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

Robert Swanson (
Tue, 14 Nov 2000 18:32:53 -0800

Because of yours and other recent comments I am getting an impression that
empowerment really sets into these students. They find a vitalized sense of
self that does not understand putting up with belittlement. I find this
impressive. I am well impressed also that parents can have this "problem" in
their lives and yet appreciate that something worthwhile is happening.
Certainly an education for both student and parent.


on 11/13/00 7:06 PM, Joseph Roach at wrote:

> Greetings Robert!
> Here is the issue: a child at a democratic school has
> a reasonable expectation of being respected and having
> people give serious weight to his/her opinion. A six
> year old has as much say in an expulsion as a forty
> year old -- and each of these children take their role
> in such as case as seriously as forty year old. This
> kind of expectation naturally spills into other parts
> of a child's life, and can complicate what had
> previously been a placid relationship.
> 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 dynamics in huge ways.
> We warn parents in our admissions interviews about how
> children may expect to be treated differently, and we
> also try to provide support parents through our
> TalkAbouts. One of our TalkAbout topics has been "How
> to Cope with an Indendent Child."
> Some families adapt to these changes better than
> others. I think families with very young children at
> The New School are the most affected.
> So the short answer to your questions:
> 1) the students themselves expect and demand that
> their families to be more democratic,
> 2) this is by no means result of a democratic vote,
> but rather a natural consequence of taking the
> opinions and desires of children seriously.
> Best regards,
> Joseph Roach
> The New School
> Newark, Delaware
> --- Robert Swanson <> wrote:
>> 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?
>> robert

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Wed Nov 15 2000 - 18:45:02 EST