Is School Prison?

Morgan Amos, Writer

Students joke about school being a prison, but when you think about it, this opinion isn’t too far off. Most parents send their kids to school for good intentions, believing it’s necessary to go in order to become happy and productive adults. Many people have issues about how well the schools in their area perform, and the common solution is more money, better teachers, or a more challenging curriculum. However, maybe the actual problem is school itself.

When you stop and think about it, our public schools have a lot more in common with prisons than we care to admit. When a child goes to school, their freedom is restricted, just like freedom is restricted in prison.  The minute one steps onto school grounds, they lose certain rights. Schools and prisons also use security as means of control. Many public schools typically use things like metal detectors, surveillance cameras, police patrols, lock downs, etc. to create a facade of greater security. In elementary schools, we’re taught to silently walk in straight lines with our hands behind our backs, which strongly resembles a line of prisoners. We’re told to “stay in line,” “do as you’re told,” and “don’t cause any trouble,” from the our early childhood to our late high school years.

Like prisoners, students also are given a strict dress code. Some schools are even enforce uniforms for their students, which limits thier self-expression. Wearing a shirt that doesn’t fully cover a girls shoulder, or a pair of leggings can get someone sent to ISS for the day. Sometimes dress code rules are so strict and detailed, it seems as if they’re in place to purposely get in trouble.

As students, we’re also given a strict schedule to follow everyday. Students are given daily rigid schedules of walking, eating, learning, exercise, and bathroom use in both schools and prisons. It doesn’t matter when you have to use the bathroom or when you’re feeling hungry. These can only be done during the times we’re told to do them.

There are so many different ways where public school can be compared to prisons. I’m not necessarily saying school is a bad thing for students, but I feel that there are too many similarities for people to look past this comparison.

High school student, Aleeyah Cuttino, says,”A lot of restrictions have been placed on us to make school feel like prison.”

With so much dark and intimidating surroundings, focusing on school can be difficult. It’s not hard to guess why a lot of students don’t want to go to school. Sometimes the lines are blurred between prisoner and student, and eventually it’s going to be even harder to tell the difference between the two. When you’re treated like a prisoner it’s easier to feel like one.