Alan Klein (
Sun, 11 Mar 2001 12:31:00 -0500

Whether or not Marko's wish is to establish a new system, dismissing his
ideas with that claim strikes me as a defensive posture and one which I
choose not to adopt. This list is all about discussing democratic schooling,
and I see Marko's questions and statements as thoughtful additions to that

Where I see Marko aiming is toward ensuring the broadest possible
consideration of both each individual's views as well as the minority's
views as a group. I don't know that I would vote for his suggestions, if I
were a SM member, but I would give them careful consideration and would
probably act (rule or no rule) very much according to the guidelines he sets

Many of us have claimed that his ideas, and others like them, constitute
"psychotherapy". I disagree. It would certainly be coercive intrusion if an
outside force (staff, parents, etc.) imposed it on the SM. I find nothing
unworkable, however, about a SM deciding to operate along the lines Marko

~Alan Klein

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Smith" <>

> It seems fairly clear to me at this point that, his statements to the
> contrary notwithstanding, Marko wishes not to improve the Sudbury model,
> but rather to adopt something entirely different. That's fine for him, but
> I wish to make one more attempt to clarify the basic incompatibility of
> ideas with the Sudbury model.
> School-sanctioned psychotherapy and forced consensus do *not* fall within
> the model. Sudbury believes in individuals' right to their own thoughts
> opinions: conflict resolution via psychologizing, and decision-making via
> unanimity, violate this foundation. Others have pointed out that there is,
> indeed, room within the model for therapeutic action, and there is in fact
> a great deal of consensus-building. But Marko wishes to institionalize
> these things, which strikes me as quite odd as he finds the existing
> structures of Sudbury so formal, external and coercive.
> I find Sudbury far less external and coercive than Marko's theoretical
> model because, in the Sudbury model, each individual's privacy and the
> integrity of their opinions are respected, and because the process is
> clear, consistent and impersonal. A system with informal "guidelines"
> rather than rules, forced unanimity on every decision, and problem-solving
> through revealing and discussing one's feelings is, imho, *much* more
> arbitrary and coercive.
> In sum, there are things about the model which are formal and
> institutional, and things which are not, and it appears to me that Marko
> wishes to switch the two. Again, this is not a matter of improving the
> model, but rather creating a new one.
> We're talking apples and oranges here, and for my part, I don't want no
> genetic engineering to attempt some crazy hybrid!
> Bruce
> p.s. In what possibly way is the following an improvement on SM?? Does
> Marko think SM is not formal or long enough? Is it so frightful that
> could actually disagree with a majority decision? Do people not get to
> enough at SM? Come on!...
> <<I was wondering about an alternative way of meeting. It
> could go e.g. followingly:
> 1) introduction for the issue being discussed about
> 2) round of discussion so that everybody willing to speak would
> announce themselves and everybody would get to say what they wanted to
> say
> 3) round of suggestions for the problem so that everybody having one
> would announce themselves and everybody would get to say their
> suggestion
> 4) discussion in pairs for (e.g.) 2 minutes about the suggestions
> 5) vote for the suggestions
> 6) if there wasn't an agreement, would go back to 2)
> 7) repeat until unanimous decision reached>>

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