Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] compulsory element of sudbury model

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Fri Oct 7 16:06:00 2005

Hi Molly,

On Fri, 7 Oct 2005 wrote:

> Don't individuals benefit by having the right to move in
> and out of any community according to his or her own
> judgement? Couldn't this actually improve the sudbury
> culture because it would allow an infusion of unschooling
> kids who already "get" freedom and responsibility at a
> larger community level?

Individuals *do* benefit from being able to decide which
communities they will, or won't, be a part of.

And, by the same token, most communities have their own
standards for what level of involvement is needed to remain
a member. If I join the local chapter of the humane society,
but never show up or involve myself with them in any way,
they are perfectly justified in saying "Scott is no longer a
part of our community" and ending my membership, along with
whatever privileges such membership entitled me to.

At Sudbury Valley, it is important that the attendance
regulations are *not* dealt with by the Judicial system. Not
attending isn't a crime, and nobody holds it against you
(well, alright, maybe your friends who miss you do). On the
other hand, if you're not part of the community any more,
whether by your choice or not, our School Meeting wants to
recognize that and formally end that person's involvement
with the community.

From time to time, students have tried to use SVS as a 'drop
in center' -- and it has never felt right to them, their
parents, their friends in the school, or the school.

Rather than getting a sense of what it is to be a member of
the community, people who don't become part of our community
full time are *in*fact* simply left confused, not knowing
everybody's name, not knowing the rules, and wondering why
every time they show up it's their turn to do trash (mostly
because everyone does the trash about once every three
months, and if you only *show* once every three months . .

It is impossible to divorce community membership and
responsibility with breathing the same air day-in and
day-out. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be part
of our community -- but our School Meeting wants students to
decide one way or another whether they are in or out.

> Thank you,
> Molly Mancasola

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is
trying to please everybody.
-- Bill Cosby
Received on Fri Oct 07 2005 - 16:01:55 EDT

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