Deja Vu All Over Again
The disputes concerning Sedona’s 89-A project remind me of an incident with a third grade class I taught many years ago. Because of the over-crowded conditions, safety in moving around the room was of utmost importance. It was suggested we move some chairs to a place for silent reading while others complete their work. The aisles would be clearer and much safer for all to move about.
Some thought it was a good idea. Others argued no need to move chairs. You could silent read at your desk and just be more careful when walking around. To allay further arguments, I decided to teach a unit on the democratic process in decision making. This led to learning about voting and elections. Consequently, the class nominated and, with the majority of votes, elected a council to make final decisions concerning classroom problems.
All ideas were presented to Council. With a majority of votes, Council agreed to make the room safer by moving some chairs and clearing the aisles.
What I thought was a peaceful solution, turned into mayhem. The children who did not agree suggested electing a new council because they were unfair. Some decided, “The whole class should vote” or “maybe the whole school!” The lesson then turned to the importance of voting, understanding the ramifications of voting, and accepting the results. After much discussion, my third graders understood, and accepted the decision of their elected council.
Could these third graders be living in Sedona now as grown-ups? Surely, not!
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