Re: DSM: RE: JC and SM

Marko Koskinen (
Tue, 06 Mar 2001 17:22:35 -0500

> Well, I don't think you are against "community norms", no sane person is!
> Community norms are what keep human beings from killing one another.
> Civilization would not exist without agreed-upon conventions of language and
> behavior. The Flemish language is a community norm. Marriage is a
> community norm. People not ramming their car into you when you change lanes
> is a community norm.

Well, call me insane then, but yes, I'm against "community norms". I
admit that at the moment they may be the best alternative, but I think
it is totally possible to live without them. And I don't understand how
a particular language could be "community norm". With "community norm" I
understand a rule that is enforced somehow and I don't see how a
language would be enforced. I mean nobody punishes me if I start using
word "bonxy" meaning a certain type of bench. I'd think that common
agreemets like language and common norms like a rule not to kill are not
the same things.

> Where it DOES sound like we differ is that it sounds like you prefer
> case-by-case enforcement of rights violations wherein the plaintiff is
> responsible rather than an agreed upon body like a court or a JC.

I don't approve any kind of "enforcement of rights" (or at least I'm
considering not to)... As I said before, I prefere personal problem
solving over community norm enforcement.

> We have established that as of right now, School Meetings prefer to decide
> upon these norms as a community, and they prefer to elect committees to
> assist them by gathering evidence and hearing pleas. Having said that, why
> do you think that mediation has not replaced JC and all its permutations
> wholesale in any of the schools?

Has anybody suggested that or tried mediation as a sole problem solving

We live in democratic societies, or I guess most of us do. Thus it makes
sense to try that process in a school. There are no "common preference
countries" in existance as I know... So it would be much bigger
experiment to try to create a "common preference school" than a
"democratic school".

> More to the point, would you prefer to live in a society like that, where
> there are no police or courts, only "Problem Solvers"?

Yes I would, that's my point.

> > And I'm suggesting that all cases except personal disputes are
> > unnecessary.
> What do you mean? Each case is seen by the school as necessary.
> Unnecessary for what?

In my suggestion there would be no "public opinion" or "community
norms", thus there would be no common rules restricting personal
behavior. If there would be (as there probably would) something that had
to be decided together, such issues that affect the whole community,
those decisions would be made either by majority vote or if possible,
unanimous decision making.

This system may not work in practice in which case we would have to
figure out something else and because it would be up to everybody at the
school what the school would be like we cannot really predict what it
will be...


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