Re: DSM: Re: Is democracy for everyone?


Msadofsky@aol.com
Thu, 5 Aug 1999 21:41:17 EDT


Just a "spot" reply. A democratic school in England, Sands School, had a
child in a wheelchair when I visited a few years ago. His buddies ("mates"
-- it is England!) just hauled him up and down and hauled the wheelchair
separately up and down when he wanted to go to second floor, or first. It
seemed to work just fine. Sadly, insurance issues might make that impossible
in many places. It is not impossible at Blue Mountain School, a publicly
funded private Sudbury model school in Oregon: they also have a student in a
wheelchair, and have made necessary changes -- the school doesn't really have
any steps.

SVS has never had a wheelchair-ed applicant. The kind of kid we cannot serve
is the kind who cannot be totally responsible for his or her own education or
his or her own actions.

A democratic school in Vancouver, BC, Windsor House, does include kids who
need someone to tend them all day every day. The someone comes too. Seems
to work for them.

So, don't be too sure that there is no room for people with different needs
in different schools.

However, sometimes I wonder what is going on here. The idea of SVS is, first
and foremost, to be a school, to offer its students a place to live and learn
in freedom. Democracy happens to be the government that makes most sense in
such a place, especially when the school happens to be in a democratic
country, but let us realize that the aims of Sudbury Valley are more limited
than extending democracy to every child in the world.

Hopefully, someone else someday will be able to do that, but it won't look
like SVS when they do.
Mimsy



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