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? 





You need to be a member of History 360 to add comments!

Join History 360

Replies are closed for this discussion.


  • I could see why people think school is like prison because we dont have a whole lot of rights, like we cant cuss, blurt out words, wear hats, food is bad and etc. But its not so much prison because they are providing food and teaching for us and helps lots of people be sucessful in life

    • Actually, in prison, they are allowed to do all of that. They even have classes to help them get jobs afterward prison also has to provide food for them 

  • I personally believe that school is like prison because of what we can and can not do. and I believe that if they did teach us life skills I do not think that we would still listen because we just do not want to be in school in the first place.

    • I agree, I think, majority of students wouldn't listen if they had the option to learn life skills anyway 

  • I do think that school is close to prison. It would be a lot different if they actually taught us things we were going to use in the future. The things we are being taught right now is not going to help me in the real world. lf they started teaching things that I would actually use, I would definitely pay more attention.

    • I agree, it is very close, if I was taught life skills I would also pay attention, welding and woods is the class that I pay most attention too 

  • I think we should have more say in what we learn, because the things school teches us isn't useful in our life for when  were older. Schools should be teaching us how to pay taxes and bills. Schools kind of prepare use for the real world, like the bullying because that will always happen. We should be learning cooping skills for things and bills, how to get jobs, or even write a resume.

    • I agree we should have more of a say in what we learn. its our life, if we were told how to do things we will do in life, I would listen more, until then we will be learning about boring things that we will never use. 

  • I think that school can be very similar to a prison. If they taught skills in classes that would apply to my future, I think I would pay closer attention and put more effort into my work. But I don't think that school prepares us for the real world that well, but I don't know how we could change it so it would prepare us. 

    • I agree, it doesn't have much to do with my life. It is just wasting away. I don't think there is a way to change it, we all just have to power through it. 

This reply was deleted.
eXTReMe Tracker