Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Re: Desperadoes

From: Tay Arrow Sherman <tay_at_anatomyofhope.net>
Date: Sat Apr 29 12:24:00 2006

I certainly think the school meeting shares some responsibility in
determining if prospective students really want to be at the school.
The original email that I responded to seemed to have completely
abdicated the staff and school meeting of any such responsibility.

Also, I think the school meeting has a responsibility to give parents a
clear message that if they force their kid to go to the school, it's
probably not going to work out. Most schools would probably do well to
copy SVS and develop a visiting week that is mandatory before enrolling
new students. If you're worried about the motivations for enrollment,
you can spend that week asking the student if this is where they think
they should be, and why.

If a kid has already decided that they won't work with the school,
there's no shame in letting them go somewhere else they would rather
be. Isn't that far more in the spirit of the Sudbury-model than forcing
them to stay?

If a child came to your door with a broken arm, and asked for a
band-aid, would you put a band-aid on it and blame the child if the
bone didn't heal? Afterwards, would you put a sign on your gate that
said "ALL CHILDREN WITH BROKEN ARMS: KEEP OUT"? Or would you try to
help them get to the hospital? As adults, we have a real responsibility
to try and make sure the kids who need band-aids get them, and to make
sure the kids who need bones set go to the hospital. Likewise, I think
that Sudbury-model schools have a responsibility to say, "this doesn't
seem to be working for you. What's going on? What do you need, that you
don't find here?"

Greater levels of self-determination for children to not abdicate
adults of the responsibility of checking in, and making sure the kids
are okay. The Sudbury-model is about natural and harmonious states of
being and growing, and nothing is more natural than adult concern for a
child's welfare. While removal from the school is certainly justified
in some cases, bitterness against the child for having sustained too
much damage is petty and inappropriate, and sustains an anti-child
sentiment synonymous with the principal's ruler.

-Tay

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Received on Sat Apr 29 2006 - 12:23:37 EDT

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