by Sabrina Wong
I visited Sudbury Hong Kong the other day and had a chance to observe the Judicial Committee (JC) meeting.
I like the open approach in the JC meeting where children are free to express themselves. The JC clerk was trying to understand the case from all parties without judging anyone. There was nothing like right or wrong, good or bad, should or should not… She simply created the space for the children to express, understood their intention behind the action, understood their emotion, let them understand what action has led to the conflict, the feeling of others when treated like that….
The process was smooth. The children were simply telling what had happened without hiding anything, without blaming others. I was impressed by the openness of the children and staff members.
In fact I always believe when children are hiding things from parents or not telling the truth, the issue is not so much about the children. It’s simple logic. We all want to be loved, we all want to be accepted, especially for young children where parents are like everything to them. Imagine how fearful they will be if they know they won’t be loved?! If a child knows he would be judged, he would be scolded if he tells the truth, then it’s quite logical for him to hide certain things, isn’t it?
What is beautiful about Sudbury is because children know they will be respected as who they are, so they just be who they are. They simply display their true nature of innocence, playfulness, honesty, purity…
If we think a little deeper about blame, blame arises when one doesn’t want to take responsibility for oneself. It is so beautiful in Sudbury even though children are small, they are all ready to take responsibility for themselves.
That day there were a few cases to be sorted out.
What amazed me is when it was time for the next case, the person involved would come immediately without any delay. This shows when the children feel they are respected, they show respect too. They are willing to resolve the conflict, and ready to accept sanction, if any. Again if you take a deeper look, there must be a lot of trust, openness and love behind, otherwise the children would not have responded like that.
Sudbury is a place where they trust life, respect everyone and help everyone to blossom to their full possibility. I strongly believe this environment can bring up strong, respectful and positive people who can be truly joyful, deal with all life challenges with ease, and live life to the fullest.
All the best wishes to Sudbury Hong Kong and everyone there.