Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.

From: Tom <tomhall_at_freeimprovisation.com>
Date: Sat May 15 20:35:00 2004

Sally writes:
> ..(snip) I got to thinking of all that young children can and are
> exposed to these days that didn't used to happen before videos, dvds,
> cable, etc. Young children are now exposed to disturbing, graphic
> material that didn't used to be available and I wonder if that has an
> impact we should think about...that is basically what I'm trying to
> work through (snip)

Is it really true that children are so horribly more exposed today?
Until relatively recently, (and in many societies still), it was the
norm for families to sleep in the same room, if not the same bed.
People regularly killed their own food (and each other). The elderly
and sick lived with the rest of the family, and died there - horrible
and bloody deaths that now take place out of the child's sight.

I think children have been historically exposed to much more real
sweaty graphic sex and real bloody violence and death than they are
today, at least here in the US and other more "developed" countries.
The idea of a childhood that does not touch any of this real life sex
and death stuff is the invention of the last couple of generations -
the same generations that are so fascinated with fake death and sex and
are continually creating and consuming all that stuff that they are so
worried about their children seeing.

> I am curious if you think that children having the same rights and
> freedoms as adults applies outside of sch ool as well, or is there are
> any limits...it's hard for me to see from your answers so far that you
> thing theere are any. Are 5 to 7 year olds able to consent to sexual
> activity with children older than their age mates? Say a 6 year old
> and an 11 year old? Do any of you see any difference between what
> persons of any age may choose to do? So is it okay for any age person
> to smoke, drink alcohol, watch hard core porn, etc? I am deliberately
> going to the extreme because it seems to me the answers I am getting
> keep saying that people of any age know what is good for them and will
> choose accordingly and it isn't quite making sense to me yet where
> there might be a line, if any.
>

You can make anything seem horrible by applying the most extreme "what
ifs" you can imagine. Try it! Think of the most universally assumed
good and true things, and try to find a what if that turns it into a
disaster. It's not too hard to do. The fact is, humans are very good at
surviving. No one wants to feel bad or die. People naturally create
and find things that help them to learn and grow, and avoid those
things that hurt them, if you don't stop them or stunt them. If this is
the truth, it is the truth, and it applies equally to alcohol, and sex,
and whatever other thing you are worried about. Where would this line
then come from?

That being said, I think you would be surprised at the number of
Sudbury type school people whose ideals about learning, children's
rights, and freedom to choose are applied only to the school
environment. I think that, in many ways, it's much easier to apply them
in the institutional setting than in the home. As well entrenched as
they are, I think people's ideas about school are easier to examine and
change than their ideas about parenting and family.

My .02 -keep up the good work,
Tom
Received on Sat May 15 2004 - 20:34:18 EDT

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