My comment was solely intended to establish context for people reading the article. That so many people fail to understand what the school is actually about frightens me, and I hoped to clarify certain aspects of the story that remained confusing.

I'm sorry if you don't agree with my information.

Anonymous said...

Its not that I do not agree or that people do not agree with it, its that scholarship availability, admissions office policies and the history and mission statement of thatcher are really only of interest to people who are at or considering applying to thacher. At present, re your runaways, not really the point, yes?? You folks have WAY too much wrapped up in thatchers cultural and historical legacy which frankly, we just aren't that interested in. Sorry if that seems rude. There is a whole big world to function in out there you know?? . our interest is in these kids being safe and thank God they are!!!.

Anonymous said...

5:32.....You need to get over your 'secondclassitis'. Nowhere has it been mentioned that The Thacher kids are superior, nor are the posters who are defending the school raising the students to a level above anyone else.

Anonymous said...

first of all, I am not suffering from secondclassitis. I am very affulent and attended top schools and went to a top high school. But thanks for asking. I refer to your insistence on providing much more information than necessary re this story. Just stick to the facts and the real story which is the runaways . You seem so defensive and angry that we are not more grateful for all this information what did you call it "context" We are a pretty bright bunch and can focus on the story at hand without all this "context" aka distraction. You are mad about this story and the fact that bad things happen everywhere even at (God forbid) thacher. This runaway story just makes you crazy doesn't it?? Don't beat yourself up, nobody expects or thinks thacher is perfect. . relax.

Anonymous said...

As a friend of the family of one of the students, I can tell you that these kids come from loving, happy families. The student I have known made the choice to go to Thacher because of the incredible, caring environment and opportunities that the school has to offer. I have no idea why they left, and hope to find out soon. I won't post further, but just wanted to support both the families and the school. I also appreciate the efforts made by those that brought this story to a joyous end. I admit I had nightmares that this would end badly, but am relieved beyond words that these kids are safely with their families tonight.

Thank you to the Ojai Community.

Anonymous said...

I think all of us in Ojai are thrilled the kids are safe. I am sure everyone worried that we might have a different conclusion. All the other stuff about thacher is just extraneous and unnecessary -- lets just focus on the happy ending. Yippee

Anonymous said...

5:57....Please pass on to the family the thoughts of most of this community that, we, too, are overjoyed that our prayers have been answered and that Tyler and George are safe. God bless the Thacher community and everyone who played a part.

Anonymous said...

It's an example of the prefrontal cortex not being fully developed at this age."
what the hell? did this really need to be put in the article?

Anonymous said...

No not needed and as articulated here by several others also not needed = every fact you never wanted to know about thatcher ... not necessary at all to this story.

Anonymous said...

thacher having a hard time of it .... kids OK lets just have some quiet for a while......

Anonymous said...

Thacher is an exceptional school with a very loving and supportive community. Only those of us who have attended Thacher and know it intimately can attest to its merits. Please don't let people who know nothing of Thacher upset you with their comments, assumptions and generalizations. We are the ones who know the truth. My thoughts are with the Thacher community.
KJS class of '93

Anonymous said...

T-H-A-C-H-E-R is the correct spelling. NOT Thatcher!

Once again, let us thank all of those who searched for these two kids, and thank our lucky stars that no one got hurt in the search process! It would have been terrible if something bad would have happened to any one of those involved. We have a great Search and Rescue group made up of many local people. I think if the parents are not required to reimburse the county directly, they should certainly make a HUGE donation to this all-volunteer group. Do not know if you readers are aware that the SAR people donate their time not only when they are actually called out, but spend a huge amount of their own time in training, and also spend a ton of their own money for their equipment.

To the Cook and Skan families, whaddya think?

Anonymous said...

Yes, absolutely families should reimburse the search rescue and other agencies for their costs. And yet more glowing tributes to the "exceptional school" thacher and that only you know "the truth" and all that other crap --- how about thanking the police and search efforts most of which are not affiliated with your school. how about a little humility thacher? ? after all, they disappeared from your "exceptional school" under your watch and apparently, none of you knew their plan or that they were unhappy. Stop bragging and start looking at the realities of this situation. Thanks to the really exceptional authorities and agencies of our community and area who searched and helped find these kids --- thats who we should be praising.

Anonymous said...

"Please don't let people
who know nothing of Thacher upset you with their comments, assumptions and generalizations."

....I concur, supporting Thacher has nothing to do with our appreciation of the Search and Rescue team and the law enforcement who assisted in this matter. Once again people who are ignorant about Thacher are just being negative. Don't let the negativity and nastiness bring you down.

Anonymous said...

How about a thumbs up also to the observant gentleman who was driving on Fairview Avenue in Goleta this morning and saw these kids and recognized them from the news report on KEYT and called the authorities? Good job dude! I did not catch his name, but a job well done to him as well!

Hell yes, BIG donation from the families of the kids to our fine SAR squad. I think the elite Thacher school owes them some bling also! I am sure it would be a great, tax deductible contribution! Readers, what do YOU think about the idea?

Anonymous said...

"The Thacher School, the Skans, and the Cooks would like to thank the Ventura County Sheriff's office for their tireless efforts and help, the countless Search and Rescue professionals who combed the backcountry by horseback, foot and air, and the Thacher faculty and students," read the press release. "Thacher and the students' parents are relieved and thankful that they are safe and healthy."
"Thanks to the help and attention focused on this by the news media,"

Clearly Thacher is oblivious to all of the people that deserve their gratitude. You could try actually reading the article before commenting because you look like idiot.

Anonymous said...

"The Ojai" should thank its lucky stars that The Thacher School is in its presence. Thacher has done more for "the Ojai" and more for the Ojai community than just about anything. Thacher has been around a lot longer than any of you folks, so you had best just hush up. You clearly know nothing of the caliber of students that are being produced at this exceptional school.
-- A Thacher alum

Anonymous said...

Tyler and George have acted selfishly and thoughtlessly, like spoiled, rich kids. Their actions inevitably tarnish all of us in the Thacher community. I think we're going to have to accept this reality and live it down simply by being good ourselves. No more whining. No more pompous bragging.

Kudos to Michael Mulligan who, from my perspective, showed that concern over student safety was more important than avoiding negative publicity and damage to Thacher's reputation.

-Another Thacher alum

Anonymous said...

Why say "spoiled,rich kids." Kids make mistakes. People make mistakes. Most of us here have no idea what the income of these two families is. Why judge?
What these kids did does not shame the alumni or the school. There is no perfect world. We learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.
Why do people get satisfaction out of running to add coals to this fire? Have you never made a mistake?
In my view, weak people want to tear others down. Why attack these
kids, the school, the headmaster?
Life happens, mistakes are made by all of us. It is how we deal with it that reflects on us as individuals and as a community.
As a lifelong resident of Ojai, I am sad to read some of the comments left on the Ojai Blog.

Anonymous said...

Glad they are safe. I was praying for them and for their families and all involved.
I know this seems HUGE right now, but take a look at the other headlines in our county, state and world.
I wish all the best to these kids and their families as they sort this out.
I want to commend the school for putting the welfare of two missing students above all else.

Anonymous said...

Can we now put this to rest as the kids have been found alive?

Happy Holidays... (if possible in this economy)

Anonymous said...

thank you "another thacher alum" for the reality check and yes, no more bragging from thacher folks. You seem to be the only thacher person posting with their feet on the ground. Ojai produces some excellent students from all our schools, not just from thacher. A Nordhoff alum class of 06 at Harvard, (don't see Harvard listed as one of the schools any of your kids attend) ... kids from Nordhoff at Stanford, Claremont colleges, GW, Columbia, Tufts etc. Please stop the bragging as "another thacher alum" asks. You only make yourselves appear out of touch and obnoxious. Listen to ATA advice.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the last post. I wish more people thought this way. Life is way too short to have so much divisiveness.

Sondra Murphy said...

Anon. Dec. 9, 7:11 PM:
I interpreted Mulligan's statement about the prefrontal cortex as one way to scientifically acknowledge that adolescents sometimes don't think about the effect their actions might have on their family, friends or community, let alone themselves, which is why I included that quote in this story.
Since many of these blog comments are critical of the students' actions, I feel his comment was very relevant, yet sensitive.

According to Wikipedia:
“This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression, decision making and moderating correct social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.
The most typical psychological term for functions carried out by the pre-frontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially-unacceptable outcomes).”

Anonymous said...

That's interesting. I didn't know that. It makes sense though....that developmental biology, not just life experience, impacts the woefully bad decision making of teens, me included. But this a topic for a different day and a different blog!

Anonymous said...

junior senior year seems like an odd time to run away -- they had both been there for several years and were so close to college age ---so much to lose by doing this -- and trying to get on a plane to go to Oregon -- the whole thing seems more desperate than immature so don't know if their actions related to pre frontal cortex issues -- that seems a bit far fetched and like grasping for straws -- I am guessing they had their reasons, or something had really upset them. Something was wrong somewhere. 17 and 18 (considered adult for legal purposes) year olds don't run away for no reason.

Michael Mulligan said...

Before I wind up in the “Thumbs Down” section of the Ojai Valley News, I want to explain one of the comments I made that the Ojai Valley News took off the Ventura radio station about teens and brain physiology. The comment was edited and made it sound like I was making an excuse for their behavior. Actually it was a little attempt at humor based on the reality of teenage brain development. Here is the gist of this: We all know that teenagers are subject to irrational decision-making. We also know that they do much better when they take time for reflection. Researchers have verified that, indeed, the area of the brain where executive decision-making and risk-taking takes place is in the pre-frontal cortex. It does not actually mature in human beings until age 24 to 25. It is one of the reasons why rental car companies do not like renting cars to adults under the age of 24. Okay, so there’s the brain physiology, but that is no excuse for what these kids did, and I did not mean for that to be intended that way in the newspaper or on the radio. It was an attempt at a little lightness based on scientific reality. The bottom line here is that these kids did not reflect carefully; they made irrational and impulsive decisions; and they will now be going to other schools because of those decisions. I want to state this clearly here and now so that people don’t get the idea that I am “blaming” their behavior on mere adolescent consciousness.

I wish to thank again the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Search and Rescue teams, and media for finding these students and returning them to their families in good health. We had no choice but to take this situation very seriously given that they disappeared without any money, cell phones, or identification—and none of their friends or family had any clue as to what had happened.

Thanks for listening,


Michael K. Mulligan
Head of School

Anonymous said...

It is good to have your perspective . It would also be of interest and use to this community to hear at some appropriate point from these students as to their motivation and reasons and explanation for what happened. I am sure all of us would like to know what lead up to their actions. Mostly, we are all happy they are safe and before we crucify them in these blogs we should hear from them. I am sure they feel badly and we should extend them the opportunity to tell us their story. We are a compassionate community and tho we wish they had made different choices, until we know the facts, we should restrain ourselves from punative diatribe.

Anonymous said...

Personally, its none of our business WHY they did what they did. People in Ojai just like to blog. They (the kids) don't care if they are getting "crucified" here... Its just a stupid blog with bored people wanting to put in their two bits.

Mr. Rogers said...

The arrogance of Thacher, top to bottom, is the type you would expect when you mix a group with egocentric tendencies and place them in an isolated world. I think they refer to these types of groups as cults.

Head of School: Get over yourself, you are Headmaster of Thacher. There are thirty other schools in Ojai.

"Thacher has done more for "the Ojai" and more for the Ojai community than just about anything." Like produce students that offer such coherent arguments?

Thacher. Sorry. Your school is not that great. You are not that important in Ojai.

Suck it up. Admit that you have flaws. A little bit of humility might go along way with simpleton townies.

Anonymous said...

Agree wholeheartedly with previous comment. Being isolated and having an exaggerated picture of your own importance (medium fish- small pond) makes for arrogance ..... look at harvard westlake and where their kids actually go to school (not just where they apply) if you want to put your tail between your legs ... hey thacher -- give yearly stats on where your grads actually go/are actually accepted not over 5 year period on where they apply ---the pink elephant in the room is the emperor who has no clothes. But one disagreement with your comment, If our county/city is picking up the tab for the search/capture of your run aways, we sure as hell have a right to the story unless thacher is paying for it all.

Anonymous said...

"give yearly stats on where your grads actually go/are actually accepted not over 5 year period on where they apply"---umm, actually, we do do this--look at our website--and the info on the 5 year period isn't where they apply to college--it's where they go to college.

Anonymous said...

good point. Because all that really matters is where you go to college. Being, say, a decent human being is clearly less important...

Anonymous said...

Why all of the vitriol aimed at children?? When Villanova was vandalized, Nordhoff students were all lumped together as a group of uneducated, spoiled brats. Now it appears to be Thacher's turn. These over-generalized attacks on children say far more about the character of the bloggers than they do about the students of Ojai, regardless of the school. Same with the unsubstantiated attacks on the character of school staff, public and private. I have a relative on the search and rescue team. They were HAPPY to go out and search for these kids, and they are relieved that they are home and safe. Even leaving voluntarily, it could have had a far different ending. Charging for search and rescue could lead some people to delay a call for help that could mean the difference between life and death. If the fine volunteers who train for and carry out these searches do not resent doing so, and harbor no malice towards these children, why do you?? Wouldn't you want people to help your children if they made a poor decision that put them into harm's way? The vast majority of the children in this valley, regardless of income or school, are good, decent people. They are children, and will make mistakes, push the limits, and sometimes act like jerks. That is part of learning how to be a member of a community. It is the job of caring adults to guide, maintain clear boundaries, and ensure appropriate consequences support the learning process. I am grateful to all of the adults who did that for me (although I often was not grateful at the time!).

I attended both Nordhoff and Thacher. Both are fine schools with dedicated teachers and staff, and diverse groups of students. Each provides the opportunity for a first rate education. It is wonderful that our children have so many good choices available to them. There is no need to set one against the other.

Becky Beckett
(P.S. for those who want to attack, I am a science teacher at Nordhoff. If you would like to tell me how to do my job better, please call me at 640-4343 extension 1867 to set up an appointment. Constructive suggestions are always welcome, and I will listen and consider the concerns of anyone who is willing to sit and talk with me face to face).

Anonymous said...

GREAT POST, Becky Becket!

Anonymous said...

I dont think anyone is attacking, I think what we are all reacting to is any generalization that one school so much better than another. Each school can be very good for some kids, not so good for others. There is no one size fits all. There are kids that did and did not like Nordhoff, Villanova, and Thacher. Thats the point, there are good teachers and good students at each school. What people in this community do not like are the "holier than thou we were here before you and we are so important" kind of diatribe posted here by some (not all) thacher folks. Just because something iexpensive, doesnt necessairily mean its better. I think thats what is going on. Ojai does not like snobbery. Good post Ms. Beckett

Anonymous said...

Of course the kind of human being you are is important -- the point is if you are going to post (any of the schools) where your kids go to college -- give the information in a clear transparent way, each year. List the names and where they are going unless for some weird reason they do not want their name listed (most kids love having their name in the paper with where they are going to school) or at least give an exact count of where students were accepted and then an exact count of where they will attend. Do it each year and dont make it a guessing game cause it just makes people suspicious.

Anonymous said...

The last four posts were very intelligent and thoughtfully thought out. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

as usual my friend Becky Beckett posts something that is sound and reasonable and not vicious like you can read on this blog. Thank you for posting

Donna Lloyd

Anonymous said...

and pity the poor secondclassitis souls.

Anonymous said...

Boy so defensive about just giving clear information.
Hmm wonder why?? maybe you employees are suffering from thacher employee secondclassitis.

Bill Hoffman said...

I just read through this blog and expected interesting hometown insights into an episode of teenage behavior that got way out of hand. Unfortunately, it's mostly filled with insult-laden, needling comments.

It's too bad that OVN allows posters to be anonymous. I wonder if the unnecessarily offensive/aggressive/mean-spirited/braggy/holier-than-thou/reverse snobbery (you pick the tone) blog entries would have been made otherwise.

Many comments sound like they were written by aggrieved kids or adults who hold long-standing grudges. I hope that OVN will reconsider its policy of allowing posters to hide their identities and that future posters on this blog sign their names.

Anonymous said...

I find this blog to be honest and open expression of peoples perceptions. Just because some of us do not care for bragging from some (probably a very few) thacher folk does not make us bad, nor are the thacher folks bad for expressing their views (however self aggrandising) I think autonomy is good, it allows for people to be honest about how they really feel and what they really perceive without the fear of being scapegoated by the politically correct agenda of Ojai.
Don't try to shut down honest exchange even if it is heated, thats what freedom is all about.

Anonymous said...

The idea that brain development is partly at fault for the teens actions if true presupposes and assumes that adults need to take more responsibility to control the envoirnment and behavior of the teens so where is the taking responsibility by the adults of what is going on up at thacher?? its a conflict to blame the teens while simultaneously making the prefrontal lobe argument -- they are somewhat mutually exclusive. How about the adults take some responsibility for knowing and controlling what is going on at your school???

James Hatch said...

The only thing lacking in this blog are all the whiners that haven't had the guts to apologize to Mr. Rogers.

Anonymous said...

were these kids under the influence?

Anonymous said...

1. As a visitor to Ojai, I'm disappointed to learn from this blog that my impression that Ojai was a cool town inhabited by enlightened non-judgmental people might have been an illusion. The vitriol and judgement exhibited here puts us on the East Coast to shame.

2. Many kids withdraw from private school (or drop out of public school) for a wide variety of personal and/or psychological/emotional reasons over the years. Unfortunately, these two, for whatever reason, didn't have the emotional tools to do so in a non-public way. They chose to create a drama to resign, and they accomplished their goal. Sadly for them, strangers are now harshly judging them. They made a cry for help and got it. How many of you ran away when you were a teen, even for a few hours? These kids made a mistake and unfortunately they did so on the town stage.

3. Remember your own teen mistakes. Above all, thank God that when most of us were teens there was no such thing as the internet where the town gossips could "chat" about our antics like you're doing here. I can't imagine what the townies would have thought of me....and I turned out okay in the end.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

You are right and things happen at every school -- its not vitriol its just a reaction to arrogance of some thacher posts. people in ojai for the most part are compassionate and we would like to hear from the teens themselves. It is important tho in a boarding school envoirnment that the adults take some responsibility for goes on on their campus and with the kids they are given the task of full time supervision. It could be that some of this was adult error but of course we are all glad that they returned safely, and would love to hear about their adventure and what lead up to it. I think that is a very enlightened approach and what most Ojai residents feel. But thanks for your judgmental analysis -- go home please.

demand civility and respect said...

please stay, 12/17 1:13 doesn't speak for Ojai

Anonymous said...

demand civility and respect certainly does not speak for the residents of Ojai who do not appreciate being judged harshly and unfairly by one who doesn't even live here and has no clue what our community is about. demand civility and respect, why don't you demand that for the citizens of Ojai who are insulted by this type of inappropriate judgmental generalizations. take your own moniker as advice and include civility and respect for the citizens of Ojai.

James Hatch said...

I am sick and tired of reading posts by demand civility and respect. Her posts are constantly riddled with hypocrisy.

Who cares what some jerk thinks about Ojai? Why are their certain residents, wearing their one year pins, that are obsessed with what others might think about their "vision" of Ojai. Get over it.

Let's face it, a couple of kids ran away. What's new? This in and of itself is a yawner.

The real story is the public display of arrogance by a cult school that has convinced itself that it is more than just another one of the five boarding schools in the valley.

No You're Homonyms said...

James Hatch, wear did ewe go two school? Over their or over there?

Anonymous said...

James Hatch: Nordhoff High School, 1988-1992.

Hee hee, no wonder you are such a Thacher hater, you went to Nordhoff! It all makes sense now. A guy with a 16 year grudge.

James Hatch said...

You have the wrong James Hatch. I use the name as a pseudonym. I didn't have any opinions about Thacher, or any other local boarding school, until I began reading this thread.

Let's face it, read the excerpts for yourself:

It is universally regarded as one of the top boarding schools in the U.S. and the finest in California.

In so many ways, Thacher is heaven for intelligent, motivated teenagers that want to succeed and enjoy a happy life.

"The Ojai" should thank its lucky stars that The Thacher School is in its presence . . .

Thacher. I hate to break the news, but you're really not that important. When you go off to big people's school, you will just get lost in the shuffle.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of reading posts by so-called James Hatch. I assume most of them are meant to be funny (or at least I hope so!), but the glimmer has long since dulled. It is easy to pass judgement on everyone else, while hiding behind an assumed name. Also, we should not be surprised or affronted when people have a negative reaction to Ojai after reading these blogs. While most people in Ojai are kind and caring people, this is not reflected in the majority of the blogs. I appreciate those people who are able to ask questions, express opinions, and provide information without ripping someone else apart.

I think it is great that Thacher students are proud of their school, and feel that the community there is special. The same for the Nordhoff, Villanova....... students who are proud of their schools. Some of the posters here claim to be reacting to the arrogance of the Thacher posters, but it seems that the criticism of Thacher came before the defense. With the difficult times facing all schools (and students) these days, it would be great to see people sharing ideas and working together, rather than gathering around the bush for a pissing contest!

Becky Beckett

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree, boasting of thacher came before comments addressing that. I also disagree that this blog not good, exchange of ideas is good. james hatch a joke, ignore that, but a lot of value in HONEST (which does not happen enough) commentary. I think its refreshing. Some people are very offended by opinions that differ from their own, but thats the whole purpose of this, and I for one, as a big fan of the 1st amendment, like the honesty even if I do not agree with some of the comments. I wish our paper had more of this frankly. This is the essence of democracy and Ojai needs frank and honest exchange with all we face now.

Anonymous said...

I run away at least 7 1/2 days a week and no one cares i am 33 now but that is beside the point!!


j k

James Hatch said...

Betty,

Stick to the bunson burner.

Randy

James Hatch said...

Randy,

Do not attempt to use my name with your idiotic blogs.

Anonymous said...

Heard about the kids, and thought I'd check in for an update. Glad to hear they were found...and after reading this blog, glad I left Ojai when I grew up.

Anonymous said...

I think some of these blogs are great and true

Anonymous said...

That's unfortunate. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

however critical you are you are also a hypocrite as you continue to read and post, so you must find some value or maybe just entertainment here. If you do not, go elsewhere and stop criticizing those who do have something to say. bye bye

Anonymous said...

This reader will go with door number two: Entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Just go, don't announce. You're an idiot. Everyone is glad you left anyhow. GO THACHER!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I have to agree with Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

since when is a blog about two runaway teens a forum for the thacher booster club?? better to spend your time figuring out whats up with these kids up there ...

Anonymous said...

As past grad of Thacher, I can assure you that from it I received an education second to none and far better than the top tier could ever beg to get from a public school like Nordhoff. GO THACHER!! See you at the wine and cheese reunion.

Anonymous said...

further evidence of your arrogance. check out the schools (including Harvard) Nordhoff sent kids to ... so if thacher is so great, how come nobody can figure out each year where each kid goes?? hmmm .... good question ...

Anonymous said...

Why all the elitism? Is Harvard somehow better than Stanford or Cal? I thought your whole point was that you had somehow been wronged by Thacher's perceived feeling of superiority over Nordhoff. But you buy into the superiority of Harvard?

Anonymous said...

No the point is you folks are so impressed with your "excellent" education that you could not get elsewhere.You can get an excellent education at any school if you apply yourself. The harvard comment is simply support as the proof is in the pudding. Stop being so damn defensive and haughty .. its all good and nobody gives a shit where you went to school, but where you go to college does seem to carry more weight as far as the school you came from with any school ... just publish your stats in a straightforward way every year

Joe Candra said...

5:19pm.....

You have a serious inferiority complex...it's totally comical!!! I love it! I just reread this blog and you're still all over it. Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Oh, but it is an "excellent" education. I agree that you can get an excellent education at many schools. Thacher is a unique experience, but it certainly isn't the only good school around, and I haven't heard anyone say that it is. I've also never heard anyone make the arguement that Nordhoff offers an equal level of academic rigor. I think you should take Ms. Beckett up on her offer to discuss things face-to-face. She has seen both sides up-close, and could shed some light on the comparison. Report back and let us know the outcome. Maybe we'll all learn something from this conversation. And take heart - even if Ms. Beckett convinces you that Thacher isn't so bad, you're still probably way better than Ventura High (where I went).

Anonymous said...

all these smart people, all these stupid opinions.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Rev. Sherman Day Thacher who once said he had a dream that "his students would one day live in valley where they would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their money." It was either that, or something about the outside of a horse.

Anonymous said...

Stupid opinions? Thanks for owning up. My job here is done.

James Hatch said...

Ha ha ha. Has anyone ever heard of Thacher hosting a "wine and cheese" reunion? Wasn't this a dead giveaway that this blog (December 20, 2008 4:57 PM) was a joke aimed at riling up a few people?

Let's face it, both schools have grads that lack ability to critically think if they didn't catch that my blog posted under "anonymous" was a half-joke/half-skills test.

Anonymous said...

First of all, in terms of AP academics and schools kids get into ... many of the AP classes at Nordhoff are very intense -- the kids have to read hundreds of pages even in the summer before the classes start -- the top grads from Nordhoff, (the AP kids) would not be getting into the schools they do, or doing as well as they do, if academically these classes were not as challenging, or in some peoples opinion, more so, than thacher. No, its not as small teacher pupil etc (more evidence of how talented and hard working these kids are) but there is no doubt that academically, for a kid that takes lots of AP classes that Nordhoff is any less than thacher. The enviornment is different no camping, horse maintenance etc but the work load is as great or probably greater at this level ... and that is shown by the schools they are admitted to and attend which is information made available each year.

Anonymous said...

The last post was wonderfully correct.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

and I guess we can all assume that the "piss up a rope" comment was from thacher. classy but defensive. the wonderfully accurate comment is wonderfully accurate.

demand civility and respect said...

please delete 12/23 4:03

James Hatch said...

Who was right about the kids all along? James Hatch.

James Hatch offers a unique approach to problem-solving. He first recognizes that it most likely really isn't a problem at all, and should be ignored. Once that happens, it disappears.

Was it a cooincidence that at about the same time James Hatch and Mr. Rogers were calling their bluff that they showed up?

Anonymous said...

glad comment was deleted. Boy, it really is interesting when someone really demonstrates who they are and what they are about ...

Anonymous said...

Uncle already! The truth is that many of us don't live in the Ojai school district and therefore are not eligible to send our children to a Harvard feeder-school like Nordhoff. Thacher, Villanova, OVS and Happy Valley are poor substitutes, but, alas, the only options available to the less fortunate. Please quit rubbing our noses in it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Jack said...

When I was a teen, I drove up north and met a gal there. I took a liking to her right away and I she liked me too. We spent a few days rolling in the weeds and making love. We didn't tell anyone where we were going and nobody came looking after us. Maybe things are different now I guess, but I like it better the old way.

Teens should be able to excercise some freedom before they become adults.

Now that I am in my 40s, I hope to keep living and enjoying the freedoms we have.

Ojai is an OK place and THACHER is an outstanding school for those that want to be there.

Peace.

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