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

Rick Stansberger (
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 08:16:47 -0700

This is very discouraging to me. I know you don't mean it to be. But I've
found parents to be very difficult to reach when it comes to how they relate to
their children, because that seems to be where they put all the unresolved
problems and conflicts from their own childhoods. Lots of irrationality and
knee-jerk response when you head into that area.

If it's just a matter of spreading a new idea, that's not all that hard to do.
But when the idea hits at the core of someone's existence and demands them to go
through painful self-examination and change, it's no wonder that Mimsy said that
parents who worried about their children in a Sudbury school were beyond help.
It looks as if we're permanently limited to a small market.

So in selling the idea of our new school, I can continually expect to come up
against the irrational programming and "old stuff" type of issues in the parents
I talk to? I hate the thought of just letting them go and looking for the few
who are ready to have independent children. Any suggestions?


Alan Klein wrote:

> One of my most vivid memories from the first year of The Highland School's
> operation in 1981 was a parent coming to us and saying, "You know, I used to
> be the 'good guy' in my son's life. Or at least I was when compared to the
> traditional public school he went to. Now, since he has been at Highland (a
> democratic school), we are now the 'bad guys' with our various
> restrictions!" These parents (and others) needed to learn a new way of
> relating to their kids, who had now had a taste of real respect, freedom,
> and responsibility.
> ~Alan Klein
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Joseph Roach <>
> >
> > The really insidious thing about this kind of
> > education is that children get used to being respected
> > and listened to, and they really hate being patronized
> > and treated in an arbitrary manner -- this changes
> > family dyanmics in huge ways.

"Weirdness abounds and shatters our illusion of order.  Heh-heh.  All the
dust is being blown out from under the carpet. Wonderful stuff!"

Wanda Hamilton-Quinn

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