RE: DSM: Is not the goal of Sudbury FREEDOM?

From: Peter Shier (pshier@mindspring.com)
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 16:06:20 EST


My only point here is that "harm to the child" is very much open to
interpretation. As I recall, the Massachusets government official
interviewed on the 60 Minutes segment made it quite clear that she
thought the Sudbury environment was harmful to the children. I assume
that just about everyone on this list would disagree with her (myself
included).

By the same token, it is highly likely that everyone on this list would
agree with intervention in significantly harsh examples of sex, drugs,
and violence.

The bottom line is that somehwere there is a middle ground that is very
wide.

I do think there is a very strong relationship between parenting and
educational styles. For example, most people would not likely send their
child to a Sudbury school that had a kind, loving, compassionate, and
understanding staff member who also happended to be a drug dealer or a
convicted sex offender. Choosing a school is a product of our parenting
style. For some that may involve little consideration other than "so
where is my district elementary school"? For others, like those on this
list, it involves some very complex analysis and introspection. While I
love the Sudbury model, I would not send my child to a particular school
if its membership voted to allow drug use on campus. That would go
beyond my limits for intervention and I would not permit it for my
child.

Now, I'll guess that many feel this thread has degenerated into some
serious nit-picking and hair-splitting but my ultimate point is that
there is no truly "free school". We all control our children to some
degree and we all expect a certain amount of that control in their
school environment. I am personally grappling with what the level of
that control should ideally be. I know there is no real answer to that
question but it is the process of exploring it that I feel has great
value in relation to the Sudbury model.

Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: BBWIA13@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2002 6:59 AM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: Re: DSM: Is not the goal of Sudbury FREEDOM?

Peter,

    Thank you for the compliment. However, and it gives me no pleasure
to do
so, I must separate myself from your own viewpoints.
    The issue of total freedom is so unbelievably complex as to weed out

virtually all simplistic examples.
    Indeed, personally, I see no need to bring drugs, sex, and violence
into
the debate because (1) I mentioned before and stick to the contention
that
comparing parenting styles to educational ones, in said environment, is
counterproductive. They are not, should not, and have never been close
to
compatible.
    Sure, talk about a euphoric situation of you must. But the reality
is
otherwise! And, (2) though I disagree vehemently with Ardeshir, I am
willing
to risk the cardinal sin of putting words in his mouth by saying that
when he
argues for total freedom, he is not trying to convey in the least a kind
of
"total restraint" in common sense issues that obliterate all
philosophical
musings, such as the threat of harm to a child.

-Travis W.

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