Re: DSM: dancing

The Highland School (
Fri, 04 Jan 1980 06:43:23 -0500

Hi Anne,
  Clearly, I didn't present our early experience as well as I would have
liked. First and foremost, we have always strongly believed in
individual rights. When students have chosen to have courses - whether
negotiated with teachers, taught by other students or people recruited
for that purpose - their rights have been respected. No other students
have made noise in their area. However, the very fact that there are
other students running around outside (and since we have 500 acres
available they are often way outside) was enough of a distraction for
kids who really didn't want to be in the class anyway.
  The point about the library (the upstairs area of our two story
building)is simply that it will be as quiet as the quietest person wants
it to be. Obviously, that rule could change, but hasn't for a long
time. People who wanted to do classes have done them downstairs,
outside, and - if they wanted to make quiet easier - upstairs. BTY, we
usually hold our school meetings downstairs and have rules about
interrupting a meeting too.
  The bottom line is that the security of a preformulated set of courses
is tempting for many of us (especially products of traditional
schooling), but why waste time when kids can follow their own interests
without setting up something for them to join or avoid? I have no
trouble with classes arising from interactions between members of the
school, it's the idea that there are classes we should offer regardless
of the people involved that I think is a mistake.
   I also think most kids want to please their parents, which is why it
is extremely difficult for kids to be in a school that their parents
don't approve of. Again, good luck in your efforts. Candy

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