Re: DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] Re: Child Safety

Scott David Gray (
Tue, 11 Apr 2000 18:16:09 -0400

There was certainly discussion of having the entire community bear the same
cross. A couple older students suggested that they would prefer live under such
strictures than that they be exempted from them. However the community as a whole
(all ages -- everyone in the school took part in this conversation) decided that
it was not philosophically inconsistent for the school to offer an open campus
_to_those_students_whom_we_can_offer_one_to_. The JC would prosecute a 15 year
old student who goes to the track and bets on horses during the day, but would not
prosecute a 22 year old student who does the same -- this is not "age
discrimination," it is a recognition that we exist with the context of the wider

Andrew Smallman wrote:

> Hey Scott,
> Thanks for the response. I certainly understand the fine-line to which
> you refer below.
> Another question -- was there discussion around the idea of all students
> having the same rules, regardless of age? I know there are many, many
> precedents in our society for age-based qualifications (driving, voting,
> drinking, etc.), but those are often seen by youth (and adults!) as
> completely arbitrary. Also, could a "mature" 12 year-old petition the
> school meeting and get a waiver or something, based on demonstrated
> responsibility?
> Personally, I don't like decisions being made solely on age, hence the
> bias in my questions. I'm hoping there is a way around it. ;)
> Thanks again,
> ---Andy -- Puget Sound Community School, Seattle
> On Tue, 11 Apr 2000, Scott Gray wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I'm Scott Gray, from the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts.
> >
> > On Tue, 11 Apr 2000, Andrew Smallman wrote:
> >
> > > My question has to do with how the age markers were determined. Mike
> > > wrote, "Those between eight and thirteen years old are required to 'sign
> > > out' and be accompanied when they take advantage of the 'open campus'
> > > policy. Those under eight years (who typically lack parental permission to
> > > leave campus), are now constrained as well by a school policy that
> > > restricts them to campus except for organized 'school excursions'."
> >
> > An examination of local law and precedent, and a gut decision as to
> > what the lowest age is that could be defended in the Massachusetts
> > courts if we were ever challenged. It really is a gut decision --
> > whatever number one puts forward, some people would be much more
> > comfortable if it were a little higher, and others are convinced that
> > we could adequately defend an age that is a little lower.
> >
> > --Scott David Gray

-- Scott David Gray
Phone: 508/650-9639
ICQ: 27291292

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