RE: DSM: authorities' approval for Sudbury Schools

Joe Jackson (
Sat, 30 Sep 2000 02:55:36 -0400

> << If
> the dysfunction were more subtle you might have kept your child in this
> damaging situation for years, but it seems like these folks made it SO
> obvious that keeping your son in the school would pretty much amount to
> child abuse on your part!! :) >>
> Joe,
> You've "almost" made my point. The real abuse would be for me
> NOT to allow
> my son to attend if he wishes. Even if I don't approve of some of the
> tactics of the very small "junta" at times, I trust most of the
> people there,
> including most of the staff. And, I trust the assembly,even when I don't
> agree with them. More importantly, I trust my son. He's not stupid, just
> young. And as difficult as his year was, he's never grown or
> lived more. Nor
> have I.
> Do I detect defensiveness in your response, or is it just
> sarcasm?

No. While I tend to sympathize with other small schools because I know what
they're up against, clearly the school as you described it in your last post
is no Sudbury Model school. There's no sarcasm; I meant exactly what I said
based on how you described the school yesterday.

Schools are either following the model, or they aren't. There's no in
between. If they're not "adhering to the model" and a "small junta" is
making all of the decisions, they are, by definition, not a Sudbury model

I'm frankly suprised you would allow your son to continue; for if his
experience in the school was indeed "hellish" and you continue to enroll him
there fully knowing that, then my little joke about child abuse becomes a
legal reality. In any case, after his terrible experience I'm sure he will
not want to return there voluntarily.

If on the other hand his experience was not "hellish", and you were just
blowing off steam yesterday, then I understand. I remember early on being
frustrated as heck with the reluctance of kids to become involved with the
democratic process at our school, and I'm sure it might be the same at
yours. If this is the case, hopefully your school will come around as
dramatically as Fairhaven has (we now have a student chairing School
Meeting, and student involvement at School Meeting has really piced up the
last year or so).

-Joe J


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