John Axtell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed, 20 Dec 2000 20:56:43 -0800
I really appreciate the time you took to respond to my concerns and questions.
They really helped me to understand the differences in terminology used by SV
Joe Jackson wrote:
> OK John, I asked the tough questions, and while I admire you for having the
> guts to say what you think and stick to it, I find some of your attitudes
> about diversity to be repugnant, and I'll leave it at that. On to your
> > 1. Obviously SV model allows gays in.
> The model per se does not have a position on who can be at the school and
> who can't. That is determined by a combination of federal law, state and
> local law, the School Meeting of a particular school, and any committees and
> clerks the School Meeting appoints to make admissions decisions.
> To my knowledge there is not currently a Sudbury Model school that
> discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.
> > Do they allow cross dressers as
> > teachers, students ?
> Again, that is up to the individual School Meeting. There is no rule at
> Fairhaven prohibiting cross dressing.
> > Do they allow two boys to show affection to
> > each other
> > physically or do they have to hide their feelings. Is the same
> > standard applied
> > to boy / girl relationships and if there are standards where does
> > the freedom
> > of expression and the "right" to be oneself come in or where does it stop.
> Again up to the particular school. Fairhaven currently has laws that impact
> sexual behavior in the school. Excerpts:
> 1-00-20 The school is a public place regarding sexual conduct. No one shall
> engage in sexual behavior or nudity in the building or in public areas of
> the grounds.
> 1-00-21 "Sexual behavior" excludes brief kisses, handholding, and hugging,
> but includes "making out" and "necking".
> There is no explicit or implied differences in the standard of conduct
> between the same or opposite sexes in the Fairhaven law book.
> > 2. Is the SV model of freedom simply defined as what the JC allows, or the
> > bylaws allows or is there really freedom of expression.
> Freedom of expression is an implicit right at Fairhaven School. The law
> book, which is the body of legislation passed by School Meeting, determines
> the limits on that freedom. JC, in the interest of balancing the rights of
> the individual with the rights of the community, enforces the law book.
> > Can
> > student's smoke or
> > drink if they wish?
> Once again up to the individual school with impact from local, state and
> federal law.
> >From our law book:
> 1-00-10 There shall be no illegal activities on or off campus during
> 1-00-11 No smoking is allowed in or on the building.
> 1-00-12 No alcoholic beverages are allowed on campus during school, official
> school functions, or other formal gatherings unless special permission from
> school meeting is granted.
> 1-10-11 Open flames and the use of all other incendiary devides are not
> permitted without permission from School Meeting. Birthday candles and
> subcontractors are exempt from this restriction.
> So effectively no drinking unless an event gets prior permission from SM,
> and you can only smoke away from the buildings if you're majority age and
> light up off campus (I have experience with this one as I would smoke a
> cigar when I used to mow the school).
> > I do not have my mind made up that there is little difference between a
> > "teacher" in the SV model and a traditional setting.
> In fact what I think is not specifically that there is a big difference
> between a teacher and a SM staff member, but that there is an enormous
> difference between what a conventional classroom with some elements of the
> model and a Sudbury Model school do for children.
> > In fact I am
> > trying to
> > understand how a person in the SV model could possibly hold the title of
> > "teacher" rather than coach or resource person. The definition of
> > a teachers
> > seems contrary to the purpose of SV model.
> Actually, we don't call them "teachers", they are referred to as "staff
> members", probably for exactly the reasons you are thinking.
> > I would find it most interesting to know why you feel the SV model is not
> > changing minds. From what this list says I think that the SV model is more
> > effective in changing minds than the traditional school system. I am not
> > placing a value on the function of changing minds but simply
> > believe it occurs
> > daily and can not be prevented and I happen to think the paradigm
> > of SV model
> > is more "mind changing" than a public school setting.
> I wasn't the one who objected to that, but I will speak to it.
> That the verb tense of the phrase, "changing minds" is, per se, perceived as
> anethema to the model is likely because it implies that one person is
> changing another person's mind. I think it's fair to say that the
> fundamental precept of the model is that trying to "change the minds" of
> children damages their ability and desire to learn and grow.
> So I think the reason for the misunderstanding here is that there is a
> difference between "changing minds" and a "mind-changing" environment. I
> agree with you that the Sudbury environment presents the greatest chance
> that the child will learn what she needs to learn, and it does it by not
> trying to "change her mind". Does that make sense?
> > Again I really value the input of everyone on this list and never
> > take offense
> > at others having differing opinions, in fact I enjoy the debate.
> > I wish you and
> > Dawn and everyone on this fantastic list a wonderful holiday season.
> Thanks, John. May your Kwanzaa be filled with the actualization of Nguzo
> -Joe J.
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