Kristin Harkness (
Sun, 11 Mar 2001 15:53:54 -0500

This list is discuss-sudbury-model, not discuss-democratic-schooling. I
think it is completely on point to offer opinions as to what would and would
not be consistent with the model (and to accept that not all will agree with
those opinions!). I do not see opining that something would not fall within
the model as defensive. Rather, this kind of discussion helps to focus my
thinking - do I agree? Why or why not? Indeed, Marko's posts have been
thoughtful, and thought provoking. And, I agree with Bruce that they are
inconsistent with the Sudbury model.

Upon reflection, I see Marko's suggestions as reflecting a lack of trust.
Lack of trust that School Meeting will arrive at decisions acceptable to the
community unless unanimity is forced. Lack of trust that people will treat
other people with care and consideration when in conflict (either personal
or institutional). And of course, occasionally, his fears will be realized.

The Sudbury model embodies trust in people. The structures themselves set
this expectation. Students are trusted with the freedom of their own
education. The governing structures embody the expectation that people are
rational and will act in their own and the community's best interest. Then,
they have provisions for when that does not happen.

In my experience, people often rise (or sink) to their community's
expectations. I prefer the expectations of the Sudbury model.

Kristin Harkness

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Klein <>
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2001 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: JC

>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
>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
>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

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