Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Hypothetical Question Re. Commestibles in Sudbury Schools

From: Mike Sadofsky <>
Date: Fri Oct 31 13:51:00 2003

On Fri, 31 Oct 2003 12:55:04 -0500, Ardeshir Mehta
<> wrote:

>On Friday, October 31, 2003, at 07:26 AM, Alan Klein wrote:
>> As a start, the schools of which I am aware incorporate national,
>> state, and local laws into their Rule Book by reference.
>But is the text of the Rule Book decided upon democratically or
>autocratically? If the latter, it would seem to undermine claims of
>democratic structure of the school(s)!
>> Other than that, any School Meeting could ban particular (otherwise
>> legal) substances from the school.
>But could the School Meeting also *permit* otherwise *illegal*
>substances? As for instance was apparently the case at Summerhill with
>tobacco and alcohol?
>Ardeshir <>
What am I missing here?

How can a Sudbury School (any institution) operating within a
political subdivision (country, state or province, city or town or
county) decide that it will pick and choose the laws it will accept or
reject and still retain viability within its community?

The fact that Sudbury Schools provide enrollees with personal freedom
(within the law and the democratically established rules of the
school) and the opportunity to participate in democratic governance of
the school, already puts the school at the edge of "community norms."
To condone explicitly "illegal" activities could do nothing more than
ensure that Sudbury Schools would NOT exist.

One of the factors that enrollees (and staff) must consider when rules
are made in the democratic process, is how their decisions will be
viewed by the larger community. I guess they could vote to create
serious problems for the school, but would they do so? I've not seen
or heard of it happening yet.

Mike Sadofsky
Received on Fri Oct 31 2003 - 13:50:36 EST

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