Is School like Prison?

Negative reinforcement, emphasis on silence and order, abridged freedoms, no input in decision-making, dress code/uniforms, and more, are all similarities that you can see between school and prison. Overall, both industries suppress people into conformity.

In school, you must arrive at the same time and leave at the same time, day after day. You are given a schedule to follow and rules not to break. You are expected to follow the rules built into the school and expected not challenge the infrastructure of the system. Teachers are all-powerful. They control what your mind is being fed, and other school officials decide what your body is being fed as well. We have no control over how they go about our everyday lives because such a huge part of it (eight hours of school) is being controlled by others.

We don’t have a say in what we are learning. Our knowledge is what empowers us, and because there is such a strong disconnect in what is being taught, we no longer feel that knowledge and education are important in our lives. The biggest reason for learning and putting effort into our work is the why factor, why is what we are learning important to us? So many curricula do not answer the most important question, therefore we don’t care about what they are learning because there is a good reason to be learning it. Instead of teaching lifelong skills, like handling personal expenses, growing your own food, health, and wellness, how to change the oil in a car, etc., we are being taught information that will never matter in the real world. 

In my opinion, school is like a prison, but we are allowed to leave. If we do decide to leave early, we get a detention, which would be like getting more added to your sentence. I definitely think, as high schoolers, we should be able to have more say in what goes on in our lives. Do we need all 3 years of math that we will never use? In English we go through the same thing year after year, but with different projects. 



Do you think we should have more say about what goes into our lives? 

Is school like Prison? 

If they taught life skills, would you actually listen? 

How do you think we could change this? 

How do you think school prepares us for the real world? 





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  • If school taught us more life skills I would like that. They do already teach us some but more would be good to see. I don't feel school is like prison because we don't sleep here. I can see how some might think that. 

    • I agree, more life skills would be better, I see that we don't sleep here, which I also agree with, but it still feels like it is 

  • I can see how some people say it feels like a prison. There are many similarities that do make it sound like it really is, just for teens. Prisoners are being consequenced for their actions we are not. School teaches us the basics in life, what we need in order to be "smart" and well knowledge for the real world. I do think that we should get a say in a bit more because it seems like we don't have a say in much or anything at all. 

    • I understand how it teaches us the basics but it seems as if they aren't that basic. Most of us won't be using this after highschool, if people were able to use it more, then I think we would listen more. I do think we should get a little more say though. 

  • I think, on paper, school seems a lot like prison. Huge building with locks on the outer doors, teachers that, like guards, roam the halls and have to keep track of the students, But all of this is really to keep us safe and secure. I think there should be a required class on life skills though.

    • I agree it is to keep us safe, and I'm happy about it, even with the measures we have now, some schools still have school shootings, and different threats. 

  • It doesn't feel like should be like prions honestly I kinda like coming to school but I am a very talkative person and I love learning new things I just wish they taught us more life lessons and how life is when you get older not like things I'm never going to use ever besides to past a math test. I don’t think it tells us anything about the real world the only thing they tell us is to save money. like how much? We don't know.

    • If you have ever heard of Prisons, they have times when they can eat, they have times when they can talk to others and work out, and such. That is like us. There is certain times when we can't do things. I understand, we do need a life skills class. 

  • I think that school and prison have the same concept. I think this because school forces you to eat and be at a certain place at certain times. I believe that if school taught us skills that we needed in life I would listen more. I think school teaches us how to be an employee and nothing else which is something they should change.

    • I agree, I would listen more too. In fact, the classes when I listen to the most are Woods and Welding, other than that, I just try and pass the class, I'm never gonna use the stuff anyway, why should I stress myself out when I won't even use it. 

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