Monday, October 24, 2005

Dr. Riddile receives award prompting Leigh Bright and Wes Fager to write letters of protest

a. MetLife/NASSP PR on Dr. Mel Riddile
b. Wash Post on Dr. Mel Riddile

Recently Dr. Mel Riddile, former national executive director of Straight, was named top high school principal in America by MetLife and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. This prompted Wes Fager, editor of theStraights dot com, to send the following eMail to Michael Carr of NASSP:
Dear Michael Carr, NASSP

I was dissapointed to learn that Dr. Riddile has been selected by your organization as National High School Principal of the Year. Dr. Riddile is the former director of Straight-Springfield, Virginia and the former national director of Straight, Inc. For 17 years Straight, Inc. was the biggest juvenile drug rehabilitation program in the world (though Dr. Riddile was not with the program all that time). But Straight was also one of the most destructive rehab programs the world has ever seen. It operated on deceit, fear, intimidation, and untested methods brainwashing. Mental and physical abuse were rampant. Eventually this national-level program had to close all its treatment camps under mounting civil suits and investigations from state criminal and child welfare agencies.

And while Dr. Riddile is being recognized today for his current work and receiving a $5,000 check, I think it is important to note that over 40 of Straight's former clients have committed suicide.

Wesley Fager

Related story:
A story extolling the virtues of Dr. Riddile and his recent award in The Washington Post on 10/23/05 led former Straight student Leigh Bright to send a letter to the editor to theStraights dot com and to the Wash Post.

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