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Thursday, February 25, 2010

How can you tell if it is a school or a prison?

I read a blog ( that pointed out that schools and prisons look alike, but there is much more in common between school and prisons than their looks:

1. Students/prisoners (s/p) must stay in the place they have been assigned unless given specific permission by the guards/teachers (g/t)
2. s/p may eat only with permission of g/t
3. s/p may go to the bathroom only with permission of g/t
4. assigned tasks must be completed by s/p
5. questioning the task you have been assigned is not allowed
6. expressing a point of view contrary to the g/t about rules is not allowed
7. the g/t may humiliate an s/p at any time
8. the s/p may intimidate and terrorize other s/p s
9. all recreation is supervised by g/t at specified times
10. reading material is deemed suitable or not by g/t
11. all visitors must be vetted prior to visitation
12. failure to follow the rules will result in punishment
13. failure to behave properly may add extra time onto one’s sentence
14. approval by g/t is determined by extremely arbitrary standards
15. freedom of expression is strictly controlled
16. dress codes are strictly enforced
17. getting the g/t to like you will make your time go more easily
18. resting is not allowed
19. pursuing one’s own interests is not allowed
20. deciding you have better things to do than be in prison or school is definitely not allowed

I realize that not all prisons and school are exactly the same in all this, but you get the idea.


Mr. K. said...

Perhaps the prisoners needed that kind of structure to begin with in order to become good citizens of society.

David Goldenberg said...

M. K--

Your comment sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch:

What does how prisoners are treated have to do with a comparison of schools and prisons and the irony of that?

In leaving you the benefit of my doubt, could you elaborate on your reamrk?