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

Joseph Moore (
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 12:01:40 -0800

Some day, I'll learn - I almost always go about talking about our school
(Diablo Valley School) the wrong way - by looking at the subtle and not so
subtle coercion of traditional schools, pointing out how *not* being able to
think for oneself might be advantageous to people who hold power, and so on
- because that is what impresses *me* about the situation.

But - let's look at it the other way, simply from the kid's point of view
with no regard to how or why things got this way. This is one way parent
come to find our schools in the first place.

One way to look at the wisdom of Sudbury is this: Kids thrive in a rich,
relatively safe environment where they can do what they want within the
natural limits imposed by having to share a planet with other people. In the
current world, it takes some doing to create such a place - that's what we
do when we set up a Sudbury school.

On the other hand, kids who have this natural right taken from them do not
thrive, as can be seen in a million ways, many of which have been listed
here already. Regardless of the efforts of well-intentioned people within
them, traditional schools are set up to deprive children of the freedom to
do what they want.

>From a kid's point of view, the issue not merely respect - it's respect as
manifested in a real ability to walk or not show up for stuff they don't
want to do. Otherwise, sure, it's nice to have a sympathetic teacher, it's
comforting to be able to think that you're not alone in your unhappiness.
But this is still nothing like having freedom in a meaningful way.

I am reminded of a day years ago when I took my cats to get neutered - I was
very kind and sympathetic, patted them and calmed them all the way to the
vets. But they got neutered anyway - they didn't have any say in it.

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