Re[2]: DSM: An alternative teacher at a traditional school

David Rovner (
Thu, 21 Dec 2000 11:27:42 +0200

    "I will confine my answer to a single, fundamental aspect of this question. I will
name only one principle, the opposite of the idea which is so prevalent today and
which is responsible for the spread of evil in the world. That principle is : On must
never fail to pronounce moral judgment
    "Nothing can corrupt and disintegrate a culture or a man's character as thoroughly
as does the precept of moral agnosticism, the idea that one must never pass moral
judgment on others, that one must be morally tolerant of anything, that the good
consists of never distinguishing good from evil.
    "An irrational society is a society of moral cowards -- of men paralyzed by the
loss of moral standards, principles and goals. But since men have to act, so long as
they live, such a society is ready to be taken over by anyone willing to set its
direction. The initiative can come from only two types of men: either from the man
who is willing to assume the responsibility of asserting rational values -- or from the
thug who is not troubled by questions of responsibility.
    "Moral values are the motive power of man's actions. By pronouncing moral
judgment, one protects the clarity of one's own perception and the rationality of the
course one chooses to pursue. It makes a difference whether one thinks that one is
dealing with human errors or with human evil.
    "If people did not indulge in such abject evasions as the claim that some
contemptible liar "means well" -- that a mooching bum "can't help it" -- that a juvenile
delinquent "needs love" -- that a criminal "doesn't know any better" -- that a power
seeking politician is moved by patriotic concern for "the public good" -- that
communists are merely "agrarian reformers" -- the history of the past few decades,
or centuries, would be different."
[fragments from: "How Does One Lead a Rational Life in an Irrational Society?" -- Ayn
Rand -- The Virtue of Selfishness]

Still -- among other things -- we can work for The SEPARATION of SCHOOL and
STATE ! ! !

Alexander Tubelsky
Principal, School of Self-Determination; first Proclaimer in Russia

David Rovner

---------- Original Message ----------

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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