DSM: Is democracy for everyone?

rhonda goebel (rrands@chicago.avenew.com)
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 06:51:09 +0000

Many aspects of the Sudbury model appeal to me, especially compared to
the school establishment model. One thing that bothers me though is how
some people who have special needs (physical, emotional, mental, etc.)
seem to be excluded. If Sudbury serves as a model of democracy in
action, does that mean that there is no place for some people with
special needs in a democratic state? Is Sudbury about people adapting
to a rigid framework, or a responsive framework adapting to people? My
point is not about forced compassion, rather the concept of equal
opportunity for all, a democratic ideal that includes everyone
regardless of need. Sudbury has significantly demonstrated that young
people naturally develop competency and compassion within a
self-directed context. My best guess is that young people would
naturally and actively include all people, if given the opportunity (as
is now being demonstrated in the school establishment). I believe that
true democracy is democracy for all.

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