Re: DSM: The Sudbury model -- appropriate for all children, yes or no?

From: Warren McMillan (warren@bmts.com)
Date: Thu May 31 2001 - 09:57:57 EDT


Ardeshir, you make a good point, but let us follow the logic in society at
large and see where it goes, keeping in mind that we are talking about
students whose actions are seriously or serially irresponsible. Sudbury
schools mirror our democratic societies, so what happens when someone
decides not to take responsibility for their actions in a democratic
society? Just as in a Sudbury school, they find themselves in the judicial
system with due process. In our society, that due process ultimately leads
to an expulsion of some kind when the irresponsible individual fails to take
responsibility or continues to act irresponsibly. This usually takes the
form of some kind of detention ie. removal from society. Historically,
prior to the ability of societies to provide insititutions of incarceration,
they used banishment or deportation to remove the irresponsible, that is in
cases where they didn't simply remove their heads instead. Since a school
has no ability to incarcerate their irresponsible, banishment is the only
option. This option simply follows the natural consequences of
irresponsible action found in the democratic society into which our students
will graduate. And what of the student who is banished? Aren't we really
doing this student a favour by allowing him/her to realize the consequences
of a freely chosen course of action? Isn't that the only way that student
can ever learn to be responsible? And what if that student fails to learn
this lesson even then? He/she ultimately enters the judicial system of our
democratic society and its due process. So it can be seen that by mirroring
the democratic society at large, the Sudbury school is in fact preparing
that student well.

Best regards
Warren

----- Original Message -----
From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. <ardeshir@sympatico.ca>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 4:53 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: The Sudbury model -- appropriate for all children, yes or
no?

>
>
> Warren McMillan wrote:
>
> > Ardeshir writes:
> > >In that case, would it *really* be better to let the child go back
> > >to a traditional school?
> >
> > "Better"? No. Agreed, traditional schools are not *better* at
inculcating
> > responsibility in students but I thought we were talking about students
who,
> > for whatever reason, decide not to take responsibility for themselves
and
> > proceed to poison the atmosphere of a Sudbury school. Due process at
the
> > Sudbury school must ultimately allow for the expulsion of that student.
To
> > suggest some kind of 'direction' or 'guidance' be offered that student
> > within the Sudbury school compromises its principles, if I understand
them
> > correctly. My point is, compromise of this kind simply turns the
Sudbury
> > school into a traditional school in this respect and so better to send
the
> > student back to a traditional school where they already do that.
> > Compromising the principles in this regard will damage the school
without
> > helping the student. The offering of 'direction' or 'guidance' is the
> > slippery slope that traditional schools have already slid down to find
> > themselves where they are today... "dealing" with irresponsible
students.
> >
> > Warren
>
> But wouldn't that same argument apply to *adults* in a democracy
> -- say, the USA, or Canada -- who *decide* not the take responsi-
> bility? Should they be sent to live in some other country, say Iraq,
> where there is no democracy, simply because they do not want to
> take responsibility here, and we need to preserve our own democratic
> way of life?
>
> What I am saying is, that if we want to prepare our kids for life in a
> demcracy, and if in our adult democracy we will not under any circum-
> stances send anyone away to a country where a non-democratic way of
> life prevails, we should not do that to the children either. Otherwise
> what kind or message are we sending the kids?
>
>
>
> Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/education.html>
>
> ************************************************************
>
>
>
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