[Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: Pornography and violence

From: Myra Hunter <myrahunter27_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Mon May 17 01:27:01 2004

I apologize for the learning curve here. I just read that I needed to edit my subject line. I just wanted to add that I suffered a lot in my childhood from exposure not of my choosing to a lot of graphic violence in movies and in my home. The biggest wound was from the violence in my own home and the lack of any real love. This was not withheld intentionally, my parents did not have it to give, obviously. Violence in movies simply added to the stress. I still choose not to watch a lot of violence, although since I have healed the emotional wounds it does not hurt so much to watch, I simply don't find it entertaining, which I feel is the purpose of most movies. If it fits, like in the Gladiator movie, it is appropriate, but I appreciate it when the producer/director keeps it off screen. I, too, monitor my son's comments and make decisions about what we watch based on them. He used to scream shrilly for more than a few minutes when Miss Piggy was acosted by the Big Bad Wolf
 and when the Butler stole the kittens in Aristocrats, so I took that to mean he did not appreciate the violence and made my decisions to reflect that. I, too, consider starting a school because of everything I have witnessed in the public system during my recent college practicums and because of my own realization at age 8 that I was in prison and did not know how I would survive for 8 more years of it. I was told daily by everything that was said and done that I had no value, that my questions were a bother (I was told later that the teachers could not answer them, still can't!) and that no one in that environment had any concern for my thoughts or feelings. I consider starting a school because I want the best for my son, don't want to move, and personally feel that the area here needs one and just might be willing to entertain the notion. In my practicums I see many students are starving for real love, which is the underlying cause of all the violence in the world. It is my
 strongest desire to provide not only an environment where students get to choose and decide, but also where their emotional needs may be met. Being responsible is a huge part of being loving, so I will continue to question just how to handle this issue. I hope that everyone here will do the same.

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Today's Topics:

1. RE: R rated stuff, etc. (Alan Klein)
2. Thank you Alan and Scott re R rated stuff, etc. (Sally Rosloff)
3. RE: R rated stuff, etc. (Joe Jackson)
4. Re: R rated stuff, etc. (Tom)
5. RE: R rated stuff, etc. (Sally Rosloff)
6. RE: R rated stuff, etc. (Alan Klein)
7. Re: R rated stuff, etc. (Hunderhill_at_aol.com)

--__--__--

Message: 1
From: "Alan Klein"
To:
Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 17:03:56 -0400
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Sally,

You raise several interesting questions.

From a school point of view, a student is a student is a student. While
guilds/clubs/corporations can set regulations for the use of equipment
and other resources, they need to be relatively objective standards,
without regard to age, in my opinion.

I wonder how many democratic schools would allow unrestricted access to
XXX-rated videos, of the kind you mention the 7 year old boy having
seen. Probably none.

My youngest is now 18. She and I have always shared an interest in
edgier material, understanding that "edgier" is a relative term. As a
young, young child, we used to watch "Eerie, Indiana". As she got older,
it was "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". (Of course, we also watched "7th
Heaven"...go figure!)

When she was one and a half, she came to see me in a community theater
production of "Chicago". I played Mary Sunshine, which in the musical is
a male dressed as a female, who gets unmasked at the end. At
intermission, she came down with her mother to the Green Room. I picked
her up and held her as a group of people were talking. After a while, I
said something fore the first time. She looked up at me in shock and
burst out crying! (We are thinking that she is almost ready to enter
Regression Hypnosis Therapy to figure out what was going through her
mind when she heard her father's voice coming out of a woman's body!

The next year, at two and a half, Kelly came to the dress rehearsal of
"Sweeney Todd". I was the first person to be killed by Sweeney. It was
rather dramatic as the chorus was singing, Sweeney was bellowing, and I
got into the barber chair. He laid a white sheet across me and "slit my
throat". Blood came pouring out of the fake razor we had made and down
the white sheet. He pulled a lever and my lifeless body slid down a
chute into the Meat Pie shop below. As I hit the bottom of the chute I
heard a voice cry out, "Daddy!!" Fortunately it was intermission time
and she came down to the Green Room and saw that I was OK, though for
the next few weeks she did not like me going to my "Sweeney show".

I relate all this to say that she has not been scarred for life, but
rather is an incredibly rounded, creative, intellectual, dancing,
singing, writing, caring, scholarly person. My belief and experience is
that it is not the images that are disturbing in and of themselves, but
it is our reaction to them that is disturbing. Granted, some images are
more likely to provoke a disturbance and some are more likely to provoke
peacefulness. But the disturbance is no more IN a gory image than the
peacefulness is IN a picture of the sunset. The emotions reside in us.

~Alan Klein

-----Original Message-----
From: Sally Rosloff
I am frustrated and once again feeling somewhat defensive at the
replies. I come here because so many of you have such a depth of real
experience with free democratic schools. I need to bounce my own
evolving
understanding against that of folks who are ahead of me. In the past
two
months I have read everything I can find online, have bought and read
about
7 books from SVS and have been having long conversations. I am part of
a
group wanting to start a new school and I am the primary person bringing

the ideas of a free school to people who have not yet gone there. But
the
paradigm shift for me, although growing in me for a long time, is
relatively new and there are aspects of the paradigm I am still working
to
"get."

I beg your patience. Please do not perceive my questions as
adversarial...I am not sniping at "your" schools, I am not challenging
the
model, I am not a traditional person putting down these ideas. But I
have
not yet lived them fully and I am still working to "get" the
edges. Perhaps the way I write comes off that way but I feel that many
of
you assume something of me that I am not and it doesn't feel good. I
feel
as if I am being put down even if, Joe, you didn't mean that I am
misguided
when you talked of misguided adults.

Several of you wrote long replies about the benefits of playing video
games. Why? I agree with it all. I was asking about a specific point
around the graphic violence of some of them and how that might affect
very
young children, specifically 5 to 7 year olds. What about my questions
triggered long lectures about any child playing any video game? That is

what is exasperating to me.

I asked those questions because I genuinely need to gain a new
understanding not because I am absolutely entrenched in my understanding
to
date. I've brought all this up with my 18 year old and he basically
agrees
with you all and we had a great conversation around it that was very
helpful. I realized that I have been thinking of some isolated
incidents
that bothered me and perhaps generalizing too much and not taking into
account the supportive respectful climate of the sm schools that can
then
deal with any negative feelings that arise. There was a time I was at
an
elementary school where a 7 year old boy had said to a couple of 6 year
old
girls, "Do you want to suck my cock?" The girls reported it and the boy

was brought to the office. It turned out that he had been exposed to
hard
core pornographic movies at a babysitter's house. 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.

Of course that doesn't mean that we wait until they are 18 to bring up
anything. Of course children have to begin to wrestle with the hard
issues
of the world and evolve their understanding as well. And in a
supportive
respectful environment they can do this. I was worrying about the
environment most of these children are actually in which doesn't support

their process. But I'm realizing that is a separate issue.

I am curious if you think that children having the same rights and
freedoms
as adults applies outside of school as well, or is there are any
limits...it's hard for me to see from your answers so far that you thing

there 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.

Even given that I am asking this way, some of your answers are giving me

pause and I am beginning to shift here as well. Dan, thank you for the
book suggestion, I will get and read it. I apologize for any waste of
time
in reinventing the wheel...the subject may keep coming up but it is
relatively new for me....I haven't been doing this for 35 years. I have

read many of your books now and while the freedom of learning aspect has

been wonderfully addressed I haven't had this issue addressed enough in
what I have read or I wouldn't be asking it now.

Also, Joe, I have heard enough 5 year olds asking about something they
are
watching "Is this real" to wonder about their understanding of it. I
have
focused my questions on young children because of the experiences I have

had there, buy my experience is not vast and may be skewed.

--__--__--

Message: 2
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 15:14:52 -0700
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
From: Sally Rosloff
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Thank you Alan and Scott re R rated stuff, etc.
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Thank you both of you. Your replies speak to me and are
helpful. Especially the anecdotes Alan, really make this issue come to
life for me. Your comment at the end about the reactions being disturbing
rather than the images themselves does get to the heart of what is
bothering me. It clarifies a concern that was murky for me but now I
realize is the one about when kids do have a reaction disturbing to them
and they don't have what they need in their environment to process it. But
what free schools are about is creating that environment that is supportive
and that is where I am turning my focus. So your reply is helping me to
clarify some of my assumptions that I was not completely clear about.

I was assuming schools would not have XXX rated films around so I asked
about that as a hypothetical in a child's home or elsewhere, as a question
trying to get at the thinking about any limits around age. This isn't a
burning question for me but I did wonder from some of the discussions I've
read about if anyone sees any boundaries (is that the right word, perhaps
limits) at all according to age.

Scott, your replies as well get to some of my assumptions that I am
re-examining. Thanks for explaining about how it must feel to be
constantly explaining, defending the model to folks who not only don't
understand but also might be hostile.The charter school I've been a part of
has gone through some of that and we have students at our school whose
parents really don't support what we are doing but keep their children
there anyway and it's a very confusing message to the kids. I'm wondering
if there is something I can say as when I post as a tip-off that I'm not
part of that group!

You've got me thinking about developmental stages in a new way. I've been
involved in schools where using a "developmental" approach seemed to me to
be light years ahead of a traditional approach...but now of course I am
looking at free schools as light years ahead of anything else!

So I am pondering, thanks again for your food for my thought.
Sally

At 05:03 PM 5/15/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Sally,
>
>You raise several interesting questions.
>
> From a school point of view, a student is a student is a student. While
>guilds/clubs/corporations can set regulations for the use of equipment
>and other resources, they need to be relatively objective standards,
>without regard to age, in my opinion.
>
>I wonder how many democratic schools would allow unrestricted access to
>XXX-rated videos, of the kind you mention the 7 year old boy having
>seen. Probably none.
>
>My youngest is now 18. She and I have always shared an interest in
>edgier material, understanding that "edgier" is a relative term. As a
>young, young child, we used to watch "Eerie, Indiana". As she got older,
>it was "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". (Of course, we also watched "7th
>Heaven"...go figure!)
>
>When she was one and a half, she came to see me in a community theater
>production of "Chicago". I played Mary Sunshine, which in the musical is
>a male dressed as a female, who gets unmasked at the end. At
>intermission, she came down with her mother to the Green Room. I picked
>her up and held her as a group of people were talking. After a while, I
>said something fore the first time. She looked up at me in shock and
>burst out crying! (We are thinking that she is almost ready to enter
>Regression Hypnosis Therapy to figure out what was going through her
>mind when she heard her father's voice coming out of a woman's body!
>
>The next year, at two and a half, Kelly came to the dress rehearsal of
>"Sweeney Todd". I was the first person to be killed by Sweeney. It was
>rather dramatic as the chorus was singing, Sweeney was bellowing, and I
>got into the barber chair. He laid a white sheet across me and "slit my
>throat". Blood came pouring out of the fake razor we had made and down
>the white sheet. He pulled a lever and my lifeless body slid down a
>chute into the Meat Pie shop below. As I hit the bottom of the chute I
>heard a voice cry out, "Daddy!!" Fortunately it was intermission time
>and she came down to the Green Room and saw that I was OK, though for
>the next few weeks she did not like me going to my "Sweeney show".
>
>I relate all this to say that she has not been scarred for life, but
>rather is an incredibly rounded, creative, intellectual, dancing,
>singing, writing, caring, scholarly person. My belief and experience is
>that it is not the images that are disturbing in and of themselves, but
>it is our reaction to them that is disturbing. Granted, some images are
>more likely to provoke a disturbance and some are more likely to provoke
>peacefulness. But the disturbance is no more IN a gory image than the
>peacefulness is IN a picture of the sunset. The emotions reside in us.
>
>~Alan Klein

--__--__--

Message: 3
From: "Joe Jackson"
To:
Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 19:12:58 -0400
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Sally,

sorry about that. people tend to take me wrong in email communication. i
was not thinking of you at all.

joe

--__--__--

Message: 4
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
From: Tom
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 20:37:46 -0400
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

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

--__--__--

Message: 5
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 19:59:42 -0700
To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
From: Sally Rosloff
Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Joe,
No problem. I think I've got to figure out some shorthand way of letting
you all know where I am in my process when I occasionally pop in with a
question so you know I'm not starting from scratch but am still wrestling
with some things. I too seem to get taken the wrong way in email
communication, at least if I don't write long long messages explaining
myself, which I actually like to do but I don't know if everyone wants to
read all that!

By the way, your response about how rules come about was helpful.

Thanks.
Sally

At 07:12 PM 5/15/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Sally,
>
>sorry about that. people tend to take me wrong in email communication. i
>was not thinking of you at all.
>
>joe
>
>_______________________________________________
>Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
>Discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org
>http://www.sudval.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/discuss-sudbury-model

--__--__--

Message: 6
From: "Alan Klein"
To:
Subject: RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 23:09:50 -0400
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

So, I am curious, Joe. What conclusion(s) do you draw from the
realization that "people tend to take (you) wrong in email
communication"?

~Alan Klein

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Jackson
sorry about that. people tend to take me wrong in email communication.
i
was not thinking of you at all.

--__--__--

Message: 7
From: Hunderhill_at_aol.com
Date: Sat, 15 May 2004 23:41:52 EDT
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] R rated stuff, etc.
To: sallyr_at_socal.rr.com, discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org, Quinlan98_at_aol.com
Reply-To: discuss-sudbury-model_at_sudval.org

Sally:
I too am involved in a start up study group and I have found the long replies
very helpful to me in trying to imagine what the day of a Sudbury Model
school might be like. I shared with my son (now 40) the image of the ten year
old boys in the barn stall playing video games in groups, and he laughed and
laughed because he recognized its truthfullness. If (when!) we get our school
going in 2005 we'll begin building the experience of living the concept, the

=== message truncated ===

Merry Christmas,
Myra Hunter

                
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Received on Mon May 17 2004 - 01:26:43 EDT

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