Re: DSM: An alternative teacher at a traditional school

Allan Saugstad (
Wed, 20 Dec 2000 08:17:38 -0800

We cannot discount the efforts of individuals like Anna. She is doing
what she can and helping a lot of kids.

I believe it is irresponsible to give up on children (or anyone for that
matter), and when a person advocates that we just ignore or stay away
from a system which is "cruel" to children, we are doing just that.

I see, in my city alone, thousands of families who struggle through
life; without the resources and/or the enlightenment to see that the
sudbury model is something for them or their children.

These families desperately need the public school system; the parents
value it and so do the kids. For many children, including the immigrants
and the disenfranchised, it gives them more opportunity than anything
they could hope for at home or elsewhere in their environment. For many
kids I have known, school is a haven, a place where there is
consistency, a place where they are (sometimes) gently and respectfully
listened to, a place where they will be safe and cared for at least for
5 or 6 hours.

As I said, there are thousands of these kids in my city alone, and in
every city around the world. The public schools exist - they are there,
and the people in them are real people just like you and me, trying
their best to be happy and live a good life.

Working with these people and respecting where they are in life, both
teachers and students, is the only way to make a real difference in our
society. It is not my place, nor yours, to judge these people and
discount their journey through life.


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