Re: DSM: New Email list

From: MylaRobin@aol.com
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 21:15:14 EDT


>Dear Mr. Robin,
>Next year we may have an embrionic establishment ourselves. If you feel so
>enchained, we would love to have you here too. We could do with the moral
>support and experience!

Hi Alexander. Thank you for the invitation. I assume what you meant is you
are starting a school. Where is the location of your school going to be? Like
I said, next year I am going to visit as many schools as I can.

>Did you go to a traditional school as a child, or something else like a
Montasori?

I have been a student at Sudbury Valley school for the past 14 years, since I
was four. I am still a student, and plan on graduating next year. This is the
only school I have ever attended.

>In your opinion, for a regular school to move in the right
>direction (vis-a-vis an SVS/SHS model), what useful and -do able- steps
>could be taken in schools in your country to begin the process?

Well, I'm not sure how affective it would be for a public school in the USA
to try and become more like SVS. If one did, somehow, overnight become a
Sudbury school, I think it wouldn't work at all. For one thing, for a student
to attend a Sudbury school successfully, a very important factor is to have
the support of ones parents. Many parents don't trust their kid to be free in
the way the Sudbury philosophy allows. They can't understand how a student
learns without taking classes, and being forced into taking classes at that.
The importance of conversation is highly underrated by many traditional
people I have talked to. I like nothing more than having a good conversation
or debate with people. It makes me think, forces me to rethink, and gives me
new ideas, much more than my math class (sorry Mimsy).

People have to want to be in a Sudbury school. I don't know any students who
go to SVS and dislike it. With all the freedom we are given, having no
supervision other than each other, and the open campus policy, we can't abuse
the freedom, or we might lose it. There is much respect among students for
the school, and the way things are run.

A Sudbury school is run by the School Meeting which is run by students and
staff members, each with an equal vote. I go to School Meeting in my school
and listen and debate and vote because I want to have a say in how my school
is run. I don't know what it would be like if, all of a sudden, a traditional
school developed a School Meeting, everyone having an equal vote. I think the
sudden power might encourage students to make crazy rules, or something. Our
school is already established, so when one comes to the school, all around
them they see kids caring about the school and the rules and each other.
Although there may be a desire for them to rebel, they eventually realize we
run the school, they run the school, and it is ours to make a good place, not
a drug/sex/party school where one learns nothing.

I imagine it might be hard to set up a Sudbury school for those reasons; I
heard at the beginning for some schools it's been a challenge to get people
to follow the rules and come to and serve on JC. Maybe all it takes is time.

Does that answer your question?

I'm not quite sure about the "Mr. Robin," me being a 17 year old girl :)

~Myla~ from SVS

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