… is the backbone that everything is built upon (and around) at Deep Root Center. After a few recent incidents, I was compelled to reflect on this primary principle within our philosophy. I can still say, with confidence, that I believe that every young person (whether a DRC kid or not) is inherently driven to learn. We do not need to coerce, trick, induce, or propel any child to question, explore, and discover. I also believe that when given the opportunity to make important decisions – they will make good choices.
Within that, I fully recognize that mistakes are inevitable and that previous detrimental and traumatic experiences can lead to making bad choices, which have the potential to result in dangerous situations. However, I, after having my convictions put to the ultimate test, will always choose trust over suspicion, support over dominance, meaningful conversation over punishment, and loving, kindness over authoritarianism.
The above statement is the piece that confounds those who embrace coercive systems. They feel the need to stay fully alert and in control, because they have the underlying belief that kids (teens) have the capacity to - cheat, behave badly, hurt each other, and be lazy and unmotivated - if they are not pushed or induced to do the things we adults believe are best for them. They are also wary of any young person who does not fit in, who chooses to embrace their individuality, and who, simply, looks different.
I do acknowledge that fear of the unknown is a powerful task master. Nevertheless, kids comprehend, on a fundamental level, whether they are trusted or not and will always react in accordance. DRC students know, without a doubt, that we have their back in any situation, no matter what. They can come to Chris, Trish, or me with any idea, suggestion, or problem and know that we will listen and provide encouragement and support in any way they would like. They understand that we will not be monitoring their activity (checking up on them) constantly. They recognize the value of honest communication and thoughtful discussion. They offer endless kindness and comfort to each other, when life gets rough. Furthermore, at the end of each day, they are proud to be part of a respectful and dynamic community that cares for each other, where they are offered the opportunity to fully be themselves, without negative critique, and to follow their interests and aspirations to blaze their own trails. To be perfectly clear, DRC is not exempt or immune from frightening, upsetting, and traumatic experiences - “stuff” happens here too. It is how we respond that sets us apart and makes an enormous difference in our student’s lives. Thank you! Thank you to everyone who participated in and contributed to the DRC Shiver Me Timbers Silent Auction. We had a great time. The proceeds went directly into our scholarship aid fund. We have placed some of the items that did not sell on the DRC Facebook page. Take a peek and bid in the comments section.