The project "School State Haubinda", a democratic administration run by students, teachers and staff, has been discussed and evaluated favourably well beyond the region in pedagogical circles. Introduced a long time ago in Haubinda, today, we continue to live and act as a school state.
But what does it mean to live in a school state? Here, democracy is in action in the form of an Upper and Lower House, a chancellor who is chosen by all, and a school court. One of the classrooms of our school is regularly converted into a courthouse. The young judges, clad quite informally, then rise from their places and open the proceedings. As in a real courtroom, places of the participants are set, with the plaintiff taking his place on one side, while defence counsel and the accused sit on the other. The rituals also proceed as in a real courtroom, with witnesses being heard - no matter whether they are student or teacher, here, they are called and heard. Sometimes the "case" can be cleared quickly; sometimes, the hearing is adjourned.
Our students of Haubinda control their life together in their own governance. As "Home citizens" having equal rights before the law – teachers and technical staff included – we all live in a small school state. We experience democracy together. It is not always the school director or the teachers who are right. What are the effects of this project? We would like to bring up young persons to assume responsibility right from now to become self-confident and active members of our school community.
Nonetheless, in the end, the school director must approve the judgement. He can allow clemency with well-grounded reasoning, otherwise, the judgements are binding for all – students and teachers. That is what the school regulations say. And this is also recognised by the parents with their signature on the upbringing contract.