Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] variations on the model in practice

From: Jeff Collins <>
Date: Fri Apr 8 16:14:09 2005

Hi Todd (and others),

Please don't misunderstand me - I am not trying to attack you or your
beliefs. I apologize if my message came across as an attack. I fully
respect your right to have your opinion as to the best way to provide an
education. However, the point that I was attempting to make is that in
a Sudbury School there is no "almost all situations" clause. This is
the difference between what you are advocating and what a Sudbury School
does - I am only highlighting he difference. I am not attempting to
make a value judgement on the difference.

I would like to make one comment about the "almost all situations"
however. To me you are advocating a democratic situation similar to the
one setup by the writters of the US Constitution. They also believed in
democracy in "almost all situations". In their case they believed in
democracy except for women and slaves who *- to them -* were obviously
unqualified to to be trusted with the vote. In addition, they really
didn't trust the election of the president to a pure democracy - hence
the safety valve of the Electoral College. After the adoption of the
constituion, it only took this country 83 years to realize that men of
any race or color could be trusted with the vote (Amendment XV), an
additional 50 years to realize that women could be trusted with the vote
(Amendment XIX) and an additional 51 years to realize 18 year olds could
be trusted with the vote (Amendment XXVII). We still haven't gotten to
the point that we believe the president can be elected by a simple
plurality of the vote...

Jeff Collins
Hudson Valley Sudbury School

Todd Pratum wrote:

> Jeff,
> Thank you for this. I feel really frustrated right now because I
> can tell by your statement here that I am not being understood!
> You say that "that you feel that you are a better arbiter of their
> activities than they are" That "you will never come to agree with a
> Sudbury education" But this is way off from what I am about! The
> point I have been trying to make here is that I trust kids in almost
> all situations. I will say that again, I trust kids in almost all
> situations. I am the parent of a nine year old and he is almost
> totally in control of his life, almost! There are a few areas where I
> feel that he needs guidance. But I realize that even that is to much
> for Sudbury. It is just a matter of degrees. I am starting a school
> where there will be _no homework, no grades, no tests,_ where children
> will be in total control of their day, (with some exceptions, no
> pornography, no violence, etc). *Kids know better than I what they
> need,* I firmly believe this. My whole argument was about
> _encouragement._ I feel very frustrated with email these days. I've
> invested a lot of time in this exchange yet I get email where people
> tell me that "I don't trust kids" etc etc. So frustrating. I am a
> radical, my school will be more democratic than any of the nearly 100
> schools on the East Bay (with the exception of Diablo), yet I have
> been attacked here for not adhering to EVERY doctrine of Sudbury, and
> badly misunderstood. The 13 points that Scott posted really put me
> off, but I'm still trying. I am founding a democratic school and I
> would like a little support from SVS people but I have had zero. The
> SVS postings remind me more of my old school teachers, always sure its
> the KIDS problem, not the teachers. SVS is so sure of its self, its
> really quite troubling, more like an exclusive club. But I am still
> trying for a dialogue here. Todd Pratum.
Received on Fri Apr 08 2005 - 16:13:58 EDT

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