I carefully wrote down the dictionary definition of school for all of us
to use and it was "a place or institution for teaching and learning." I
did not intend to redefine it from this definition but if I did then I
apologize. I like Grace Llewellyn's idea of encouraging
children(especially teenagers) to deschool themselves(which they are not
doing if they enroll in a Sudbury Valley School) using the commonly
accepted definition of school. I do know she approves of belly dancing
classes, and I have attended one of her deschooling classes at a
homeschooling convention. Her present life is devoted to teaching
Daniel could of saved himself some grief explaining to the parents of
"fishing all day children" if he and Hanna had not called Sudbury Valley
a school. Maybe they couldn't because the state requires them to
register under the state schooling laws. Maybe they would of used the
schooling title anyway for they consciously wanted to redefine the word
school in everyone's mind.
In fact that might be an interesting thread to imagine if there were no
schooling laws what would the SVS model schools call their institutions
if they desired to reduce the chance of misleading a customer. Sudbury
Valley Learning Center or Sudbury Valley Responsiblily Institution, or
Sudbury Valley Self Definition Place, or .........
Speaking of no schooling laws:
I just had the following letter published in the "Civil Liberties" of
the ACLU of Washington newsletter. For those of you that think your
ideas have general applicability this idea that I first heard twenty
years ago from Stephen Arons whose most recent publication is titled
"Compelling Belief" may be useful in your battles to get from here to
It was not easy causing the Washington State ACLU to publish any letters
to the editor in their newsletter so I suspect you may have the same
battle to fight. I never could of done it without the ground work of a
man and woman Fully Informed Jury Association fanatics. Their speaches
at a couple ACLU annual meetings would of made Patrick Henry proud!
Some people really care about theirs and everybody elses freedom.
October 7, 1996
Dale R. Reed
12027 10th Ave. So.
Seattle, WA 98168
As a long time member of the ACLU of Washington it is my observation
that we are too often distracted from the more fundamental civil
liberties issues. We seem to concentrate on symptoms rather than
For example I am convinced that whether the public schools teach
evolution, creation or environmentalism First Amendment rights will be
violated. A study of the U.S. and Washington State Constitutions using
Blackís Law dictionary and a regular dictionary will convince most
libertarians that the present public schools are unconstitutional.
Maybe, just maybe they would be lawful if there were no truancy laws and
the schools only provided for instruction in the "three Rís" and basic
civics but these can be supplied very inexpensively without any
textbooks and permanent classrooms.
I suggest that a focused effort be made by the ACLU of Washington to
make its decision making process more open to new ideas. High tech
information exchanging and decision making techniques must be tried and
developed with the goal of redirecting the organizations efforts from
the trivial to the important. I donít think we can effectively
counteract high tech threats to our "certain unalienable Rights" with
the same old institutional models.
Dale R. Reed
Doug, please consider the above letter for your Letter to the Editor
section in a future issue of "Civil Liberties."