Re: DSM: Learning disabilities at SVS

Martin Perkins (
Tue, 26 May 1998 23:02:02 -0400

> Hi Alan -
> I think we've had this conversation before, but I do think that staff is
> staff and students are students, and that staff has a responsibility to
> restrain themselves from initiating the education of students. I don't
> think I'm saying that you should restrain yourself with friends under 20,
> I'm saying that staff should restrain themselves in the school environment.
> I think there's a big difference posting or walking around the school
> saying you're going to do something or have a class in something (which
> many SVS purists would have a problem with) and recommending a book or a
> learning process or a class to a specific student out of the blue. When a
> recommendation takes place in a conversation and is not a blatantly stark
> recruitment, I don't see a problem with it.
> I think a big factor is the intent of the recommendation, which I think
> students are usually very quick to glean.
> -Joe

I have a very different interpretation of what is appropriate for a
staff member to do at a "Sudbury Valley" school. From what I've
gathered, it is not uncommon within the hallowed halls of Sudbury Valley
for staff to post and/or communicate with students about potential
classes. Simply stated: kids have a choice and my experience is they
exercise that choice when given that freedom. Also, you make the
statement that staff is staff and students are students. I hope for the
benefit of everyone involved at Fairhaven School that we all stretch
beyond those very limiting bounds and learn from each other.
Marty Perkins