[Discuss-sudbury-model] Response to 2/15 discussion

From: Melissa <hydeaway_at_suscom-maine.net>
Date: Sun Feb 16 08:01:01 2003

Here is a personal story of how I view Sudbury schools modeling their
democratic environment (I am a parent at Evergreen Sudbury School in
Hallowell, Maine):

I volunteer to drive Evergreen students (including our son) to a weekly
horseback riding lesson, about 25 minutes away from the school, which
several students had requested and set up with the help of a staff member.
Since I live almost an hour away from the school and need to go there to
first pick up the group, the driving is a good-sized commitment on my part.
Several weeks ago, I first dropped my son off at the stable so he could
begin grooming and riding, then drove to the school to pick up the three
other students (the stable is on the way to the school). When I arrived, I
found out that two of the riding students had not arrived yet at school and
the third stated he did not plan on going to riding. My conversation with
the third student occurred in the presence of a group of about six students
and one student, sensing my frustration about driving all the way to the
school, turned to the third student and kindly but firmly said, "You have to
go. You made the commitment. You're 'outta here!" I drove the third student
back to the stable where he did an excellent job riding. I later asked the
riding students to discuss their commitment and whether they wished to
continue the lessons and let me know. Accountability from peers! I've seen
this among the students several times when I'm volunteering at the school
and see that there is no stronger learning environment than when students
believe themselves to be responsible for their own learning in a democratic


Melissa Romac


Received on Sun Feb 16 2003 - 08:00:14 EST

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