Re: Working for love and all that.

Mbradford1 (
Mon, 20 Apr 1998 22:14:58 EDT

In a message dated 98-04-20 01:28:02 EDT, you write:

<< Could a majority at the School Meeting decide that something like smoking
ok, even if it clearly could hurt a minority (even if it could potentially
hurt just one person with severe allergies)? Aren't there overriding rules of
not harming others that come into play? And, are there ever occasions when a
School Meeting decision would override existing government or facility-based
laws or rules, or is it a given that those must be followed?

We had a similar situation this year when we opened. We had a student who was
allergic to smoke. It was no problem at all to pass a rule that there would
be no smoking. We now have a student smoker. He is very courteous about his
smoking and never does it at school. Most smokers I know are very courteous
about their smoke. Certainly the SM could revoke the rule we have, but I
think that is unlikely. For one, there are more non-smokers than smokers.
For another, most smokers are not that insistent about being able to smoke in
public places - they are used to the restrictions most places have on that.
Finally, students are reasonable and informed voters. It is unlikely that
they will pass any rules that are illegal or would harm individuals, at least
as unlikely as the general population would. If they did, it is very likely
that the staff would quit, because they would not want to be held liable for
dangerous or illegal policies. It comes down to trusting kids. I think
experience at Sudbury schools has borne out the notion that you can trust

A school could put certain rules into the bylaws, in which case it would
probably require 2/3 majority of the Assembly (not the School Meeting) to
change them. We didn't do that, but you could. Our school does have a rule
that no illegal activities can take place.

Melissa, LVS