Re: DSM: RE: JC and SM

Marko Koskinen (
Tue, 06 Mar 2001 14:11:11 -0500

> Since I know you've actually been in a Judicial Committee, Marko, I know you
> are aware that the first (and possibly second) stage of that feedback is
> verbal communication or a warning. It is not punishment.

How does warning differ from punishment? I don't remember was it John or
someone else who said that punishment is defined by the person punished.
This means that even what the punishment is, if it's externally imposed
the punished person can consider it as a punishment. Even in the system
that I'm suggesting the "guilty" person can feel that s/he's being
punished by PSs, even if they just talk with them, but I would think
that in personal disputes the chance of feeling punished would be
minimal compared to the "punishments" set by an external problem solving
institution like JC.

> So knowing the limits and the consequences, a person who persists in
> breaking them is not acting in fear of punishment!

I don't think that is true. If I speed on a highway, I know what the
consequences are, but I still fear them. And I believe that if someone
was annoyed by this and it would be brought up as a personal dispute, it
would affect my behavior much more than if I got a ticket. This is
because the person who is bothered by my speeding would probably tell
some reasons for his/her feelings, for example that his/her daughter was
killed by a driver who was speeding and it makes him/her feel so bad to
see how people don't care about others. You see my point? And maybe I
had a good reason for my speeding, for example that my wife was giving
birth and I needed to get her to hospital (or home if she had decided to
give birth at home) and the other person would probably understand and
the problem would be over without any external authority.

> What *does* comes up often in cases where folks have a problem with
> respecting the community feedback is not fear, but frustration. This
> frustration is what occurs upon realizing that the limits are really set by
> the community in our schools, and not arbitrarily by an adult, and it
> finally sinks in that s/he is violating the norms of a community of peers.
> This realization sometimes takes a little while for new students (especially
> teens).
> Frustration is what happens when a person realizes their limitations,
> whether the limitations are in their knowledge or understanding surrounding
> a given subject, or limitations in their ability to coexist in a community.
> The limitations inform the student.
> The frustration is a priceless asset to the student - it represents an inner
> conflict between their desires and limitations. Given the Sudbury
> environment and time, the desires always win.
> Remove the Sudbury environment = robbing the student of the internal
> conflict by giving him an authoritarian target standing behind the rules to
> focus on instead of his limitations - the rules are no longer an embodiment
> of community norms; they are merely some guy's rules. Remove adequate time
> in the SM school the student needs to get that the rules are really created
> by their peers and not just another adult trick and she won't ever have the
> opportunity to focus inward.
> Much as boredom is the precursor to inspiration, our experience is that this
> frustration is generally the precursor to personal epiphany. The SM school
> should not seek to "relieve" the student of the frustration - that would be
> stealing.

If that is not therapy then what is? I'm just afraid that it's a form of
therapy that hasn't been consciously much thought about. Someone talked
about Rogerian therapy and I believe this might just be that. But I
don't think those feelings should be just let be, but rather those
people should be given support so that they could get over the
"frustration period" faster.


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