DSM: troubled kids

From: Allan Saugstad (asaugstad@vsb.bc.ca)
Date: Mon May 28 2001 - 19:01:34 EDT

Hi everyone,

I wanted to start a new thread. This topic has been on my mind a lot and I would
greatly appreciate some insight, especially as I have never worked in or attended
a sudbury school.

Some democratic schools I have heard about and seen seem to have a similar
problem. They attract kids who aren't making it in regular school, due to a whole
host of things, but frequently because of aggressive or anti-social behaviour. The
parents send them to a sudbury school instead. This seems to have been the case
with schools I have heard about who eventually close because of a majority of
troubled kids who make the environment unpleasant for the others.

Do any of you recognize this problem in your schools? Or not?

My feeling is that these troubled kids aren't just troubled because of bad school
experiences; they often come from separated, distanced families. When they come to
sudbury things don't radically improve, because their family still holds the same
resentments, anger, and apathy it always did. One person I spoke to about this has
said he spends almost as much time counselling families as he does kids.

Does this ring true to you, or am I off-base here?

I worry in my own efforts to open a sudbury school that my students will just be
dropped off, by parents busily leading their own lives, and their children, who
have always been left behind, will continue to bear the wounds of neglect and make
my job that much more difficult.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Allan Saugstad


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