Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] tv and thinking

From: Bruce Smith <>
Date: Tue Dec 6 19:05:00 2005

As a staff member, my interest in this thread lies primarily in how it
relates to the Sudbury model and how our schools operate. On the surface, I
have to say that the energy and thoughtfulness of the debate is certainly
consistent with what goes on in our schools.

As for the substance of the model, I believe the most relevant values
are responsibility and trust. By responsibility I mean more than mere
accountability: while School Meeting members are certainly held responsible
for the consequences of their choices, those choices are theirs to make.
Only in cases of manifest, immediate harm to safety (e.g., running with
scissors or jaywalking across a busy street) are those choices actively
pre-empted. In all other instances, we trust our young people to initiate,
regulate and evaluate their own activities. (Of course we retain the right
to express and act on our disagreement with their choices, but that is a
matter for interpersonal discussion and community processes such as Judicial

I simply cannot conceive of television viewing intrinsically rising to this
standard. Schools invariably devise rules and procedures regarding the use
of media, and disrespectful behavior is never appropriate, but these are
matters that students and staff, as individuals and as a community, can
handle in a democratic manner.

A footnote: this is my interpretation of how the model speaks to the issue
of television viewing _at school_. As for children younger than school-age
and family dynamics, that is a separate, if related, discussion.



"I suggest that our true 'defense' industry is in public transportation
and other ecological virtues. By practicing these we defend something
most worthy of defense: our planet. Let us defend our food chain, our
air, water, forests, soil, bodies, imaginations, spirits, plants, animals,
and the children to come."
                               -- Matthew Fox, _Reinventing Work_
Received on Tue Dec 06 2005 - 19:04:41 EST

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