Re: DSM: Re: Judicial Committee and School Meeting

Marko Koskinen (
Tue, 06 Mar 2001 13:29:45 -0500

> Case in point: recently someone was charged for leaving campus when they
> were needed for JC. What was their sentence? To remind ten School Meeting
> members to check, before leaving campus, to see if you're needed for JC.
> Not exactly strenuous punishment; in fact, it meant that the person who'd
> broken a rule had to repeat the rule ten times, and ten other people got to
> hear the reminder to boot.

I'm sorry but this reminds me of the Simpsons series where Bart is
forced to write on the blackboard several times "I will not do this and
that again"... I know there is difference, but that difference doesn't
have philosophical basis. Both rely on external authority that solves
what would be best for others and then force that "best" on them. It
doesn't really matter much if the autohirty is a teacher or a peer

> >One solution might be as I probably wrote somewhere that the PS (Problem
> >Solver) could ask the person who has admitted violating some rules, what
> >would s/he propose for a solution. Usually people given a chance to find
> >a solution for their own misbehavior, will figure out reasonable
> >solutions.
> You're assuming that this doesn't happen in JC. Guess what? It often does.
> Individuals are given the chance to participate in the discussion of their
> sentences, and they often come up with good suggestions.

Then why not use that method all the time?

> >And the attitude of the community should be IMO to ask "how
> >can we support you that you will find other ways to behave or to stop
> >such behavior"
> I've heard almost these exact words, more than once, spoken at School
> Meetings. What many people have difficulty appreciating is just how
> supportive Sudbury schools are, even while maintaining such high standards
> for individual responsibility.

But why coulnd't they be so supportive that they woulnd't need any
"community standards"?

> >Except the JC itself. It is just a substitute for an arbitrary
> >authority. I can't see the philosophical difference. The only difference
> >IMO is that it is much more harder to fight against peers than against
> >the authority.
> And your problem solvers would not represent the same degree of arbitrary
> authority?

Actually the concept of "Problem Solver" is a bad one, because it
implies that the PSs actually solve the problems which is not the case.
They will just be available if someone needs support for solving a
problem, in which case the PSs try not to suggest any solutions but
rather give their attention to the people involved in the problem
solving so that the situation would be more safe and organized.


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