[Discuss-sudbury-model] RE: a newcomer wanting to learn

From: Joe Jackson <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
Date: Sat Jan 18 23:29:01 2003

Jennifer wrote:

***************
"With regard to the drugs, racism, swearing etc - these are in our
society. It is better to educate children about these things so they
have an understanding of them rather than prohibiting them."

But how do you educate them so they have an understanding? or is it
trusted that those conversations will happen at home... what if kids are
not interested in engaging in conversations about these subjects. I
would love to hear how these subjects are approached with kids in
schools.
****************

Our kids learn about these issues both at home and at school. Of course
we have always told them about the danger inherent with alcohol and
drugs, so by the time they went to school they were aware of what they
can do.

As far as sex is concerned, we have always answered the questions and
given them complete info and explanation insofar as their interest goes.
I am sure they hear all about every detail of sex at school. They not
quite at the age where they are interested in it, so right now it just
sort of goes in one ear and out the other. Regardless, between the
school and us (their parents) we will always make sure they have the
best information we can give.

They know that open sexuality and alcohol/drugs have a social
ramification because there is a variety of legislation prohibiting
substances at the school, as well as rules that define what a phohibited
sexual activity is at the school. So there is an innate learning
process there.

Racism - this isn't really a stand-alone subject, it goes along with all
of the issues of making fun of people in ways that the people don't want
to be made fun of. The primary piece of this behavioral puzzle is
learned far before school age, wherein parents teach children not to
make fun of the handicapped, the elderly, and jazz musicians. The
lesson is most effectively learned wherein the child learns to have
empathy for fellow beings, but this hinges on how empathetic people the
parents are (and how consistent they are and how well they communicate
with their children).

If students show up at the school and haven't learned this at home, they
either learn quickly or else they end up expelled. It's often sad, but
the school can't afford to baby along people who can't quickly learn how
to push all of the sensitive buttons. JC and School Meeting have a
ridiculously short tolerance level for unwanted fun-making. In fact my
son just got sentenced for telling someone that they are a piece of
plastic last week. No kidding.

And finally, swearing. I don't know why this is grouped with all these
other subjects. Every adult I know swears in certain situations. All I
can say about Fairhaven students is that they learn how to swear well,
and they learn what is the right situation to do it in. In fact, and I
have said this here in the past, I know fully well that my son (10) is a
fully capable and fairly talented swearer. And yet he never swears in
my presence. I don't know why as I have never told him not to, but the
point is that he has a superior filter system and that's all he really
needs to know about swearing in this world.

Finally, caffiene, junk food, drugs and TV all in one sentence, with
only commas separating them? Some of those things are usually found
well within an individual's right to choose in most schools, or in
pretty much any level of society. If someone sees caffeine and TV as
being on the level with drugs (and feels the same way about drugs that I
do), I would advise him or her to stay away from Sudbury schools.
Caffeine is not considered an illegal drug at our school, and many of us
think TV is pretty beneficial.

Hope this sheds some light.

Joe Jackson
Fairhaven School
Upper Marlboro, Maryland

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org
[mailto:discuss-sudbury-model-admin_at_sudval.org] On Behalf Of Jennifer
Blair
Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2003 8:54 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] sex & drugs & power & control

"With regard to the drugs, racism, swearing etc - these are in our
society. It is better to educate children about these things so they
have an understanding of them rather than prohibiting them."

But how do you educate them so they have an understanding? or is it
trusted that those conversations will happen at home... what if kids are
not interested in engaging in conversations about these subjects. I
would love to hear how these subjects are approached with kids in
schools.
----- Original Message -----
From: dwyn_at_kiwilink.co.nz
Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2003 3:39 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] sex & drugs & power & control

>
> The tree forts and video games, as well as, perhaps, the junk food,
issues all, in part, fall into the
> "waiting for the other shoe to drop" syndrome. After years of
traditional upbringing and/or
> schooling, even though we tell the kids that they have complete
freedom to choose their own
> activities, they don't completely believe us. They usually go through
what can be an extended
> period of testing the limits of this freedom.

Additionally, as parents, we are in a position of power over our
children, and for the child, growing up is a process of wresting that
power off us and learning to be an independent person. In western
society we are taught that power over others is justified if you can
make an argument for the other person being "incapable of looking after
themselves". I don't believe this is true.
The biggest challenge as parents is to give up that power to your child
and find other ways to support them and protect them from danger without
impinging on their right to self determination (which even the youngest
child has).
With regard to the drugs, racism, swearing etc - these are in our
society. It is better to educate children about these things so they
have an understanding of them rather than prohibiting them. Prohibition
of anything has never worked in any country. Drug use in particular is
common and as parents we will not be able to stop our kids experimenting
if they want to. We can arm them with good information to stop them
OD'ing or getting into trouble with the police.
Drug propaganda (especially in America) is way over the top and kids
know that instinctivly. The belief that their parents trust them will go
further to control a teenagers drug use than trying to hide the issue or
prohibit use or any other form of control.
As my mother used to say about curfews, sex and drugs - "anything you
can do after dark you can do before dark. I just have to trust you or
else Im admitting that I wasn't a good parent."

Sandra Murray
************************************************************************
*******************
            A Threat to Justice Anywhere;
                                                Is a Threat to Justice
Everywhere

Sandra Murray Cannabis Outreach Co-ordinator

dwyn_at_kiwilink.co.nz ph 09 368 1355
c/o Green Party
                                                Mob 021 890 629
PO Box 1553, Auckland
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Received on Sat Jan 18 2003 - 23:28:08 EST

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