Some parents, students complain about living conditions at prep - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Some parents, students complain about living conditions at prep school

One mother says she pulled her son out of the program in December, after he sent her photographs of the rental home where she says 15 students were living, along with a resident adviser. (Source: CBS 5) One mother says she pulled her son out of the program in December, after he sent her photographs of the rental home where she says 15 students were living, along with a resident adviser. (Source: CBS 5)
Hillcrest Prep says that there were no more than 12 students living at the home, and a couple of them were responsible for dirty conditions. (Source: CBS 5) Hillcrest Prep says that there were no more than 12 students living at the home, and a couple of them were responsible for dirty conditions. (Source: CBS 5)
A student emailed photographs of a dirty bathroom, what appeared to be a messy and crowded bedroom and a video that showed cockroaches running along the top of a freezer door. (Source: CBS 5)A A student emailed photographs of a dirty bathroom, what appeared to be a messy and crowded bedroom and a video that showed cockroaches running along the top of a freezer door. (Source: CBS 5)A
Matt Allen, who is the director of Hillcrest Prep., says he hired an exterminator on multiple occasions. (Source: CBS 5) Matt Allen, who is the director of Hillcrest Prep., says he hired an exterminator on multiple occasions. (Source: CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

These should be glory days for Hillcrest Prep Academy.

More than 80 former students have moved on to play college basketball. And its star alum, Deandre Ayton, is likely to be the No. 1 pick in this Thursday’s NBA draft.

[RELATED: Arizona’s Deandre Ayton top choice among bigs in NBA draft]

But the school’s director spent the beginning of this week defending the school from accusations that its students lived in filthy, overcrowded conditions.

“Even with the nicest rental house in the world, if kids don’t do what they’re supposed to do, it can look bad,” said Matt Allen, who is the director of Hillcrest Prep.

[RELATED: Top high school players choosing controversial basketball 'prep' schools]

“No child should be put in that situation,” said Michelle Dumas, who sent her son, Xavier, to Hillcrest from their home city of Seattle.

Dumas says she pulled Xavier out of the program in December, after he sent her photographs of the rental home where she says 15 students were living, along with a resident adviser.

“I said, ‘I want to see what the house is. Take the pictures and send them to me now,’” said Dumas. “And he did. You see pictures of cockroaches, dead in the refrigerator. And you see a bathroom that is absolutely disgusting. And that was it. He was home within 24 hours,” she said.

Allen told CBS 5 Investigates that there were no more than 12 students living at the home, and a couple of them were responsible for dirty conditions. He says he hired an exterminator on multiple occasions.

“These are 18, 19-year-old boys and they can, like this, have a house just destroyed,” said Allen. “Whenever I get a complaint, within 24 hours, I address that complaint,” he said.

[READ MORE: Players, parents say Phoenix HS basketball powerhouse let them down]

This is not the first time CBS 5 Investigates has looked into complaints about the living conditions at Hillcrest Prep.

Last May, two parents and their children spoke out to CBS 5 Investigates about, what they called, crowded living conditions.

In September, a student emailed photographs of a dirty bathroom, what appeared to be a messy and crowded bedroom and a video that showed cockroaches running along the top of a freezer door.

Allen sent photographs that showed the home in a much cleaner condition and said that was what it was like more often than not.

He also forwarded testimonials from students who praised the school.

“You have really helped me on the court and in life. You took care of me when I was attending Hillcrest and I couldn’t ask for more,” wrote one student.

“Not only did you provide a roadmap to success, but you also looked out for the safety and well-being of Jaylen, and returned him home safely and in one piece, just how I sent him!” wrote a parent of a student.

Allen says he hired an older military veteran as the resident assistant for the coming school year.

Dumas says it did not appear that school administrators did not seem to have a handle on the amount of supervision the students needed.

“The truth of the matter is they really just don’t have residential care taken care of properly for children,” said Dumas.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award, and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. In October 2016, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School at Purdue University Global. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

Hide bio

Powered by Frankly