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

Andrew Smallman (
Wed, 12 Apr 2000 08:48:32 -0700 (PDT)

On Tue, 11 Apr 2000, Scott David Gray wrote:


> The school does more good for six year olds by surviving, than it
> would by martyring itself in their name.

Excellent, excellent point, and one I've made many times as it pertains to
our school (and our youngest student this year is 9!). And I've been
agreeing with you! Still, I defend my right to be disappointed. Please
understand, though, I'm not disappointed so much in SVS (or, as it
pertains more to me, in PSCS), but in the greater society that causes
SVS-like schools to enact certain policies.

As Scott wrote, "The Sudbury Valley School protects the freedoms and
equality of its students on campus without question, and offers freedoms
to enjoy an open campus to the extent that we are able to do so."

Indeed, I understand the distinction. On campus, all students are granted
the same freedoms. Off campus, when they venture into the wider community
where the standards are different, a different set of rules apply. This
is logical, I know. But THIS is what disappoints me.

Scott also asked, rhetorically, I think, "Is it evil for you or me to make
use of our freedom simply because those rights haven't been given to
others who we feel also deserve it?"

Some would say yes it is! Isn't there a quote out there that, in essence,
says, "None of us are free until ALL of us are free"? But as it pertains
to the situation at hand, granting 6 year-olds at SVS the same off-campus
rights as 14 year-olds, again, I agree with you.

One thing I know for sure is this -- not having participated in the
dialogue and not being part of SVS, in short, not having the experience of
being a member of the SVS community, it is not my place to pass judgement
on your policies or decisions. I trust you all know what's right for your
school. I hope I have not come across as judgemental. I have just been
interested in how you arrived at the decision you did.


Andrew Smallman, Director
Puget Sound Community School - -

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