Re: DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] questions

Scott Gray (
Wed, 12 Apr 2000 22:34:14 -0400 (EDT)

Good point.

I'll admit that I was being evasive. I tend to be very bothered by that
particular question, because it often carries with it a racist/classist
assumption -- that a school which works for white middle class kids (which
they assume we have) would not necessarily work for other kids. Of course
you and I know that liberty is JUST AS IMPORTANT to ethnic minorities as
it is to ethnic majorities. I have trouble bringing myself to validate
that question with a straight answer -- I would much rather that the asker
realize that the question is usually irrelevent. The problem is, people
ask that question because they think it is a "thoughtful" question which
takes minorities' needs into account -- and I don't really feel like
either answering the question OR telling them that I think they are taking
a stand that assumes a racist position.

On Wed, 12 Apr 2000, Alan Klein wrote:

> Mims and Scott David,
> While I applaud almost all of your answers to Tom's questions (and thank you
> for taking the time to do so), I think you are being a bit evasive in regard
> to his question about the multicultural makeup of the student body at SVS.
> Scott's answer (paraphrased) was that, since all of the students act as
> individuals, everyone is a culture unto themselves. Mims responds that SVS
> doesn't have a test for ethnic background. I think Tom was asking something
> more basic; something that is highly observable without "tests" of any type.
> I believe that he was simply asking you (and, by extension, all of us who
> are or who have been involved in democratic schools) to look around in our
> minds' eyes at our students and to gauge the balance of various racial and
> ethnic groups. Nothing definitive...he wasn't asking for a census...just a
> rough estimate.
> My concern is that by appearing evasive, we appear defensive when there is
> (hopefully) nothing to be defensive about.
> ~Alan
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> > To Tom Barone:
> >
> > Enrollment is open to anyone who wishes to enroll. There is no test for
> > ethnic background as there is none for income.
> >
> > Mims

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have
to say something.

-- Plato

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