RE: DSM: Parents

Tom Spackman (
Mon, 28 Jun 1999 23:57:23 -0400

When I first sent my kids to SVS I was surprised at the number of parents I
met who didn't seem to understand or agree with the core beliefs of the
school. Some went along because their spouse felt very strongly about it.
Others sent their kids to SVS because they felt it was the only option
available to them, for whatever reason. I think this lack of understanding
or commitment to the school may be evident in parents who send some, but not
all of their children to the school.

Generally, I am happy for the opportunity these children have, and hopeful
that their parents will come to understand. Maybe Mimsy is right, that it
may be better for some if these kids are removed from the school, but I
can't help feeling sorry for the opportunity they have lost.

Tom Spackman

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 28, 1999 9:37 PM
Subject: Re: DSM: Parents

At Sudbury Valley School we stand pretty firmly on the principal that it is
what the student wants to pursue, not what the parents wants the student to
pursue, that counts.

On the other hand, sometimes it is not that clear, and sometimes the parent
can actually convince the student that s/he wants what the parent wants
him/her to want. We do not give motivation lie detector tests; things
usually fall apart all on their own if the kid is not interested; the staff
at school doesn't have to help things fall apart.

The end is rarely pretty, but it is often blurry. And this sort of parent
(who has an agenda for his/her child) often removes the kid from SVS. Maybe
that is better for everyone, but to us, at school, it never feels like it
will be better for the child -- or the school.

I wish everyone could trust their children's judgment. And I also know how
hard it is.

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