Re: DSM: cigarettes and sex

Scott Gray (
Tue, 25 Apr 2000 14:13:14 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 25 Apr 2000 wrote:

> I have some questions about the SVS laws regarding smoking and sex. Because
> it can be difficult to read an email's tone, let me say that I am neither for
> nor against these school laws. I simply want more information.
> 1. How did the School Meeting decide to allow smoking but not drugs or
> alcohol; or to put it another way - how did the School Meeting decide to ban
> drugs and alcohol but not cigarettes?

There are lots of nicotine-addicted people in the world, it is legal for
the school to allow cigarete smoking on campus, and nobody ever felt that
the smokers were infringing on others' rights by their smoking. It is not
legal for the school to allow alcohol or drugs on campus, and we can see
direct means by which people who are under the effects of those substances
can hurt others.

> 2. Is it legal in Massachusetts to sell cigarettes to minors?

Stores can lose their license to distribute tobacco for selling cigarettes
to minors -- it isn't in the criminal code. It is legal for minors to
have cigarettes.

> 3. Has an SVS student ever gotten pregnant while a student (or fathered a
> child)?


> 4. Have the staff, students or parents ever requested student education
> pertaining to smoking or sexual activity?

Some parents, from time to time, have showed an interest in it. There's
plenty of information on campus about sex, drugs, and smoking -- no kid
has had trouble getting information s/he seeks. The staf don't seek
anything, the staf respond to direct requests by students (not by

> 5. I found the SVS school law that sexual behavior is limited to behavior
> that is within the norms for the community (I'm paraphrasing) to be vague.
> How is this law interpreted, or has it never required interpretation - has a
> student ever been brought up on charges of violating the sexual behavior law?

There is a body of common law surrounding the "sexual behavior outside of
the community norms" rule. Yes, people have been brought up for making

> 6. Do the school laws regarding smoking and sexual behavior tend to be
> universal in Sudbury-model schools?

My experience is with Sudbury Valley. I'll persons from other schools
answer these questions themselves. Different communities want/need
difeent things, and so you will of course find diferences between the
Sudbury Valley community and other Sudbury Model schools.


--Scott David Gray
reply to:
A man lives long who lives a hundred years;
Yet half is sleep, and half the rest again
Old age and childhood. For the rest, a man
Lives close companion to disease and tears,
Losing his love, working for other men.
Where can joy find a space in this short span?

-- Bhartrhari, Epigram number 200, first millenium CE, translated by John
Brough for Penguin Classics 1968.

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