Since then, the Panopticon has been referenced in many cases where privacy is at stake. When people worry about the NSA or Facebook having too much access to our information. Yet, even those who fear the total surveillance state often seem to have no trouble with the constant oversight of children, using the same justifications of security.
Those same people will come to our school, and even after we discuss our philosophy of freedom and trust for children, will express shock that we don’t watch the children at every waking second. We let them stay in other rooms and close the doors. Where is the supervision?
The staff will make routine passes to know where everyone is and that they’re safe. But we know that we don’t need constant supervision. Sudbury schools have created mechanisms to let the children police themselves. In a traditional school, for example, a teacher has to see bullying before anything can be done about it. Here, it doesn’t matter if one of the adults sees the culprit or not; anyone can take it to JC and have it resolved.
It wouldn’t make sense for a school built on freedom to watch a child’s every move. They need privacy, just like anyone else, to be alone with their thoughts and determine their course of action without any pressure from authority. We have no wish to build a Panopticon.