Re: DSM: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)

Bruce Smith (
Fri, 10 Nov 2000 14:12:57 -0700

<<I merely give the people I'm with during the day respect and freedom.
That is the Sudbury Model.>>

But the amount of respect and freedom you can give them (note: giving, as
opposed to it being their inalienable right) is severely limited and
qualified. That is not the Sudbury model. I can (and do) applaud the values
you practice in your classroom, but I cannot overlook the fact that those
values are opposed, undermined, and restricted by the system in which you
practice them.

><< I guess it gets back to what Joe Jackson was saying, whether one is a
> reformer or a revolutionary. I used to belong to the former camp. >>
>I am neither. I don't belong to "camps". That gets into the attack and
>defend mode

So...are you simply refusing to be labelled? Look, I don't want to attack
any individual, and I feel no need to defend Sudbury. But I will attack
complacency, naivete...whatever promotes or prolongs the status quo; and I
will defend my observations and convictions. My relation to the children in
my life demands respect, but I believe that there's more to it than my
individual relationships. I want the _systems_ in which children and I
operate to share and support my respect of children. And the traditional
system cannot do that.

I agree that labels and dichotomies don't get us very far. But we all have
to consider the effect of what we're doing on making things better. All I'm
arguing is that one's effectiveness to do good is extremely limited in
traditional schools, in a way and to a degree that I cannot support. You
may disagree, and that's fine. We all have to choose our own battles, and
some people choose to fight within the system. I respect their right to
choose, but I'm not going to get stuck in a relativism that says everyone's
choices are equally productive of progress and beneficence.


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