Re: DSM: Sudbury Schools in an Urban setting

Bruce Smith (
Sat, 3 Feb 2001 11:45:47 -0700

>I know of one case at a Sud school where a young child left campus to walk
>He did this more than once. One time, he was picked up by the police.
>After doing this several times, the school suspended him for "dangerous
>behavior."(I'm not certain of the exact working here.)
>That would have made sense to me if there was not an open campus policy in
>But, there was. So, they punished the child to protect the school,
>It can be decided to have an open campus, closed campus or anything inbetween.
>But whatever the school decides, It should be able to back it up without
>using the children as scapegoats.

If you're not certain of the exact "working" (wording?), then how can you
so easily declare that this was about punishing the child and finding a
scapegoat for the school? What was the danger? Who was endangered? Your
argument is based in the JC-as-punishment perspective, with which I take
issue. It's about bearing responsibility for one's choices, not
punishment. At Alpine Valley, behavior that presents a real or potential
harm to personal safety is not permitted. If that is what this school
determined to have happened (repeatedly, at that), then maybe they were
doing what they believed was most appropriate toward the goal of ensuring
that the behavior didn't keep recurring.

Perhaps you know more of this story than your post indicates. I, for my
part, would wait until I knew more of the circumstances before passing
judgment on this school in this case.


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