Re: DSM: Interest increasing?

Alan Klein (
Fri, 5 Jan 2001 18:28:43 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: Joe Jackson <>
> However I would ask, is Summerhill then not a democratic school insofar as
> the students don't have full authority to run the school?


This is an interesting question. Summerhill is, in my mind, its own thing,
with its own history, and its own context. I would prefer that Summerhill be
more democratic, but, for me, it is sufficiently democratic (and very
important historically) to be considered a democratic school. If it were to
be founded today, however, I am not sure it would qualify. In the 1970's a
colleague and I ran a public "school-within-a-school" sort of program in
which we had group meetings and democratically established the rules and
judicial process (in those areas that we were allowed to let the group
create by our VERY supportive principal). It was WAY more democratic than
anything else in the Ann Arbor public schools (or most of the public schools
in the country for that matter). We were NOT a democratic school, however,
in my current definition.


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