Sudbury Valley School – a risky choice?

(The following is a transcript of a question asked after an alumni talk at Sudbury Valley School one evening in 2008. Video below.)

Q (from audience): “Is Sudbury Valley School for everyone?”

A: (former student, Hal Sadofsky): “Lots of times I talk to people about the school and they sorta say, “Well, didn’t your parents worry about this? Didn’t they worry about taking this big chance by sending you to this really weird place and what was going to happen?” And I try to sort of turn it on it’s head–I say, “Well, it seems to me that the people who should be worried are the people who are sending their kids to a traditional school. It’s not that you can be *sure* that if you send your kids to a traditional school that something terrible will happen, but you’re taking a big risk. [Be]cause what you’re doing is you’re taking this kid and you’re saying ‘OK, from now on, you don’t get to decide things, other people decide things for you.’ And maybe, maybe after 12 years of that, your kid comes out all right, but it’s a big chance to take. Sudbury Valley–I think–is no risk at all.”

Q: “…I don’t think it’s quite so black and white…”

A: (Hal Sadofsky) “I don’t think it’s black and white that if you go to a traditional school that something disastrous will always happen to you. But to me, it does seem black and white that traditional school is the risky scenario where things can come out in many unfortunate ways, and that Sudbury Valley is a sort of relatively healthy and safe scenario. That’s the sense in which I see it as black and white.”

— Hal Sadofsky, former student

from video: Part 11 of 13, 25th anniversary talk by alumni about SVS

SVS 25th ann Restrospective 11 – Questions pt2 (at 1min15sec)

(And there’s more great stuff in there as well of course…)

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