http://www.waldorfcritics.orgDebra Snell, President 12562 Rough and Ready Highway Grass Valley, CA 95945 (530) 273-1005 snell gv.net Lisa Ercolano, Vice President 220 Gaywood Road Baltimore, MD 21212-1709 (410) 377-4204 momof2gals mindspring.com Dan Dugan, Secretary 290 Napoleon St. Studio E San Francisco, CA 94124 (415) 821-9776 dan dandugan.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2002
GROUP WITHDRAWS PLAN FOR WALDORF ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL, WILL APPLY FOR A CHARTER INSTEAD
A group that proposed a Waldorf school in the Ross Valley Elementary School District (San Anselmo, CA) announced today that they have withdrawn their proposal after local citizens and a representative of PLANS raised questions at a school board meeting. Instead, the group will submit a charter school application in November.
At a school board meeting September 10, an invited panel of speakers extolled the virtues of Waldorf education. Unexpectedly, a few voices were raised in opposition. District parent Cindy Ross read racist statements made in Germany in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf movement. Dan Dugan, Secretary of PLANS, Inc., asked for equal time to inform the board about problems with Waldorf. The board decided at that time to hold a hearing on October 1 to hear pro and con on the issue.
Reacting to the withdrawal of the proposal, Superintendent of Schools Pat Davis announced that the board will go ahead with the special meeting on October 1, downgrading it from a hearing to a discussion.
PLANS was organized in late 1995 by former Waldorf parents and teachers concerned about both private and public Waldorf schools. It became a California non-profit corporation in 1997. PLANS' volunteer board includes two public school teachers, one of whom has received Waldorf teacher training; the president of a skeptical society; the associate director of a Christian anti-cult ministry, and two former Waldorf parents. PLANS' President, Debra Snell, was a director of a private Waldorf school and helped found a Waldorf charter school. For more information, please see the PLANS web site, http://www.waldorfcritics.org.
PLANS contends that public Waldorf schools are intrinsically and inseparably based upon Anthroposophy, a New Age occultic religion. Curriculum decisions and teacher training in public Waldorf schools are based on Anthroposophy's spiritually-based child development model. Publicly-funded use and reliance upon the doctrines of Anthroposophy impermissibly endorses that religion in violation of the United States and California constitutions.
PLANS filed its federal lawsuit in Sacramento on February 11, 1998, naming as defendants the Sacramento Unified School District, which operates a "Waldorf Method" magnet school, and the Twin Ridges Elementary School District, which has established seven "Waldorf-inspired" charter schools.