Words from John Holt

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John Holt, an American teacher and author of Escape from Childhood - The Needs and Rights of Children, believes that "all people, including young people, should have the right to control their own private sex lives and acts". He considers that "it is not the proper business of the state or government to pry into such matters". While defending that children should be given the same rights and citizenship of adults, he observes that until this happens and unless children are legally emancipated, parents should at least be able to forbid their children to have sex at (their) home. Holt refutes the concept of child innocence: "Many of us (...) still believe and need to believe that children are 'innocent' and 'pure', that is, asexual, untainted by sexual thoughts, feelings or urges. There is increasing evidence that this is not true even of very young children, and it is certainly not true of children much past the age of ten or eleven". He sees laws on age of consent as unfair and morally wrong, and firmly opposes them: "For the state to deprive someone of liberty by putting him in prison is a most serious act. (...) It can only be justified by the most weighty cause, that the prisoner did real harm to others. But to make the act of sex, the mutual giving and receiving of pleasure, the excuse for putting someone in prison seems both mistaken and morally wrong".

[And a quote by Holt taken from Wikipedia:] "Education... now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and 'fans,' driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve 'education' but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves."

source: 'Words from John Holt' by 'gryphon'; www.annabelleigh.net/messages/382888.htm; GirlChat; Wiki-quote taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Caldwell_Holt (Wiki: 18 February 2007); Text GirlChat: 31 January 2007