Re: DSM: The art of non-interference

Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 10:22:38 EST


     I have become increasingly confused with the way you are conducting this
ongoing debate. I wish to address an issue which I feel is being entirely
overlooked, and is causing some of the confusion.
    Your last e-mail, for me, spelled out your stance on the issue under
specific circumstances. I understand the comparison of adults and children. I
understand your argument that:

"If children are to be given the same freedoms and rights as adults, then the
only objective is that we all live together
as best we can. And that, in the normal course of things,
is in mutual give and take."

    However, you are missing a crucial point. You see, you make the point
time and again that adults offer unsolicited help constantly in society at
large. And you are correct.
    You go on to say that if children are to be treated the same, it is best
to mirror that situation (while not entirely accurate, I believe it is a
simplistic way of summarizing your view).
     I respect this view, but feel very strongly that it is out of context.
Way out of context. It is literally comparing apples and oranges. Leave
aside, for the time being, the concept of Sudbury and society and all the
rest. Imagine the most barren outline of society along with a school-setting,
free of any particular allegiances or opinions altogether.
     In a school-setting, regardless of the intentions of educators, it is
not fair nor correct to compare it to society as you have done. The entire
way of life, even in a Sudbury School, is very different, as are a myriad of
circumstances. They are not interchangeable, though I can see one (such as
yourself) getting the impression that Sudbury is yearning to mirror "society."
    This impression is incorrect. In my opinion, everything that makes up the
collective culture of society is of no importance in defining the goal of
Sudbury Valley. What is important is mirroring a democracy to some extent,
but not, (how could one do so, anyway?) attempting to mirror the particular
regional courtesies s or intrinsic traditions society has gathered over the

-Travis W.


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