Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gary Stager : What's the Difference Between School and Prison?

Gary Stager : What's the Difference Between School and Prison?

In addition to that previous posting on the cvonfiscation of ipods and cellphones in new York, Gary has done such a good job just pulling items out of headlines that make schools look a lot like prison - here are a few - follow link for more (these are the U.S. but most ring true for Canada too):

Criminalizing the Classrom: The Over-policing of the New York City Schools, raise serious concerns whose consequences are "significant and consequential damage to the learning environment."

Students remain grouped by age while increasingly segregated by race (here and here) and gender in single-sex classes (more here).

Student speech rights and press freedom continue to decline. (resources from the ACLU & Rutherford Institute )

We have long accepted the practice of seeking permission to use a toilet in school.

School security costs are through the roof.

A school banned conversation between boys and girls.

The Supreme Court of the United States is actually entertaining the notion that a principal may punish a student at any time for what they do outside of school or school events. The issue at stake is if a school principal may do any action that "disrupts its mission."

School officials continue to assert jurisdiction over what students do with their home computers despite constant rulings on behalf of students.

This school and others are requiring students to remain silent during lunch. Another school claims that the silent lunches they deny exist are for "safety purposes."

This school requires "silent transitions" between classes. If students talk between classes, they must attend "silent lunch."

Special paint is being purchased by schools to jam cell phone use. This continues the desire to treat cell phone use or possession as a crime.

Art, music, foreign languages and even physical education (social studies and science too) are being eliminated from school days as a response to calls for academic accountability.

Collective punishment (prohibited by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949) is a hallmark of NCLB with all teachers and students held "accountable" for the test results of a few.

A Santa Fe elementary school student was duct-taped to his chair by a teaching intern. Here is a similar story from Oregon. Here's one from California. Even the Aussies are doing it!

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