Re: How We Come Off to Others (was RE: re[2]: DSM: democraticclassroom)

From: Dawn Harkness (
Date: Tue Nov 13 2001 - 17:05:22 EST

> dawn,
> i've been reading some of the recent posts.
> here's a couple of stupid questions:

Leslie, those are your words, not mine.

> if you embarrass a parent into not hitting their child at the moment,
> what do you think will happen to the child after? you feel like a
> righteous heroine for the moment, sure...but what about the kid?

My experience with people who hit their kids is that it isn't a deliberative
decision. People who hit their kids (especially in public) do so because
they are angry and out of control. If the parent was hitting the kid for a
rational reason, then nothing I do is going to harm the kid, because a
rational and in control parent isn't going to blame their kid for my
actions. Personally, I don't think there is ever a good reason for using
violence as a form of discipline. Parents who hit their kids because they
(the parents) are angry and out of control don't need a "good" reason.
They'll hit their kids for a bad reason or even no reason at all.

So no, I don't think confronting the parent harms the kid any more than the
parent was already intending to. However, it does send the message that
hitting your kid is unacceptable. It might even cause them to reflect on
their behavior. On the other hand, ignoring parents who act this way sends
the opposite message, to the parent, to other bystanders, and most cruelly,
to the child.

> isn't there something offensive and scary about people who use their
> children as a poster child for the parent's political and personal
> agendas? smacks of yuppie objectification to me.

I have no idea what you are talking about, and considering how off the wall
I think your post is, I am hesitant to ask for a clarification. But what
the hell, fire away. If you want to challenge a position on a post I have
made to Discuss Sudbury Model, go for it, Leslie. However, if this is a
personal attack having nothing to do with anything I have written on this
forum, then let's just do it off line so I can speak freely with out
violating the rules of this discussion group which require people to avoid
personal attacks like the one you have launched against me.

> do you really think that raising the tuition for families with more than
> one child will help sudbury valley? or are you just trying to get rid of
> the riffraff?

I am right in the middle of drafting a paper outlining my position on the
tuition question. When I am done, I will submit it to the SVS Journal in
response to the recent call for papers on this topic. Without going into it
in detail here, my proposal wouldl not raise the amount of tuition you or
any other family at Sudbury Valley has to pay if you don't think you can
afford it. However, the fact that you have raised this subject in this
forum finally makes it clear to me what is pissing some people off so much
right now. Thank you for the clarification.



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