Re: DSM: Majority Rule vs. Consensus


Dannyasher@aol.com
Tue, 25 Jan 2000 20:31:19 EST


   In a message dated 1/24/2000, Jerry Mintz talked about his Shaker Mountain
School, in which, he says, << We evolved a system slightly different from SVS
in which the minority is not ignored. >>
   I have been reading the exchanges about different forms of decision-making
with interest. This debate has probably gone on from the dawn of time, in
the earliest tribal communities organized by homo sapiens. I doubt that it
will ever be concluded that one form of decision-making is the only right one
for everybody.
   But it is essential in these discussions to be careful in making blanket
statements. To imply that the system Sudbury Valley School uses -
parliamentary democracy, run according to Robert's Rules as modified by the
School Meeting - is one in which the minority is "ignored", is to display an
utter lack of knowledge of SVS's School Meeting, a body with a continuous
history of some 32 years, with a highly developed culture, and with a process
that not only has served a school whose size has varied from 60 to 220, but
has done so with a sensitivity towards every individual position, put forth
by members of all ages (from 4 and up), a sensitivity that I have not seen
matched or approached in any deliberative or decision-making body in which I
have been involved over a period of some fifty years.
   Please, say what you will about this or that process, but don't judge a
community that has chosen one particular way to reach decisions unless you
have extensive experience in that community, and can speak from intimate
knowledge of the community.
     Dan Greenberg, Sudbury Valley School



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