Re: DSM: cigarettes and sex
Tue, 25 Apr 2000 21:24:12 EDT

There are no laws that seem to be universal in Sudbury schools, except laws
forbidding illegal activities; sort of redundant, I would think.

Cigarettes cannot be sold to minors in Mass., but there is nothing in the law
about minors possessing or using tobacco. Drugs on the other hand are
illegal. There doesn't seem to be much more explanation needed!!! Of course
I might add that school is not a generally accepted place to be under the
influence of a substance such as drugs or alcohol anyway.

How does one have explict laws against sexual behavior? At SVS one's
behavior is supposed to not cause discomfort to anyone who happens to
accidentally see it. That is true outside, inside, off campus and on. That
is the "outside the community norms" part. Needless to say, it is open to
endless interpretation and endless argument almost every time a complaint
comes up. Thank goodness these complaints are infrequent, but they are
usually about behaviors that are not a very big deal and, as kids point out,
are likely to be seen in some public places . . .

All of that said, it is a very affectionate school. When the affection seems
to look a little too sexual in nature, someone inevitably complains. Often
the behavior stops before it gets to the judicial system, because most people
don't want to offend others in our school. On the other hand, I once was
young, and I remember feeling both somewhat invisible about certain behaviors
that I don't want to see others engaging in, and also as if NOTHING I did
could offend anyone because it was by its very nature of being me innocent.
Ridiculous? No kidding!

We know of no child that has been conceived among SVS students with both
parents in school at the time. But there have been a very few pregnancies
over the 30 years. Only one or two that I remember, but I may not remember
too well, and the mothers were in school but not the fathers. Of course we
don't know about fathers: if they are fathers it doesn't show physically. We
just don't have that kind of data; we don't seek or need it.

Sexual (and drug) education has been constant at Sudbury Valley. Sometimes
formal, usually not. But only because students delve into it or ask
explicitly for information; not because parents or staff request such things.


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