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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 1971)
Conservative' heads liberal school
by Peter Benchley
Newsweek Feature Service
NEW YORK-" Few of us like to think
about discipline. To the modern liberal
mind the word has an almost pornographic
sound But discipline is necessary to
freedom...Though discipline and freedom
seem antithetical, each without the other
Such a statement might seem predictable,
even humdrum, coming from any one of the
politicians who have lashed out lately at
permissiveness in modern education. But
what makes it remarkable is that its author is
a leader in the same liberal educational
establishment he so eloquently condemns.
FOR THE PAST SEVEN years, bluff,
briUiant Donald Barr, 50, has been
headmaster of one of the most respected
private schools in the land, New York City s
chic and expensive Dalton School.
Nearly everything about Barr's tenure at
Dalton seems anomalous. He is a self
confessed conservative, yet vocally liberal
parents like television personality David
Susskind and cartoonist Jules Feiffer stand
in line to pay as much as $2,700 a year to
send a child to Dalton.
He disagrees with many of the popular
learn good things
new trends in education-from sympathetic
treatment of young drug-users to relaxed
dress codes and student participation in a
school's operative decisions-and he has kept
Dalton's academic standards so high that it is
the envy of almost every other school in the
NOW BARR'S iconoclastic views and
candid style are on display for everyone in
his new book, "Who Pushed Humpty
Dumpty? Dilemmas in American Education
Today" It is a collection of essays and
reviews in which Barr fires stinging salvos
and aphorisms at everything from pot to
parents, from loose morals to lax
Predictably enough, since it attacks many
of the basic trends and tenets of progressive
education, the book has already stirred up a
flurry of controversy. One critic has accused
him of "angry negations" and "remarkable
Some ot Barr s oaros:
fallacy is that children
from bad experiences."
ON STUDENT revolutionaries: On the
day that parents stop paying tuition for
noneducation, on the day they stop handing
out allowances for strike funds and narcotics
and reeking apartments, the student
revolution-impatient with reason, violent
against restraint, a holiday from
self-control-will wither away and the real
learning that must precede intelligent social
change will begin."
On teen-agers: "A few years ago
adolescence was a phrase; then it became a
profession; now it is a new nationality.
On student participation in administrative
decisions: "What youngsters, " even
adolescents, need to see is not a system
grinding out decisions but a man making
moral choices. How else will they learn to
become men and to make moral choices?
ON PARENTAL authority: "Parents who
have courted their children by acting like
friends instead of parents have deprived
them of an important psychological
mechanism. A child feels larger, not smaller,
because of his parents' bigness and wisdom
and authority. The young political radicals
hav never exoerienced the comfort of
parental authority. This is really what makes
On school testing: "Everywhere schools
and colleges ignore and starve the
youngster's desire to learn; they feed and
exploit his desire to pass."
On drugs: "The children 'turned on by
marijuana, cocaine (now common), LSD or
methedrine are like radios tuned to nothing,
they play the noise of their own tubes."
BARR IS EQUALLY harsh on current
sexual mores, referring to the so-called
sexual revolution as "no revolution at all. An
adolescent in his round of joyless
promiscuity is no more a revolutionary than
a pickpocket is a Socialist; he is merely
taking adult prerogatives without taking
adult responsibility, taking ' without
Such controversial observations don t sit
well with many educators, but controversy is
nothing new to Barr. Last spring, hundreds
of Dalton parents-enraged by what they
claimed were his authoritarian style and
conservative policies-tried to oust Barr as
principal, and they nearly won.
ONE REASON FOR Barr's survival is his
record as a knowledgeable, far-sighted and
effective academic. A native New Yorker, he
joined the faculty of Columbia University at
the end of World War II, teaching English for
a decade and then serving for several nore
years as assistant dean of the university's
school of engineering.
Also, no one has accused Barr of taking
his job lightly. He left an important and
prestigious post with the National Science
Foundation to come to Dalton, when he
undoubtedly could have earned more
money- with less agony-elsewhere.
But by far his greatest asset-even to those
who disagree with him- is his obvious love
of children (he has four sons of his own).
PARENTS MUST LEARN, he says in his
book, "that the future happiness of their
child is more important than the present
gratification of their child. They must learn
to say 'no' as lovingly as they say 'yes.'
"The rules of parenthood are simple
enough: Be an adult and enjoy being an
adult. Do not permit what you do not
soberly approve. Set limits and see that they
BS3 V A 1
LI LlJi ll 1 1 JZJLJ
I MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1971 LINCOLN, NEBRASKA VOL. 95, NO. 33
Pressure may affect
young voter registration
by Linda Larson
Peer pressure may stimulate
interest and cause higher young
voter registration this year,
Susan Welch, political science
professor said Friday in an
"But I am fairly skeptical
about the notion that 90 per
cent of the students on campus
will register like some people
estimate," she said.
"Past evidence shows that
young people just don't turn
out in the numbers that older
Welch said 'past studies have
shown that voting is low until
age 30. It increases until age
60 and then dwindles, she said.
Vonno neoole seem more
concerned with getting
established and starting a
family, Welch remarked.
However, the 18-yearold
vote is a new phenomenon and
it is hard to tell just what will
happen, she said.
"I just don't see a
tremendous impact though."
Welch said. The impact will
favor the Democrats
depending on the proportion
who register, she said.
Much depends on the
registrars, according to Welch.
"If they make a determined
attempt they can keep students
from voting," she said.
Turn to page 9.
Parties, candidates agree:
Youth vote will affect elections
. - . j -I .iiil;t hrtnt that tbt
Several local political
candidates and the major
parties in Lincoln had
comments on the effect of the
- . -Blfc.
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,.. ...1.r.,..nr..-, i l 'ill MI-lll 1111 "" "" ' '"' """ """"r"1"'l"""""W1""""'"""r .f""'"'""' M
Neither snow, nor sleet, nor changeable Nebraska weather kept ABC TV away from
the Comhusker victory over CU Saturday. See page 10.
18-to2 1 -year-olds on the eve of
the League of Young Voters
non-partisan registration drive
November 1-5 on the
A schedule of the Leagues
registration booths on campus
is printed in today's Daily
Walbce Peterson, chairman
of UNL's Economics
iv.nirtmfnt i a candidate for
the Democratic nomination for
S. Senate, tie wj
in a 1970 bid by
Morrison in the
' a r . I . iAil
f saw oi nit futuiviw"
few University students
register. "I think they II
, l .
ild hone that the
18-year-old vote would help
my candidacy." he said, but he
made it clear he didn't consider
the new voters a factor in his
decision to run for the Senate.
"The decison was made on
the basis of current issues." he
John Breslow. who
announced his intention to run
again for the Lincoln City
Council after his defeat in the
1971 elections, said he has
mixed emotions about
University students voting.
Ihe university siuueiu miu
heard a ioi oi io-tu
2 1 -year-olds
Democrat oreiow nu
surprise a ioi oi peopic. urn to page
The League of Young Voters will operate votei
registration booths at the following locations today
and Tuesday: -
Monday: Nebraska Union 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. East
Union 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Abel-Sandoz Cafeteria 11
a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tuesday: Nebraska Union 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. East
Union 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. SeUeck Cafeteria 1 1 a.m. to
I p.m. Abel-Sandoz Cafeteria 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
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