Re: DSM: Re: TCS (Taking Children Seriously): Non-coercive Schools?

From: Alan Klein (alan@Klein.Net)
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 06:58:04 EST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ardeshir Mehta, N.D." <>
> One cannot excuse the coersive nature of most *public* schools by
> saying that if the child wants to leave, he / she can always do so.
> And if this argument applies to public schools, then surely it ap-
> plies to *all* schools.

It is an unfortunate truth of economics and law that most parents/students
do NOT believe they can always leave if they want. Therefore, this argument
does NOT apply to most people in public schools (your Cyrus and my Kelly

> So the question still stands: What would it take for Sudbury to aban-
> don coerciveness in favour of non-coercive methods of conflict reso-
> lution, such as, in Deutsch's terms, seeking "common preferences"?
> For if it doesn't, it can hardly be -- as Martha Stewart might put it --
> "a good thing". (Would *you* say it is?)

My experience at The Highland School and what I know of SVS says that that
is what almost all SM and JC deliberations become: a search for common
preferences. It is couched in the language and practice of democracy, as
versus consensus, but the outcome is usually the same.



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