School is a Fantasy

School is a fantasy, a mirage of security cooked up by dreamy social engineers, a band-aid to place on parental worry; in reality there is no way to prepare kids adequately for the future, which is always in flux, totally uncertain - especially these days, and which by definition doesn’t even exist.

At HVSS parents and their children bravely face this reality and place their trust in the steadiest and most reliable tools they have: the innate curiosity and enthusiasm they have for finding things out, the playfulness with which they explore worlds, and their inherited drive to competence, which has lifted untold generations of their ancestors to dazzling success.

Promises of security will always be alluring and soothing, especially to parents. But we’ve had 100 years of schooling and the future isn’t looking any brighter - the promise is fading. It’s time we stopped placing all our trust in authorities, experts, and technologies, and started placing it in our kids.

Due Process

We should not romanticize kids - after all, they can be cruel. In fact, experimenting with cruelty is part of growing up. At HVSS, we don’t persecute people for acting out, but we do hold them accountable; we don’t tell them they’re bad or hold grudges, but we do impose penalties, meant to deter, repair harm, and protect the community. Rather than jumping to conclusions, we honor due process, invite everyone to tell their story, and deliberate carefully.

When there is cruelty at school, we bring it to light, and we try to contextualize it properly; part of that is acknowledging that harmful behavior is essentially human, something we all have to contend with, and when that's acknowledged honestly the behavior can more easily be recognized, owned, and left behind. And, "left behind" means we don’t stigmatize anyone either , since we know that *everyone* is capable of cruelty, not just the last transgressor, and not only kids, either.

Contact Us

Hudson Valley Sudbury School

84 Zena Road
Kingston, NY 12401
Phone: 845-679-1002
Fax: 845-679-3874