Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Slave analogy for public schools.

From: Woty <>
Date: Mon Oct 10 14:05:00 2005

On Oct 10, 2005, at 9:07, Ann Ide wrote:

> I agree, Danny. We can't abandon our moral judgements. The point I
> was trying to make was that sometimes, in my experience, there is a
> certain tone to how "we" speak about public schools that goes a bit
> to the extreme. For me, anyway. Perhaps this relates to the
> compromise issue. Is the moral question of public schools one of
> it just is, or is not, morally right/wrong? Or, for this case, can
> we ask in what ways and how much? Like a sliding scale, perhaps ?

Not a sliding scale, but not simple either.

> I don't want to send my kids back...ever. However, if they choose
> to go back; I'll contend with respecting that choice. ( Not without
> debate,tho'! :-) ) However, if they choose to murder, or buy a
> slave.....well.....that's not even up for consideration, is it ?

This is a rather different issue. Conventional schools are bad
places, but kids can have quite legitimate reasons to put up with
them anyway, especially when they are not imprisoned in them and can
quit if they want to. Choosing to spend time in school *as a student*
is not an act of aggression against anyone.

> I'd rather hear people argue for their opinions about Sudbury
> schools, as one would for, say, being a vegetarian. I would not be
> so rude as to put down the vegetarian's personal choice. I would
> respect it, while sharing my perspectives point by point.

It is possible to respectfully disagree without denying that some
choices really are better than others. People must make up their own
minds, but it is possible to do so and be wrong. Serious moral
disagreement with someone's choices does not have to involve any
contempt for them personally or for their other ideas.

One can treat all positions as morally equivalent matters of taste,
or one can look for the truth. It isn't possible to have it both ways.

> For the most part, I listen that this is how most people try to
> handle our discussions ( on and off the forum ). It is just my
> personal experience and listening that sometimes people get a bit
> global, extreme and righteous about it. I think there is a fine
> difference between speaking confidently about one's opinion, and
> being righteous. Wish I could articulate it better. But I think I
> have heard others express a similar distaste on the forum; and I
> don't think such an approach helps our cause when it does happen.

I think it does, actually.

What we advocate is extremely controversial, and contrary to some
deeply held values that are nearly universal in American culture. Any
clear communication of what it is we're advocating is going to put
off many people, and probably more than it attracts. That's fine. Let
them be put off and let them understand, and let people who are open
to these values understand and be persuaded.

Received on Mon Oct 10 2005 - 14:04:07 EDT

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