RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Introduction, Technology at Sudbury

From: Joe Jackson <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
Date: Tue Nov 26 08:11:00 2002

> Being a place and community they truly
> create for themselves, the school can have no real boundary
> of responsibility between home and school. There is no
> abdication of responsibility to the administration in either
> place. Therefore the transcendence of boundary represented by
> the Internet is not special, and my question is moot. Am I
> catching on?

I think so, generally. But I believe there _is_ actually a different
level of responsibility carried by school members. As Evelyn mentions,
most (if not all) of the schools have rules about activities by members
that pose a disproportionate threat to the well-being and survival of
the school.

In an ideal world, people are responsible and are seen to be responsible
for their own actions. We live in the real world with real political
factors that any school that wants to survive must come to grips with.
There are lots of individuals and organizations that would like to see
schools like Sudbury Valley and Fairhaven and Diablo Valley gone, and
all it takes is one phone call from one irate member of the community or
one irate cop to start a civic mechanism that could bring our school in
the crosshairs of a person or group that has the will and political
ammunition to bring us down.

Therefore, one of our students caught, off campus, doing something
illegal doing school hours poses a profoundly higher threat to us as a
community than it does a public school. All it would take is one
incident, caught in a bad light, and presented in a worse light by the
media for the conventional-wisdom public to have feel like all of their
feelings about what happens when you give students freedom.

I do believe that access to the internet in the school adds nothing to
the equation wherein staff members and students (and parents like
myself!) represent the school, as long as students are not using school
email accounts (we actually did have a scary situation where a student
sent a nasty letter to I believe the president using the
staff_at_fairhavenschool.com account early in our history...).

And everything that happens is a result of "being a place and community
they truly create for themselves" so you are right on. But it usually
surprises people when they see the amount of rules and community
standards such a free-market culture comes up with...

-joe
Received on Tue Nov 26 2002 - 08:10:12 EST

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