I don't think there are all that many expulsions at SM schools. What there
are a relative lot of are suspensions (at our school maybe 5-10 per year of
varying lengths), which are usually extremely constructive for the student.
When expulsions occur, they almost always do so because the student wants to
leave, making it again a most constructive event for the student.
In any case, as with any democratic culture the priority is with balancing
the rights of individuals and the collective and not with attempting to
"fix" individuals whose actions are intended to injure the culture. Having
said that, I believe the hard boundaries that an experienced SM school
culture uses to protect the school and individuals in it offer a far
*better* chance for destructive individuals to come to take responsibility
for themselves than cultures that feed them with therapeutic or
> I would be interested in knowing just how a Sudbury school
> deals with gangs or groups of kids such as the one mentioned
> in Stuart's e-mail below. Are they dealt with by expelling them?
> Or is there some more constructive way?
> It seems to me that *some* way has to be found to deal with
> anti-social behaviour in *any* democracy. Unfortunately, in
> most democracies we 'expel' such people by removing them
> to prisons and jails where they will no longer be in contact
> with society in general. But that merely shoves the problem
> under the rug, as it were. It doesn't *eliminate* the problem,
> rather the problem is merely *hidden away*, out of view.
> To me, that doesn't appear to be constructive.
> In contrast to adults, though, kids are not incorrigible. (Indeed
> I am not convinced all adults are either, though *some* may be.)
> Would it not be better, then, to work on the behaviour rather
> than simply packing away the child -- sending him into 'exile',
> as it were?
> Any thoughts?
> Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/education.html>
> Freekids@aol.com wrote:
> > Hi Brook,
> > This is Stuart Williams-Ley at Cedarwood Sudbury School in
> Santa Clara, CA,
> > responding to your followup question about Pacific Village School:
> > << I'm very curious about what sort of trouble
> > was troublesome enough to sink the school. >>
> > I wasn't close enough to the situation to know the details. From what I
> > gathered when I visited, however, there were five or six students who
> > repeatedly violated the rights of others or whose actions
> harmed the school.
> > Because so many of the students and staff members were new, the school
> > culture was immature. A majority of the people therefore did
> not realize the
> > importance of dealing forcefully with such behavior. I think the school
> > finally suspended the worst troublemakers in March or April,
> but by then most
> > people had decided to move on the following year.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Mon Nov 05 2001 - 20:24:29 EST