RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Fairhaven, "R" rating

From: Joe Jackson <shoeless_at_jazztbone.com>
Date: Fri May 14 00:50:01 2004

> I'm curious about the
> thinking behind it being okay for the youngest children to
> watch violent
> and graphically disturbing images.

Sally,

As you may already know, the schools are run democratically and such rules
are created by School Meeting. And since the school starts out with a
"clean slate" in terms of rules, the question would be not "what is the
thinking behind the lack of a rule", but rather what would be the
justification *for* such a rule. The fact is, no justification has been
compelling enough to date for sm to place any such limits on the material
you are asking about.

And since I cannot even come close to characterizing each school meeting
member's feelings about young kids and portrayals of violence, I'm not going
to be able to come up with any given rationale why the school meeting has
not passed any rules restricting these materials that would represent most
or even any of the school. In other words, everybody has a different
opinion and the net result is that there is not such a rule.

My opinion is that it is incredibly important for a young person to learn
their own limits and to learn to handle stress caused by real events of
violence in the world. As far as movies and games are concerned, they are
just portrayals, and all kids understand that and there is no more process
than there is when reading a violent book like Sea Wolf or the Odyssey. The
disturbing reality of violence and suffering in the world is what all of the
kids at the school are concerned about, and that is what they have to take
responsibility for coming to grips with, as does any person on this planet
who leads a considered life.

The only people who seem to be concerned about games and movies are some
misguided adults who confuse willing and intense suspension of disbelief
with an imagined lack of ability to differentiate between reality and play.

> In all the books that I have been reading, Sudbury
> and other
> related ones, I haven't seen much about developmental stages.
> I know there
> is not as much a need to be concerned with them since each individual
> follows their own time line but it still seems to me that
> there are in fact
> stages around cognitive development and moving into more abstract
> understanding. So, I'm interested in the thinking about this
> for Sudbury
> schools.

Again, Sudbury schools are made up of hundreds upon hundreds of individual
young people and adults, so there is not any one attitude about the
so-called stages of development.

I can tell you my opinion on it, which is that they are a bunch of theories
that historically have had little use but to pigeonhole kids, deny them
their rights, and give people an excuse to coerce them. So I am not a big
fan of them and think that the existence of them in our culture have been of
great harm to children.

But this is just my opinion and I'm just some guy. :)

Take care Sally,

Joe Jackson
Fairhaven School parent
Received on Fri May 14 2004 - 00:49:36 EDT

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