Re: DSM: Sudbury Schools - Summerhill

Debbie Athos (
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 22:17:59 -0400

Good points - I guess I have a lot to learn about a democratic learning
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Stafford & Angela Sevin <>
To: <>
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 1:28 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: Sudbury Schools - Summerhill

>Debbie Athos wrote:
>> Hello Alan,
>> The founders group would decide how the money would be spent. The people
>> that are apart of our group at this time have all known me for years.
>> worked in the natural foods business for 23 years. I've owned my own
>> foods restaurant and natural health center, taught natural foods cooking
>> classes through the public school system and now own a natural foods
>> People consult me every chance that they can on what they should eat to
>> healthy. They ask me to shop and cook for them all the time!
>> If the group said "Deb ~ we want sugar in our school lunches." I'd say
>> about letting me make your desserts using less refined, natural
>> or organic fruit juice and if there are complaints that there wasn't any
>> white refined sugar in the food then we'll try some organic sugar cane."
>> "Deb ~ we want lots of cheese in our pasta REAL cheese not that soybean
>> stuff..." I'd say "No problem, however I suggest that we get this brand
>> because they don't add hormones to their cow's daily diet."
>> And to help cover the costs - I just happen to have contacts in all the
>> right places and I'm very creative. We'll make it work because it is what
>> want as a group - not something I dreamed up in the middle of the night
>> by myself.
>This is very hard to articulate, but I'm gonna try. I think "we're"
missing the
>point here. Good intentions, well-meaning adults, and a "good" social
agenda on
>the part of founders are ultimately NOT what makes a free and open (and
>"healthy") learning environment. It's a grassroots community effort with
>students as a very vital part of the tree, lawn, forest, whatever. You and
>parents may become very good "doctors" treating the symptoms of what you
>perceive as the problems of humanity. But what if you're wrong? What if
>is not the heart of the matter and it's our thinking that makes it such a
>powerful force (our "belief", if you will). What will end up happening is
>you may secularize your community into believers and non-believers; and
>who agree might join and those who don't will be "outsiders". The kids may
>on to college and complain about how the outside world is unhealthy and
>(unless they go to Reed College, I imagine). Will they have the thinking
>to cope with this, or will they start the cycle over again and try to
>the "non-believers" to their way of thinking?

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