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

Robert Swanson (
Sun, 12 Nov 2000 07:59:29 -0800

I admire your efforts toward a democratic family, but what is it in your
school that demands parents be democratic? Was this by democratic vote?


on 11/12/00 8:07 AM, Joseph Roach at wrote:
> Greetings all!
> The discussion and polemics regarding democratic
> schooling v. public schooling has been fascinating so
> far.
> The most shocking, the most radical implication of
> democratic schooling is for families -- the typical
> family institutionalizes disrespect for children. The
> assumption in most families is that parents know what
> is best for their children, and that children should
> obey their parents.
> In democratic schooling, parents are forced to trust
> the judgment of their children, parents are forced to
> give up the role of benevolent despot.
> In a post a few days ago, Kathleen asked, "If the
> Sudbury Valley model [of democratic schooling] is so
> good, why hasn't it gotten very far in thirty years?"
> (Please forgive me, I paraphrase.)
> The answer, quite frankly, is that parents are not
> ready. I have been involved in a democratic school
> for almost six years, and the life of my family has
> changed drastically; yet, I am continually tempted to
> return to old time parenting, where I can order my
> children to bed without a thought, simply because I am
> "father."
> Democratic school is causing a social revolution, but
> at an even more basic level than at schools -- in
> families.
> Best regards,
> Joseph Roach
> The New School
> Newark, Delaware
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