Re: DSM: students rights

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 13:57:56 EST

Hi Bruce,

Re. this bit:

> >But even if the help is unsolicited, one can always OFFER
> >to help. If the offer is rejected, fine, don't help! But sometimes
> >a person may not even know that help is possible -- and thus
> >may not even ask for it.
> I'm coming at this from the perspective of Sudbury school dynamics, which
> have a subtlety that is sometimes difficult to convey. Joe had made the
> point that one should never take the responsibility of asking, choosing,
> etc. away from the student. This is what I'm trying to clarify and
> elaborate on.
> Vis-a-vis students, adults can exercise undue influence so easily, without
> intending or trying. At Sudbury schools, the lack of distance and the
> absence of a power imbalance between staff and student result in direct,
> honest, and ongoing relationships.

I agree, of course, that an adult often tries to help in a way which
implies a direction the child "should" take. This is called dishon-
esty, and it applies in the adult world too, as for instance when un-
scrupulous lawyers take advantage of their clients' ignorance of the
law and "advise" them to plead guilty, say, when they should not
have been so advising them. I was not, of course, talking about
such cases.

But GENUINE help, when it seems obviously needed, should al-
ways be offered. If you find a person injured on the street, don't
you offer your help? (Talking about adults only here.)


Ardeshir <>.


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