Re: DSM: dancing

The Highland School (
Fri, 04 Jan 1980 22:03:47 -0500

Hi Anne,
  Good luck with starting a democratic, non-coercive school. One early
experience we had at Highland might help in clarifying the coercive,
non-coercive issue. We had parents who felt that offering courses was a
good idea and convinced their kids (the ones with the votes) to go along
with and propose this idea. It passed and we did it. However, since the
classes were voluntary, many kids chose not to attend them. Some
parents then felt that their kids' right to attend classes was being
interfered with by the "distraction" of other noisy kids running
around. Again the kids of those parents proposed that there be a "quiet
time" from 9 until 11 when classes couldn't be interrupted by noise.
This issue resulted in major battles and though I believe it passed for
a short time was rapidly recinded. What we ended up with was a rule
(which has stood the test of time) that the library is a quiet area. If
people want to study quietly they can go there, but the whole school
does not have to be quiet to support classes. Again, hope all goes well
for your school endeavors! Candy Landvoigt

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