Re: DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] questions

Alan Klein (
Wed, 12 Apr 2000 23:41:10 -0400


I, of course, believe that democratic schools work for all kinds of people.
I don't, however, necessarily agree that the question has to have a
racist/classist assumption behind it. I, for one, believe that a diverse
environment is a healthier environment. It seems to work in the world of
flora and fauna and I believe it works in the human world, as well.

Would I give up freedom for diversity? No. But, all other things being
equal, if I had a choice between two SVS's and one had a more diverse School
Meeting population, I would choose that one.

I also think that it is not enough to open one's door and say, "All may
enter." There are many cultural, political, economic, sociological,
psychological, historical, and other forces at work in our society that keep
racial and ethnic groups apart. I believe that it takes concerted effort to
overcome those forces (with the goal of making it truly possible for
individuals to choose freely with whom they associate.) Am I for mandating
that democratic schools apply such concerted effort? No. But I would (and
have) make an attempt as a School Meeting member to have the school allocate
some energy and resources to such an effort, just as I would (and have) made
similar attempts (some successful, others not) in favor of other motions at
School Meetings for a wide variety of resource allocations.


----- Original Message -----
From: Scott Gray <>
> 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.

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