Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model]Re: "ADD/ADHD" kids

From: Shelli Buhr <>
Date: Mon Sep 2 11:27:00 2002

Hi Joe,

Thank you for your response. I have to say that I too have been
contemplating all of this interaction a lot since last night. Even as I was
posting to the Indigo board, I had to be in integrity with what you were
trying to say about the school as well, because I feel so highly about the

Being a teacher of unconsciousness, intention, and intimacy, I have learned
how sometimes that we all come from the place of wanting to defend something
that we believe in, simply because these beliefs are rooted so deeply within
us, and often many huge aspects of our lives are built on those foundations,
so it easily can be a trigger in reacting, instead of responding; I felt we
both showed a little of this.

I was hoping to truly express the understanding of how Shelli came to

As I was posting, it made me think of a few things even further. This for
me, really isn't about the semantic of something I have seen posted on this
topic, or read in an article. The point and only point I am choosing to
recognize is that I have a need to fulfill with the in between children, and
maybe that term should be taken loosely because really no imperfection with
God in my eyes.

So if there were more Sudbury's and this type of education was the norm, the
it would be natural to assume, that all children may not fit this mold, and
maybe that is exactly why I came here. My intention of posting to the indigo
board was not about making you wrong to prove my point at all. It was
because I have been a part of this board for so long that I have listened to
the frustrations of the children.

So I am going to make a few quick comments to some of what you posted here
because I feel it can bridge our understandings of what SVS is accomplishing
and what I am accomplishing. And thank you for sharing your own personal
story. I do feel it is our personal stories which is what probably brought
us all together in the first place.

> >And our rigid thinking is not serving them. The Indigo children are
> here in fact, to bust the system. And they are.
> You missed my point. I am not comparing them - to the contrary:
> disabled children are NOT categorically excluded from the school,

I did not miss the point. I accepted both points. I valued your post on
where you stated that the majority of who the students were enrolled you
could ponder about who would be labeled ADD. I was hearing that you do
accept these children, only at SVS they may not even be labeled learning
disabled. When I posted the first time, what I was posting to was the
concern I felt about people who are names in this industry that are offering
knowledge of how to care for today's children with based off of her
experience and how my concern was that she was not serving the children on
that one area, but also offers some valuable info on other aspects. And I
also see where age may play into a part of all this in if we catch them
early enough, would it change the way children can be responsible. I started
to think more about this last night. I would love to hear your feeling on
this question that I asked you. If children are taught responsibility, and
SVS teaches responsibility, would age play a factor in this, since often,
programming plays a part, physiological issues, play a part? If SVS was the
norm, would it stand to reason that those who did require a little more
structure could benefit by SVS philosophies even later? Maybe I came exactly
to this place in the debate to ask the questions and solicit the answers as
I too am learning what the needs are for the children.

> I did not interpret any hostlity or dismay on your part, Shelli
> :>) ).

there isn't any. But you read the questions that this response was attached
to. Maybe here is where i am asking for help and direction from those who
have been doing it, so it wasn't about blame and pointing fingers. I did
feel the way some of the wording you used was exactly why I had to keep
going back to the intention of the children, rather than getting caught in a
debate. There have been a few debates, and personally, I don't want to play
there. To best explain my feeling I will share another piece that has come
into play where the indigo's are concerned. Even thought SVS isn't about
"indigo's" from my perception, the value of SVS can serve these children so
well, that without applying the label, you really are working for indigo's;
your post on pondering how many children would be labeled was a very keen
point I got in making this assumption.

There are two boards I joined. Indigo Children and Indigo Adults. Both
started at the same time, held the same moderators. But in watching the
children's board, my feeling is that the children were speaking their truth,
honestly searching, coming from an absolutely delicious place for me to
watch. The adult list was adults already educated, often going through
debate after debate on mere semantics, therefore losing site of what was
happening with the children out of their need to defend their position. The
children's board was merrily on its path, exploring with each other, having
a good time. The children are really teaching us. :O) This is a broad
example of why I quit the adult list, and love to watch the indigo list and
I am continually learning as well.

> And the Sudbury environment gives no graphic relief wherein ADD/ADHD
> matters, or most often can even be detected.

maybe because SVS allows the children to be children instead of trying to
fit them in a box. As a teacher of intimacy, I am constantly having to
remind people of one major lesson in life. To simply be. Often we are
projecting who we are instead of being who we are. It is where denial of the
self comes into play, and denial on any level is denial. More people, in
fear of what others think, will try to stuff their essence into the box to
fit the image they feel other ants them to be. Often people spend their
lives trying to be something, rather than enjoying the process of unfolding
into just expressing who they are. SVS again, allows the children this
incredibly valuable lesson I hold so dear.

So back to the word play on semantics, maybe this lesson is more for the
person who offered the information, simply in understanding the power of the
word, and that the word is the gateway for others to see us, and how others
will gain understanding of who we are, whether we are mom, wife, husband,
SVS teachers or children. We give the ammunition that others will use
against us by the power of the word. So if there is something to defend
here, I am saying that rather then defending, express the joy AND remember
the value of the word as it does affect SVS, because that judgment stuck in
my mind. And an even better point on this, if it stuck in my mind and I love
SVS and am very open minded that it isn't black or white, then that judgment
may also be sticking in someone else's mind and we have the power to
transform this through our word. Because I will guaranty you this, if you
understand how "psychic" these children are, then you will know that they
can read you and like anyone else, we can tell when others are blind to
something, even if we don't say something to them because it is not
necessary, but it is by our judgments voiced and unvoiced, that we will

> child is capable of not hurting other people, the building and it's
> contents, or themselves (physically).

beautifully said cuz it brought it home for me. Des is not capable of
hurting anyone. Her in the moment stance has created the actions of coloring
on tables, and later after years of the negative influence of schools, harm
to herself. She would always tell me I didn't mean to, but as I tried so
hard to explain to her that it doesn't matter what you meant to do, what is
your reality is what you succeeded in accomplishing because that success is
what shapes your life and experiences.

> which call for assistance demanding personnel and equipment we cannot
> afford, every child can exist in this environment.

Again another well said point. Since SVS is so new, I know the reality of
their funding. Also, part of my own heart in making decisions for Des's
education was that her disruptive behavior was in fact very hard on the
teacher and even worse, taking away from her classmates who were there. I
have had to make some choices that some parents would not understand based
on this; they said but your child has the right and my response was, yes,
and so does every other child in that environment.

> You may not be aware that Sudbury schools produce an inordinate number of
> healers, artists and musicians. In fact we get criticized for that
> sometimes.

maybe they are criticizing not because of what the children are turning out
to be, rather, not wanting to look at the responsibility of their own
choices of how it isn't in their own lives, often shaking their own beliefs.
Responsibility is a huge and powerful word, that often even as adults, we
fear, which is why so many people find themselves out of integrity. To be
right rather than to be happy often takes a component of forgiveness and
letting go of blame. There is a beautiful speech my Marianne Williamson,
quoted by Nelson Mandela, who talks about how we fear our own power, which
keeps us in our inadequacy. It is easier to accept our inadequacy because
society does, and we are not rocking the boat by being that warrior who
stands on his own. That collective pull keeps us safe, because we have the
tribe to fall back on. But true responsibility is acceptance of our
magnificent power.

> What IS sad, however, is the number of students we have seen that would
> absolutely LOVE to come to the school, but the parents will not enroll
> them, for reasons such as "my child wouldn't be able to handle the
> responsibility" or "they won't learn anything".

yes. that is sad isn't it. In fact, I have tears in my eyes at the reality
of this. I know from my own experience where my life would have taken a very
different turn had I had SVS experiences as my foundation, yet was denied
because it wasn't available. So maybe this is why I have such a desire to
change the system? Not pick on SVS. I think I would have wanted to sing.

In closing, the beauty of all of this was even though I wasn't part of the
SVS experience, now that I have this knowledge, my life is where I want it
even though it took many turns as a graphic artist, then a financial
analyst, and now a spiritual counselor, and its still changing into being a
writer/teacher and advocate. AND I can as an adult, go towards my hearts
desire to sing, and now can serve humanity in a way that also makes my heart

How precious is that? Thank you Joe for your honesty and your candor. You
have given me a lot to think about and cleared up something that I felt
tugging at my heart.

Many Blessings,
Rev. Shelli Buhr
Received on Mon Sep 02 2002 - 11:26:58 EDT

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