RE: DSM: troubles at PacVillage

From: Joseph Moore (joseph@ivorycc.com)
Date: Tue May 29 2001 - 13:05:37 EDT


I also worry about kids who, for whatever reason, are unable to make it at a
Sudbury school. There have been a couple kids over the last 3 years at our
school who were not able to behave up to the community's expectations
despite many 2nd chances. I feel bad about that, and I know it breaks the
staff's hearts when this happens.

But keep in mind that a large majority of the kids DO figure it out and
succeed, often despite the bad school experiences many bring with them. Many
of our students at Diablo Valley were expelled, or drugged up because they
don't conform, or bored stiff and acting out, or given failing grades, or
otherwise made to feel like losers. Yet, even with these burdens, most
succeed.

I don't see it as a fatal shortcoming that we aren't able to meet the needs
of every kid that walks in the door. Maybe, eventually, we can better
address the issue of what to do about kids who don't want the
responsibility. For now, we're trying to grow our schools and start more of
them so that more and more kids can have a shot at a free and responsible
education. It's not perfect in practice yet (but what is?), but it beats the
hell out of the alternatives.

Joseph (Diablo Valley School parent)
 

-----Original Message-----
From: william van horn [mailto:wmvh1@excite.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2001 7:46 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: RE: DSM: troubles at PacVillage

I didnÕt mean that Sudbury should adapt but that there are students out
there, who can not, at least at the time, take the freedom offered by SVS.

I work with kids who I can not imagine being able to work within the SVS
environment. TheyÕre insecure, play dumb, and are often disruptive and
inconsiderate or downright mean to their peers. Still, talking to them,
they have a curious and interested side to them. Maybe youÕre right, Joe,
and they would positively respond to the atmosphere of SVS. IÕve certainly
seen them respond positively when I take a (non-judgemental) interest in
what they do elsewhere.

What to do with these kids? The solution is often to transfer them to a
school with more structure and tighter discipline. I felt, from reading
some comments on the list, that these kids, the ones that disrupt and
disrespect others, are basically hopeless. The disrespect is to those
falling between the cracks, both at traditional schools and at Sudbury. I
may be misreading the statements on the list.

IÕve never had the opportunity to visit a school such as SVS, just read
about it. SVS sounds great, and I am sorry that I didnÕt have the chance to
spend my school days at such a place.

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