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

Kristin Harkness (
Sun, 19 Nov 2000 08:45:45 -0500

As a parent, I did not find this list to be condescending or offensive.
When our daughter first enrolled, I was probably #1. Having read some of
the books, but without personal experience (not knowing if it would be what
I hoped it would be), I was willing to settle for #5 or #6 at that point
too -- mostly, I was looking for 'do no harm'. Hopefully now I have evolved
to #2. Over the years I have met parents who loosely fit each category
below. When I read this list I nodded, and thought, "yup".

Kristin Harkness

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
Date: Sunday, November 19, 2000 1:44 AM
Subject: Re: DSM: public school prisons (sharing the SVS model, etc.)

>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.
>> 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 often
>>>>> 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 be
>>>>> 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 they
>>>>> 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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