Re: DSM: reporting wrongdoing
Sat, 10 Mar 2001 20:57:23 -0500


There probably aren't a lot of students who read this list. As a parent of
three kids who have only had Sudbury education, I can say that it has come
up many times and the basic logic is always accepted. Part of it is,
they're our rules so we enforce them. But the other part is that there are
few "under-the-radar" realities; there's not a lot of "us vs. them";
everything controversial gets talked about above board, and if it's in
violation of the rules, then that has to be confronted and can't be hidden.

The other variant on this theme that always tickles me is when someone
brings themself up to the Judicial Committee, which happens with some
frequency, either because they "got carried away" and subsequently realize
they broke a rule, or because they did it by accident, but it happened, so
it has to be confronted.

I think this sort of honesty is very cool.

-Alan Mitter-Burke

on 3/9/01 4:48 PM, Mary Ryan Thorup at wrote:

> what do the students think of this debate?
> ----------
> From: Bruce Smith[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 1:51 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: DSM: reporting wrongdoing
>> Now I am really confused. As I am beginning to understand the SV model
>> it is based on individual freedoms for the child to explore ..... ect.
>> Now you are saying that X does not have the right to walk on a frozen
>> pond and that Y does not have the right to decide if he should suggest
>> to X that it is not a really great idea, just watch X, or report X to
>> some "higher authority" that runs X's life.
> In Sudbury schools, an individual does not have the right to endanger
> him/herself or others. This point has been made on this listserve before.
> In this case, if it has been determined that the ice on the pond is
> dangerously thin (there are procedures in place for determining and
> announcing this), then walking on it violates that rule.
> As for Y's culpability, individuals at Sudbury schools are held responsible
> for the general welfare of the school. Not acting in a situation which
> poses immiment danger to an individual's life would constitute gross
> disregard for the welfare of the school -- not to mention the individual in
> danger!! Surely the concept of a "good Samaritan" law is not an unfamiliar
> one. That's what I see operating here.
>> I am the type of parent who
>> totally controlled the lives of his children, as much as I could, to
>> prevent their ability to make these kind of "free will" choices. But I
>> am the type of parent that believes that my children have no "
>> fundamental right" to choose, period.
> I find this statement surprising: in general, that it should come from
> someone on this listserve; and specifically, in light of John's admitted
> confusion. Should individuals have the right to endanger their own lives?
> If not, then why the confusion over the rule that prohibits this? *I* am
> confused at this apparent contradiction between his horror over SVS's
> abominable personal safety rule ("the antithesis of individual freedom"),
> and his equal horror at parents/institutions that would allow such
> dangerous behavior to occur.
> Bruce

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