Re: DSM: Almost Democracy

From: Alan Klein (
Date: Sat Nov 03 2001 - 16:56:01 EST

I agree that this is a far fetched possibility. But what would stop the
Assembly (in that far fetched situation) from amending the bylaws to
stipulate that laws passed by the SM were null and void?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott David Gray" <>

> Let me put it this way... Here is what it would take at
> SVS, for the Assembly to change the By-laws to remove or
> nullify the School Meeting if parents were present in the
> Assembly in proportion to their numbers (generally SM
> members are more prone to attend than parents -- especially
> when the SM feels threatened):
> If 100% of the parents voted to pull the plug
> (incredibly hard to believe), and all of the
> non-SM-or-parent Trustees and Public members concurred,
> roughly 1/3 of the SM members present (that is, the people
> being attacked by the motion) would have to assent to such a
> change in the By-laws.
> And yes, we all exist within larger systems that could
> "pull the plug" on our freedoms. There were points in the
> 20th Century (particularly during WWI) when it happened in
> the US.
> However, and here is the point; if the School Meeting
> makes a decision, the Assembly can NOT stop that decision
> from going through. That might _convince_ some parents to
> remove their children from the school (goodness knows that
> this happens), or even (in the nightmare scenario you
> describe, requiring some SM support) amend the SM out of
> existance.
> But the Assembly _cannot_ undo or veto a decision made
> by the School Meeting. Whereas student governments under
> kindly dictators find their decisions vetoed all the time
> (such as A.S. Neil -- I was aghast when I was 14 and read
> his account of how little he respected the Summerhill School
> Meeting or its decisions; it made me angrier than anything I
> ever read about military or reform schools).


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