Getting Straight: One Family's Sage - 1986-10-15
While many parents such as the Fedors swear by it, others have filed lawsuits against several Straight facilities, including Springfield. They allege Straight maintains a brainwashing, "Lord of the Flies" atmosphere in which youths are mentally and physically abused by other teen-agers in the program. Other parents swear by Straight's principles but say they are misapplied by staff members.
Straight officials deny any charges of mistreatment. "We've treated more than 5,000 in the past six years," said Straight's national director, Mel Riddile. "Occasionally there are going to be things that will cause some to be dissatisfied." Working with their daughter in Straight for 19 months meant the kind of sacrifices the Fedors, like most middle-class parents, never experienced. Over the months they housed about 50 other "druggies," gave up most of their social life and all drinking, and abided by rules and programs that at first seemed to Sandy Fedor "real weird."