RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] SCHOOLED

From: Marilu Diaz <>
Date: Thu Jul 20 18:00:00 2006

I think all comedies tend to distort reality, specially the ones skewed to
young teens. I have watched many wacky comedies about traditional schools
and I think they don't have much resemblance with reality. I don't know if
people take comedies content that serious as to believe it projects the

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Scott David
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:28 PM
Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] SCHOOLED

Personally, I don't see the movie (again, from the trailer -- not like
I've seen the film) actually changing the assumptions and presumptions
of any person in our broader culture. I don't think that that one film
could, on it's own, significantly further the Lord-of-the-flies
stereotypes about kids put in charge of their own lives.

The only danger from this film to Sudbury schools is if people without
any serious knowledge about what a Sudbury school is (and is not)
start making comparisons.

And the danger *isn't* necessarily that it will make people initially
react negatively to the school! The bigger danger, in my opinion, is
that such false comparisons could increase the extent to which people
have already made up their mind about what we *do* before ever reading
a book, or having an interview and visiting week. People who claim to
love what you are, before they know you, are very likely to be sorely
disappointed when they actually know you. People who are seeking
*that* sort of school who enroll their children in a Sudbury School,
would quickly become disillusioned and *at*best* pull the kid out. At
worst, they will (as happens to all Sudbury schools every 10 years or
so) attempt to take control of the school and turn it into the place
they hoped it would be.

The single biggest danger to a Sudbury school is that it's broader
populace (students, and their parents) fails to recognize that the
school is *not* about formal learning and is *not* about living
without rules -- but that the school is instead about living as
equals in a free and democratic community. That living in that context
is a chance to take responsibility for oneself. Rather than an
opportunity for an easy diploma.

On 7/20/06, Tay Arrow Sherman <> wrote:
> Scott, I totally agree. For this reason I wonder how it will impact
> certain issues, for example: who is drawn to Sudbury-model schools, and
> what kinds of misconceptions do they have about them? Will any Sudbury
> schools ever receive state funding (if that is at all a goal of the
> school), and how seriously will anyone take us if they have this
> particular type of false image?
> I never thought of SVS as having "no rules", because that's obviously
> way untrue. In fact there are probably a lot more rules in many ways...
> you just don't tend to notice them as much because, well, they MAKE
> SENSE. By "no rules" I think I was more referring to the erroneous way
> in which people always seemed to view SVS, which irritated me as I can
> see it does you.
> When I was trying to get in to SVS, and my parents were debating the
> affordability of it all, my public school told me that I qualified for
> a publicly funded education at one of several private 'alternative'
> schools, and that SVS was one of them, but they didn't want to send me
> or anyone else there because "the kids are just hanging out the windows
> there, and we don't like to encourage it". The phrase "hanging out the
> windows" was spoke with that kind of disgusted emphasis that people
> usually reserve for cursing.
> Consequently, the school I attended for the first half of my sophomore
> year in high school was the Arlington School, a school for children
> with serious mental health challenges, where kids were occasionally
> removed from classrooms in 8 point restraint and taken up to McLean
> Mental Hospital. I once saw a teacher call a student a "stupid little
> b*tch" there, in front of the rest of the class. Apparently, this was
> the place that the commonwealth of Massachusetts considered "more
> healthy".
> This was in 1993 or 1994, I think.
> On 20 Jul, 2006, at 16.40, Scott David Gray wrote:
> > Just saw the trailer:
> >
> >
> > XJ&sdn=movies&
> > d%2Faccepted_trlr1_300k_wmv.asx
> >
> > So, Tay, it left me wondering...
> >
> > You went to a school with "no rules"? To a school created for the
> > purpose of providing degrees and letters for people who are having
> > trouble getting such notes through the traditional means? What school
> > was this?
> >
> > The trailer in no way suggests any Sudbury Model school I know!
> >
> > 1: At Sudbury Model schools, rule of law plays a *much* more vital
> > role than at any "traditional" school. In large part because, written
> > rules that any person can point to are the best means to protect
> > individual rights and equality.
> >
> > 2: Sudbury Model schools which *do* offer diplomas tend to be much
> > more rigorous (though by very different standards) than traditional
> > schools. In large part because of the fear of becoming a diploma mill.
> > And in part because grades and gold stars in any form are anathema to
> > what we believe.
> >
> > Also, Sudbury schools are not places where students "choose what to
> > learn." They are places where students have liberty to decide
> > *what*to*do*. Sudbury schools work off of the assumption that living
> > one's life is itself fulfilling, and that learning happens sort of
> > automatically *whatever* a person is doing (such is the nature of the
> > human animal). Sudbury schools try to provide a rich and pleasant
> > environment for people to fulfil themselves.
> >
> > I am afraid that this trailer looks like it describes a film which, in
> > the wider community, will only spread and further the popular
> > assumptions about schooling that lead Sudbury schools to be *badly*
> > misrepresented and *badly* misunderstood. Misconceptions that we
> > *already* work our arses off to dispel, with only limited success.
> >
> > I don't think that *any* comparison between a Sudbury school and that
> > movie as advertised will bode well for *any* Sudbury school. It is a
> > mistaken, and damaging comparison.
> >
> > On 1/1/70, Tay Arrow Sherman <> wrote:
> >> Hey, now that y'all have reminded me...
> >>
> >> I was curious what other people involved in Sudbury-model schooling
> >> thought about "Accepted", which I saw a preview for last week when I
> >> went to see the pirate movie.
> >>
> >> It was so weird in the theatre, because it is obviously a zany sort of
> >> "what if" movie, like, "What if the impossible happened and a school
> >> with no rules or classes came to exist on the impetus of students and
> >> without 'adult' supervision?" MADNESS ENSUES!
> >>
> >> Only, like, that's where I went to school, in real life. Has anyone
> >> else seen this preview? How do you think a mainstream movie like this
> >> will affect our community?
> >>
> >> By the way, "Schooled" sounds pretty rad. Thanks for posting.
> >>
> >> Peace,
> >> Tay
> >
> > --
> > -- Scott David Gray
> >
> >
> -Tay

-- Scott David Gray
Discuss-sudbury-model mailing list
Received on Thu Jul 20 2006 - 17:59:05 EDT

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