DSM: Parents and Philosophy

From: Scott David Gray (sgray@aramis.sudval.org)
Date: Sat Jan 26 2002 - 00:03:38 EST

Hi Joe, others,

  I think that the majority of parents know the most general
ideas that motivate the school; basically what they learn
from the cataloge, the interview, and what comes up in
conversations with their children.
  They also know that their children are fulfilled, and that
they come home enriched by the community where they spend
their days.
  Most parents are thankful for the school, without knowing
the details of how our school works well enough to build a
Sudbury School. I am thankful for the furnace in my house,
without knowing the details of how it works.

  I guess it just doesn't seem to me a crime that some
people know a good thing when they see it, without expending
the _vast_ amount of energy needed to be able to express
precisely what makes it work.
  As Travis said, many parents are indifferent to the
philosophy -- just as I am indifferent to the details of how
an internal combustion engine works.

  Of course, there are some parents who do actively disagree
with the school's philosophy. It is torment to have a
parent that expects you to "go take some classes" while
other kids your age in your community do it their way. It
is torment to have a parent who wants a parent cooperative
rather than a Sudbury school, and so constantly undermines
the School Meeting's authority.
  Sadly, some people either don't listen to the school's
philosophy as outlined in the interview and read into it
whatever their fantasies are, or they decide that they can
"use" SVS as a place for their kids to socialize in between
pursuing the parents' curriculum. There are far too many
situations like this in our school, but it is still only a
small minority of kids who are bearing this particular

  When I was growing up my mother was "indifferent" to the
school's philosophy. But my mother most certainly was _not_
indifferent to the fact that I was happy at school and that
my life was unfolding well while I was at Sudbury Valley.
And guess what -- that was all I needed from her.

On Fri, 25 Jan 2002, Joe Jackson wrote:

> Hi, Travis. You wrote:
> > we say that ideally (it would)! it
> > would be a good
> > think if parents were not initiating overly coercive
> > measurers within the
> > home environment. Sadly, as with so many other things in
> > life, this is not a
> > realistic estimation. Indeed, more then anyone, if I had my
> > way, we would
> > throw all of these people out. But then we would be losing an
> > extremely
> > substantial portion of our school.
> And
> > the number of parents who, forget about
> > agreeing with the philosophy, are indifferent to it is
> > minimal enough! Based
> > on my limited observations, right now, you are LUCKY if your
> > parents, such as
> > mine, have a general indifference to the school and are
> > simply glad that
> > their kids are happy.
> Are you saying that in your estimation the vast majority of the parents
> at Sudbury Valley are there in spite of the fact that they are in
> disagreement with the philosophy? I find that a little shocking, and I
> hope, in the interest of the welfare of Sudbury Valley School, that your
> estimation is off!
> Thanks for giving your time to this list - your perspectives are very
> welcome.
> -Joe Jackson

--Scott David Gray
reply to: sgray@sudval.org
 "Next mystery henchman -- enter and sign in, please!"
 "I will use my vast powers to help you rob or kidnap or
kill, or take over the city or country or world, but I will
not ride in an airplane.  Oh, and I do not have any vast
powers right now, but I am open to radioactive

-- Karl Kesel, Harley Quinn issue #4 ============================================================


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