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

Alan Klein (
Sun, 19 Nov 2000 09:02:00 -0500


Thanks for your response. I, too, value honey over vinegar. From my
experience, and from my hearing the experiences of others involved with
democratic schools, though, "catching more flies" is a two-edged sword. On
the one hand, we want to attract lots of people. On the other, we often find
people being attracted who don't fully understand the philosophy, the
methodology, or their implications. These people often feel totally shafted
(by the school) when they realize that they were not really attracted to the
school, but were attracted to their fantasy about the school.

I can assure you that the list Mimsy presented (in her inimitable,
straight-ahead, bordering-on-sarcastic style) is culled from her many years
of experience; experience that I believe is shared by all those involved
with democratic schools. While any list is bound to be somewhat general,
since it attempts to compile many people's somewhat disparate experiences
into each bullet point, her list seems to me to be pretty specific as well
as wide-ranging. As to attribution, I can't imagine to whom we would look
other than to Mimsy for expertise in these matters.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>

> Well, since you asked, aside from the glaring evidence (to me) that the
> is formulated to characterize parents seeking better educational
> opportunities for their children as dumb, it's also pieced together in a
> mean spirited way. Maybe that's Mimsy's style, personally, I tend to go
> the flippant, sarcastic, cheap shots. The list seemed general, vague and
> attributed to anyone or with any evidence to support its criticisms.
> Regardless, I think you can catch more flies with honey then vinegar, at
> least where the parents are concerned.
> Reeny
> > From: "Alan Klein" <>
> > Reply-To:
> > Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 16:04:58 -0500
> > To: <>
> > Subject: Re: DSM: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)
> >
> > Reeny,
> >
> > I am curious as to what has you regard the list as condescending.
> >
> > ~Alan Klein
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <>
> >
> >
> >>> From a parents perspective, I think this list is condescending. Wish
> >> could be as enlightened as you all.
> >
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> A short and incomplete list of reasons parents might have to send a
> > child to
> >>>> a sudbury school
> >>>> (1) They agree with what they think the philosophy is. This is
> >>>> NOT what the philosophy is but, especially in the beginning of the
> > kid's
> >>>> enrollment, they haven't yet figured that out.
> >>>> (2) They agree with the philosophy and actually want their children
> >>>> grow up feeling free, empowered, in charge, and darn smart.
> >>>> (3) They find the sudbury school to be the least of many evils; they
> >>>> wish there were just a little curriculum, but there isn't, so they
> > either
> >>>> work to change it, openly or covertly, or they impose the curriculum
> > home
> >>>> just to be sure their kids are exposed to everything, in the detail
> >>>> parents think is necessary, that the parents think every child must
> >>>> exposed to.
> >>>> (4) It is the only private school they can afford except for
> >>>> schools and none of the parochial schools suit their fancy.
> >>>> (5) They find the sudbury school to be the least of many evils in
> > their
> >>>> area.
> >>>> (6) They feel the kids will be safe, if uneducated, in a sudbury
> > school.
> >>>> (7) Their kids are having their spirits mutilated in one way or
> > another
> >>>> -- perhaps dumbed down; perhaps something else -- in some other type
> >>>> schooling, and they are desparate to get the kids into something that
> > may
> >>>> help rebuild self-esteem. These parents can actually let that happen
> > to
> >>>> their child(ren) or not; they can manage to subvert the child's real
> >>>> independence of thought and so it will not happen if they really try
> > hard.
> >>>> (8) Their kids refuse to attend school in a "normal" school, and
> >>>> give up and sign the papers so they can go to a school that they will
> > attend.
> >>>> Results are mixed in these situations.
> >>>>
> >>>> I know there are others, but this is a starter list.
> >

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