Re: DSM: Re: SVS for everyone?

Allan Saugstad (
Wed, 10 Jan 2001 14:20:22 -0800

Heidi Barker wrote:

> I've recently run into just this argument, that such a school might work,
> but just for certain students, not for any student. Anybody have anything
> else to say about this?
> Heidi

Having not worked in a sudbury school, I don't feel fully qualified to answer
this, but it strikes me that every student deserves to be respected and every
student has the right to direct their own life and education, so therefore, I
can't see how a sudbury school is not right for everyone. I have heard that
sometimes students who come to sudbury from highly structured,
extrinsically-motivated settings take a lot of time to adjust to the freedom of

Some questions for others:
I wonder about students who come from homes where they have experienced great
hardship, stress, or perhaps just very undemocratic parents? How do they fare?
Do they act out their frustrations in inappropriate ways? Can they live with
democracy at school but not at home?

One of the most beautiful things I have learned as a parent of little ones is
that my children, from day one, did not need to be "taught" democracy; they
DEMANDED it; it was clearly in their nature. They refuse to do what I hope or
want them to do constantly; their biggest tears are reserved for moments of
injustice against their rights or freedoms. They tire me out, but their spirit
is really indominitable.

I would imagine that most kids come to Sudbury at least a little damaged; by
which I mean they have already had their rights stripped away from them to some
degree; my question is - Does it take long for those kids to "heal", and become
fully empowered?



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