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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  • I don't think that school is like prison. Of course, there are rules that need to be followed in order to make this work. With so many people at one place, there needs to be a certain schedule and expectations. Regarding the content that we learn at school, I think that we could be taught more life skills and more things that will actually help us in the future. 

    • I agree, there are rules we have to follow, but I wish they weren't quite as stricken with it. I agree that we should be taught more life skills, it feel's as if my life is being wasted right now with things I don't need to know 

  • I think a school is like a prison. If they taught skills in classes that I would use in my future I would pay attention closer and put more effort into my work. I don't think school prepares us for the real world well at all. I wish the students had more of a say in what we learn and what we do during the day. I'm not sure how we could change this but starting with a change in curriculum. 

    • I put a lot less effort into my work when it doesn't affect me. I agree we should have more of a say in what we are learning. It is our life and they aren't allowing us to choose anything. Nor our parents. Our parents pay for us to go here, and pay for the crappy food. 

  • Yes I believe school is like a prison. I think more than half of the stuff we learn doesn't apply to the real life world. We don't learn important stuff like writing a check, earning money spending money etc. They will never teach us about money, so they can keep people poor.

    • I agree, if more people were better off, then the school would get less money from the government. We are puppets to the American government 

  • Yes, I think schools shouldnt be aloud to just teach us stuff were not going to use. I think its ok that they teach us all subject in middle school and elementry. But once you in highschool they should start teaching things were going to use in the jobs we want to have. I think school is very much like prison because you sit in a seat 7 hour a day getting yelled at for doing the smallest thing I personally dont think ive learned anything this year.

    • I agree, why teach someone something if they aren't going to use it? we have to sit for how long and we do always get yelled at like you said. Even if we are asking our peers a question about something concerning what we are doing we still get yelled at. 

  • Yes, school is like a prison we have scheduled lunch and a formatted day. Yes, I would listen to them if they taught life skills. Life skills are an important part of life. school just teaches us about factory jobs and listening jobs.

    • I agree, School is like a prison, every part of our day is planned out. I would also listen as well, because I know I will use it 

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