Yes, you said in more words what I did not have time to flush out... Sudbury
schools allow for the possibility of respect... I just wanted to get into the
reasons why it is such hard work (especially in our highly individualistic
I'm interested in the degrees of community and how they are attained and
prioritized within a highly democratic system (such as a Sudbury school).
Bruce Smith wrote:
> >If you mean by a sense of community that a Sudbury school allows for the
> >possibility for individuals to care for themselves while remaining
> >respectful to
> >the needs of the entire group, I would say that sometimes it does fulfill that
> >need for individuals and sometimes it doesn't.
> Angela, I'm having a little trouble following your syntax. A Sudbury school
> does _allow_ for "individuals to care for themselves while remaining
> respectful." But are you suggesting Sudbury schools don't guarantee that
> each individual is always treated with respect? If so, well, how could any
> school do that? Sudbury schools have mechanisms to enforce this basic
> cultural norm (e.g., JC), and many SM members constantly work on building a
> respectful culture, but the fact remains that in a group of any size, some
> people will be disrespectful at times. So you deal with that as best you
> can -- talking to individuals, writing people up, raising the issue in
> School Meeting, etc. -- in an effort to raise awareness.
> >It is the general will of the majority though, that sometimes can make some
> >members feel like outsiders (in my opinion and experience).
> Exactly -- it's the _culture_. As I said above, many of us at Sudbury
> schools work very hard, in countless situations and discussions, to create
> a culture of respect. We try to emphasize that in some real sense, we're
> all responsible for the general welfare and condition of the school. For
> example, we can tell people that the long-term health of the school depends
> on growth, which in turn depends on being welcoming to new people, and
> respectful towards all.
> It is true that we sometimes encounter people who are so caught up in the
> freedom side of the equation, they overlook the need to be respectful and
> responsible as well. So we argue all we can for this broader perspective.
> But of course you can't really force people to agree with you, and so it
> takes a significant amount of time to develop a positive school culture. In
> fact, I doubt that the work of culture-building ever ends.
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Mar 27 2002 - 19:39:48 EST