Additional Statements from BFS

This is from 2 boys aged 11 & 13. The extent of most of the naysayers is to just say these kids (free-schoolers) will not learn anything. I think most of the letters that speak in favor, are extremely articulate. The fact that young children have an opinion, can express themselves in a singular and passionate way, proves to me at least, that the open environment these kids are provided, helps to foster an open mind, a curious mode of thought and makes me hopeful that critical thinking young people exist at all in human rat race. Most of what I hear in protest, is the voice of fear and ignorance. It would seem to me that this is what is taught in public school.

Ben and I both attended Manhattan Free School (MFS) before coming to Brooklyn Free School. The fact that there have been so many insults towards MFS leads me to conclude that their writers are incredibly closed-minded. Saying that you can’t learn in a free school is like saying that no kid has the slightest bit of desire for knowledge. The reason, I think, that this article got so many bad reviews, is because everyone who wrote them is used to the public school system. But, at a public school, you are forced to sit at a desk and have information (sometimes useless in life) shoved down your throat; whereas, in a democratic school, we are actually interested in what we’re learning. Because of this, free-school kids get the the same amount of LEARNING (not working) that public school kids get, but the difference is that kids like us learn it because we want to, not because we have to. As a side effect, most of the kids who graduate from a free-school are at the same academic level as kids who graduate from public school and, a lot of the time, a higher level.

— Ari & Ben (Free-Schoolers)


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