Re: DSM: troubles at PacVillage

From: Bruce Smith (bsmith@coin.org)
Date: Sat May 26 2001 - 21:41:05 EDT


>There is, of course, nothing to stop a School Meeting from
>"actively/officially/institutionally interven(ing) to help troubled
>students."

Sure there is: it's respect for the individual, for his or her right to ask
for help (or not), to decide for himself or herself how to resolve
problems. JCs and School Meetings do impose sentences for rule violations.
These sentences may have the effect of reinforcing more constructive
behavior. Beyond sentencing, mediation is utilized at some schools as a way
of dealing with complex interpersonal issues.

But here's the point I was trying to make in my previous post: while
superficially it appears as though the school is intervening, at a
fundamental level it is not. The burden remains on the individual to work
through his or her problems; it is not the responsibility, or the business,
of the school to get inside someone's head, to impose -- interpersonally
_or_ institutionally -- a psychological remedy.

The school communicates its expectations, but what individuals do with that
message is up to them. The school's intervention is limited to drawing
lines which individuals are not to cross. The School Meeting does not
intervene if by that term you mean to rescue someone or take charge of
their personal issues. That would constitute a degree of invasiveness which
ignores individual School Meeting members' right to govern their own
behavior.

Bruce

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