Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] democracy and entitlement (was How can a young adult get into the world of Sudbury / unschooling?)

From: Elizabeth Marrin <>
Date: Wed Oct 29 21:51:00 2003

That's a perfect resolution, thanks for closing it nicely...
I agree with what you've said. I have a public education dream
- for it to be more progressive, and SVS to lead the way.. but
that's not my job or dream to make it happen.

Thanks again,


--- Bruce Smith <> wrote:
> This is Bruce again. One more post, and then hopefully I, too,
> can withdraw
> from this thread.
> I am glad that Elizabeth was willing to hear what I had to say
> in my
> previous post. However, while I do respect her perspective and
> regret that
> she has had a negative encounter with Sudbury, I still do not
> believe she
> yet understands what we're about. We are private
> organizations: however you
> feel about this, no one is entitled to membership in a Sudbury
> school
> simply by virtue of wanting to be a part of it. Those who can
> pay tuition
> and become students and Assembly-member parents. Those who are
> voted in and
> accept the terms of employment become staff. Others are voted
> in as
> Trustees and Public Members of school Assemblies, as each
> individual school
> decides on a regular basis.
> You can question this, of course, but you would be criticizing
> us for being
> something we cannot or do not endeavor to be. We simply cannot
> accept
> everyone who says they want or deserve to be part of the
> school, in
> whatever capacity they seek, regardless of how passionately
> they seek it.
> We are schools, and small communities, and businesses that are
> not bent
> primarily or directly (or, in a sense, at all) on reforming
> society; as
> such, we are not inclined or able to take in all comers simply
> because they
> wish it.
> Our top priority is rather to establish and maintain
> environments in which
> young people can prepare for adulthood in what we believe is
> an
> exceptionally sound and healthy manner -- that is to say, as
> they
> themselves see fit, within a framework based on both freedom
> and
> responsibility. That is the beginning and end of what we do,
> our sole
> purpose. Hiring decisions, as all decisions, must fall within
> that
> framework, and the hard reality is that not everyone who
> wishes to join the
> staff of a particular Sudbury school can do so. There are
> limits and there
> are (fair and consistent, IMHO) standards.
> We are not about allowing anyone who wishes it the opportunity
> to come to
> our schools and pursue their own agendas, or find themselves,
> or make the
> word a better place: if they are students, then yes, there is
> great
> latitude; but the participation of staff, parents, and other
> Assembly
> members is defined less by their rights, and more by their
> duties and roles
> vis-a-vis the students.
> Anyone who approaches a Sudbury school with the attitude that
> they ought to
> be hired, or that the school would be foolish or irresponsible
> not to
> acknowledge and welcome their passion -- anyone whose
> predominant reaction
> to being turned away is to insult the school or question its
> integrity --
> is viewing things in what I find too egocentric, or even
> narcissistic, a
> perspective. There is little about a staff candidate that
> would turn off a
> school more quickly (other than obvious problems such as a
> criminal
> background or beliefs clearly contrary to the philosophy).
> Also, I must say this: that I believe almost anyone who truly
> wants to
> become part of a Sudbury school happen can make this happen --
> perhaps not
> in the manner or to the degree they most prefer, not easily or
> quickly, but
> it is possible. This is entirely consistent with something
> that most
> Sudbury students learn: it is first and foremost about one's
> choices, and
> what one does with what one is given. If you want something
> badly enough,
> you can most likely achieve it; but why blame others if it
> doesn't work out
> the way you want? Democracy doesn't mean everyone gets
> everything they
> want, after all. Instead, decide what you want, make your
> choices, accept
> responsibility for their consequences, and keep moving along
> toward your
> goals.
> Bruce
> -------------------------------------
> "To be an American is to move on, as if we could outrun
> change. To attach
> oneself to place is to surrender to it, and suffer with it."
> -- Kathleen Norris, _The Cloister Walk_
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Wed Oct 29 2003 - 21:50:27 EST

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