Re: surfing uncensored

Scott David Gray (
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 10:10:50 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 12 Mar 1997, Charles wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Mar 1997 wrote:
> > Why, pray tell, are people so annoyed that no one at SVS bothered to answer
> > the obvious answer -- we allow no illegal activities at school.

> Obvious or not, the answer raises the question: _WHO_ "allow no..."?

The School Meeting at SVS voted, after due debate etc, to pass a rule
barring 'illegal activities' from campus. However, this is likely _not_
the rule which would be prosecuted in the case of offensive movies...
The School Meeting _also_ has a standing rule, which we affectionately
call the 'community norms' rule.

Both rules were passed by the School Meeting.

> If the school community really runs the school, then in theory it could
> vote to allow or encourage `illegal activities' that its members thought
> should not be illegal. (There are laws even today, even in
> Massachussetts, which a Thoreau might choose to disobey.) But if `we' can
> draw a line at illegal behavior, then `we' clearly possess a veto.

I suggest that the school is not in the business of setting itself up as
a revolutionary government in exile. Its relation to the town or state
is similar to the town's relationship to the state or the nation. We
exist _within_ the context of those laws, not in place of them.

> But I thought the whole idea -- or at least a big part of it -- was that
> `we' didn't.

What 'we' are you talking about??? It suddenly occurs to me that you
might be referring to 'founders' or 'staff'. _If_ that's what you're
getting at, the answer is simple -- 'we' don't. However, if you're
referring to the school community as a whole, then 'we' do -- the School
Meeting passes such rules as where you are or are not allowed to eat
popcorn, it certainly has the authority to pass rules requiring members
of the school community to act within the local, state and national laws.

> Please believe me: this is not a frivolous or provocateurish question.
> I realize that it probably cannot be answered in a final or definitive
> way. But I would really like to know how it is being answered now.
> - Charles -

--Scott David Gray
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