Maintain accreditation of The Booroobin Sudbury School, Australia's only democratic School

  • by: Derek Sheppard
  • target: Hon Peter Beattie MP, The Premier of Queensland, Queensland State Government
The Queensland State Government in Australia is requested to recognise and uphold the rights and responsibilities of parents, children and teachers to attend, participate in and operate The Booroobin Sudbury School - a centre of learning, without excessive interference and in accordance with its participatory democratic philosophy and principles.
We, the undersigned, expect and request our elected governments to uphold the fundamental human rights and responsibilities of all people, specifically parents, children and teachers as have been agreed and conferred by international and United Nations sponsored treaties and conventions.

We accept as fundamental, that parents have primary responsibility for the education and upbringing of their children.

We know that every person is different and each person learns differently. We do not believe that mass education recognises this.

We believe and accept the rights and responsibilities of parents, children and teachers to establish and operate independent schools, according to their values and philosophy, for preparing young people for their lives in a diverse, tolerant, civil, open democratic society.

We require governments to support, and not hinder, the freedom and right of people to establish schools, independent of other systems, to provide choice and to satisfy personal educational needs, without pressure to conform to dominant mainstream education systems.

We therefore support the operation of democratic Schools, especially The Booroobin Sudbury School - a centre of learning, in the same way as we support the choices offered, for example, by Steiner and Montessori Schools.

Booroobin provides a needed option to parents, children and teachers. The unique democratic practices of Booroobin follow long standing, internationally respected democratic educational models that support Students preparation for life as responsible adults. These democratic practices are coupled with Booroobin's environmental awareness and organic management practices and within the objective of sustainability. The continuing operation and accreditation of Booroobin will foster traditions of independence and self reliance in the children whose families choose this internationally practiced form of education.

We commend the Queensland State Government to learn from and appreciate schools like Booroobin. We ask that Booroobin be allowed to implement its long standing philosophy, principles and plans, and operate free of the burden, morale destroying, financial and human costs, almost annual Queensland Government initiated inspections and assessments, so that it can go peacefully about its business, supporting students to prepare for life.

We express our concern and dismay over the treatment of the school, its staff, students and parents by the Queensland State Government, and its agents by, at the very least, overzealous, inflexible inspections and demands, inadequate research, ineffective listening, inaccurate reporting, not taking the views of children, parents and teachers into consideration, that have led to high financial costs and losses, the forced sale of the School's campus, and the diversion of school resources away from this democratic School's core business of supporting students' learning and preparation for life.
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