Re: Fwd: RE: surfing uncesored

Dale R. Reed (
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 08:50:32 -0800

Coby wrote: (I hope, I am starting to lose track of who said what)

> 1rst: Point of query -- I have been searching the California Legal Codes
> for law pertaining to pornography, private schools and the internet and
> I haven't found anything AT ALL laying the burden of censorship on such
> schools. Almost all the Codes I have found have to do with the producers
> and distributors of the stuff... Have either of you done research in
> this direction?

I am having the same experience. For example a surf to will yield the laws
concerning pornography for the State of Washington. Of course the local
counties and cities may have passed more laws. But on a practical note
we have collected some pretty raunchy stuff from the government school
"learning resources" collections so I do not think there are any laws or
at least any enforcable laws on what can be GIVEN to children including
what they can see on the net. It is ironic that in a supposidly
Capitalist country it is only what is bought and sold with money that
appears to be regulated.

> As a member of the founding group of an embryonic
> SVS-modelled school I am eager to have any solid legal information
> available on this, or any other subject which may help me to participate
> more clearly in informed discussion regarding what has become a passion
> for me.

I assume that is what this discussion list is all about.

> 2nd: Re: kids having been automatically put in an anti-censorship
> position by SVS philosophy: Unh-uh. People in an SVS school are endowed
> with equal rights.

Unfortunately they also have the right to censor each other. That is,
unless someone tells me differently, there is no Bill of Rights at a
democratic school. See below for a further discussion of this point
that I have been attempting to focus on for all these many months.

> If some of them, at some time during their
> development feel the need to attempt to censor what others
> see/hear/say/do, they have the right to try it out, within the agreed
> context of due democratic process -- a process which they have helped to
> craft and in which they participate on a daily basis -- and to learn
> from the experience.

That is my whole point. Our founding fathers determined wisely(I think)
that American citizens would have more freedoms under a Constitutional
Republic with a Bill of Rights than they would under a democracy.
Obviously the students in the welfare system loose all their First
Amendment protected rights whenever the compulsory attendance laws kick
in(age 8 in the state of Washington) but those that are homeschooled
have taken them back. I have been trying to determine where the student
directed and/or democratic schools fit in the continuum.
> 3rd: Dale, could you explain to me the reason for comparing "the
> homeschooling/unschooling model" to that of Sudbury Valley? Is it even
> possible to do this? Homeschooling/unschooling covers a wide range of
> significantly differing environments, ranging from mini-academies
> complete with desks, blackboards, textbooks and grades to genuine
> self-directed living.

This is exactly right.

> On the other hand, the Sudbury Valley approach, as
> embodied in all the schools who've adopted it, is a coherent, unified
> structure not subject in any material way to the happenstance of
> geography, the vicissitudes of political or religious background, or the
> whim of personality. Maybe the cups ain't all in the cupboard, but I
> don't see the usefulness of the comparisonů

Coherent, unified... Now that is something to ponder. If they are not
subject in any material way to the happenstance of geography how come
Sudbury Valley makes such a big thing out of their pond and Oak tree and
the fact that the little children can leave at school at anytime to
wander down to the local pizza joint? Couldn't let the little tykes
wander the streets of Seattle so the vicissitudes of... really do

You were ahead Colby until you wrote that last paragraph, I think that
is called opening up a whole new can of worms. Don't know where to
start. Maybe I already did. Dale