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News & Views - Feb, 1994 Issue #26 

by: Tom Bratter, Founder
The John Dewey Academy
Great Barrington, Massachusetts

"My son, who has an I.Q. of 150, tried to kill himself. He told me his life is not fun. We hospitalized him for six months. The hospital suggested I find a residential program where he can have fun. Please tell me about The John Dewey Academy." 

"While I rarely make guarantees," I replied, "I promise your son will not have fun at The John Dewey Academy. We are college preparatory. Students study at least 3 hours a day. We minimize the pursuit of pleasure, but instead teach them how to (re)gain their self-respect. Three times a week, your son will participate in a group where he can discuss personal problems with credentialed mental health professionals. Often this is painful because his peers will confront him and demand he change." 

"You're crazy! Who are you?" 

I do college counseling. Last year my title was, 'The Grinch who Stole Christmas and Chanukah.' I canceled everyone's holidays because students did not study sufficiently. I expel students, so no one wants my job." 

"What kind of a place is The John Dewey Academy?" 

"We are a college preparatory, therapeutic high school." 

"What's that?" 

"A school which wants to be judged by the reputations of the colleges which admit our graduates... A school which is unrelenting and uncompromising.. A school which demands educational excellence.. A school which teaches students how to confront and cope with stress! In addition to academics, we provide a structured, safe, and supportive environment where students help each other and in so doing help themselves become strong and sane." 

"Do you want my name and address?" 

"Do you want ours?" 

The unidentified caller hung up. 

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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