Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Encouragment.

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Wed Apr 6 10:18:00 2005

On Wed, 6 Apr 2005, Marc Kivel wrote:

> Hi, Jennifer.
> One of the philosophical problems I have with the
> Sudbury model is the treatment of adults (!) in the
> community. While the conventional school model of
> youth subordinate to adults is objectionable for a
> number of moral and ethical reasons, I am concerned
> that youth may not always fully appreciate the
> ramifications of removing a staffer.

On what do you base that assumption? In 37 years, not once
has a staff member been removed from Sudbury Valley without
*extraordinary* care and concern.

The process is far, far more human and careful than the
process of being removed from *any* other institution I have

This is precisely because of the enormity of the task, and
the fact that the students in the School Meeting are wholly
fully aware of what a difficult burden the responsibility
for the staffing of the school is.

I think that when one lessens power of an individual, an
unintended consequence is that one lessense the sense of
responsibility that the individual feels. The School Meeting
is careful and caution and gentle precisely *because* it is
a body with power.

Motions for contract which deny a contract to a person who
had been a staff member, create as heavy a heart in the
meeting as motions for expulsion.

Why do you presume that 'youth' would be cavalier in how
they took their responsibilities in the School Meeting?
That's an awfully presumptuous stance.

> In my model, I have built in a safeguard to lessen the
> need for dismissals in the form of a Warden Team for
> each Staffer. The Team, consisting of a Trustee and
> two current Learners appointed by the Weekly Meeting,
> provides oversight and a feedback channel for the
> community to the Staffer and acts as the Staffer's
> advocate within the School community. In this manner,
> issues should be identified and resolved BEFORE they
> end up on the Agenda for a School Meeting.
> The issue of accepting families who are not fully
> supportive of the school's design to generate income
> is the bane of all private schools. One alternative
> is to make the school "for-profit." Another might be
> to set a probation clause into full Assembly and
> Meeting membership - perhaps full voting priveleges
> are not extended until after a family/learner has been
> enrolled for a probationary period? This should allow
> the family/learner a chance to see if the school is a
> good fit before they begin using the school's
> democratic institutions to modify the school to fit
> another vision.
> And yes, Learning Differenced learners are becoming a
> mainstay of private schools in the Dallas area - and
> even among the private schools, some become preferred
> because they cater to learning differenced learners
> but being parochial they avoid the "stigma" of being
> called "special schools for special kids"....
> Too bad parents care more about labels than they do
> about learning...
> Marc
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
Any excuse will serve a tyrant. 
-- Aesop
Received on Wed Apr 06 2005 - 10:16:17 EDT

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