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Lesson Plans

Re: Democracy and gangs

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stenger - Judith DiSalvo (jstenger)
Fri, 30 May 1997 19:09:14 -0400 (EDT)

I think effective schools parallel nurturing families--adults listen to
opinions and ideas of children, but are clearly in charge of decision
making. A benevolent dictatorship? We can ask for input, respect their
feelings and emotions, and give them avenues for self governing, but since
we are ethically and legally responsible for their safety, we must be in
charge. Kids get scared when they have more power than they're ready to
assume. Your point about most kids choosing not to tolerate violence is
valid. The problem is that those who promote violence easily intimidate
the others into submission. How frightening that must be.
It goes without saying, that we have to encourage age appropriate
responsibility and self management. With age and experience we expect kids
to make better decisions. In the meantime, we have to try to keep their
skins whole.

On Fri, 30 May 1997 EVasso wrote:

> Judith,
> I am confused by your remarks about the reality of schools not being
> democratic institutions. As a former student (long ago)and now an art teacher
> (for quite a while) I would certainly agree that schools are not democratic
> institutions for the most part. But don't you think they should be? If
> students don't learn democracy in school, where will they learn it? And why
> do you think most students would tolerate violence and criminality if they
> had the power to do otherwise?
> -Fred
> Chicago