Re: DSM: dancing

The Highland School (
Fri, 04 Jan 1980 20:24:26 -0500

Hi Anne,
  Some of the "studious kids" parents adjusted and some left. I am
troubled though by the phrase "studious kids" - I don't think those kids
were significantly different in terms of their interests from
"non-studious kids". Each kid is different, but parental concerns that
there are things that kids must learn or be uneducated (illiterate,
ignorant, etc.)reflects the experiences of the parents rather than the
needs of the kids.
  Since I'm in storytelling mode, I have memories of my son (who didn't
learn to read until he was 10) sitting in a chair at a table reading a
book with another child hanging around his neck saying "let's go
outside, let's go outside". I was passing through the room to do
something else and came back through later to see my son still sitting
there reading. I think his ability to concentrate despite distractions
helps him now in medical school. BTW, he could have filed a complaint if
the other child refused to leave him alone, but the other child found
someone else to play outside this time.
  I also remember a small child who was offended by certain words
sometimes used around him. He brought up the issue at a School Meeting
and although no new rules were passed, everyone at school made a visible
effort to not use those words around him. What can be studied, said, or
done in any community depends on the people involved - but respect for
individual rights seems to me to be a critical part of democratic
schools - including the right to do nothing at all.

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