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5 Ways Public Schools Prepare Us For Prison Life

It didn't occur to me that the six-foot fence around the perimeter was meant to keep me in. That is, until the day I decided to leave.

Fed up with being kicked around the schoolyard, I decided to do what any intelligent human being would do: go home. I soon learned this wasn’t a viable option for a sixth grader.

Looking back, it's not real clear who was surprised the most by the situation -- the school authorities at my assumption that I would actually leave, or me, at the revelation I had no choice in the matter. Apparently there were laws. Huh, who knew?

The view of the playground fence from the jungle gym was never quite the same.


Parents strive to prepare their children for school. We teach them to recite the alphabet, to count, and learn their colors. Is that preparation really enough to survive the next twelve years of compulsory education?

In spite of its intended purpose, after you boil away the Friday-night lights, dances, and hook-ups, all you have left is a state-run institution, excreting the same social sludge as its cousin the prison system.

When you stop and think about how similar they are, you have to wonder: is the system designed to ready children for society, or to provide the mental skills for prison life?

What did you learn in the locker room shower?

Mandatory gym showers usually begin around 7th grade. The time in human development when boys and girls have no self-awareness or inhibitions -- no wait, that’s a toddler.

Can you think of a better way to teach herd behavior than to strip naked an entire class of adolescents and corral them into open shower stalls? Sweat is not the only thing washed down those drains.

However, it is a good way to prepare kids for the other lessons you'll need for prison life.