Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Free-range Kids

I want The Sandbox to be a viable alternative to all families, regardless of ability to pay or even contribute to the work of the Co-op. I want it to be available to those kids who are really having a difficult time at school. Those kids who are unruly and disruptive, have big authority issues, inability to control their reactions, etc.

I've been a little worried about that. What are we letting ourselves in for?

Of course, if the Sandbox cannot provide adequate services to a special-needs child, we need to own up, openly. There may be some kids we're not going to be able to handle.

But I've been thinking that our district's Tech Center experiences fewer behavior problems than the high school, because it is a choice for students to be there. They love it and they can get kicked out of it.  Kids will try harder to be cooperative at the Sandbox for the same reasons.

But I was missing the point, wasn't I?

This post this morning made me realize why.

"The same way the pigs look mean and stupid in confinement is the way the boys look unruly and unfocused in school. My favorite part of my life right now is seeing pigs and boys in ways I've never seen them before. We are all lively and engaged if we get to do what is right for us."

Penelope Trunks believes in the act of setting kids free. So do I.

More than just the free-range aspect of our Co-op which is important enough: kids will be part of the decision-making. In a democracy, citizens are free. Emancipate, empower and enfranchise kids and let's see how that makes things different for them and the community they live in.

1 comment:

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