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They Say: Don't Treat Kids Like Prisoners in Schools

letsgotoprisonHere’s a novel concept: a new study out of Brown University is linking higher success rates for students with schools that provide students with “safe” and “nurturing” environments.

Basically, the study says if you don’t treat kids like prisoners, they won’t act like they belong in prison.

The study was based on the practices at a number of New York City schools, including the avoidance of metal detectors, aggressive policing and harsh disciplinary policies which are widely used in city school buildings. By comparison, the schools that skipped the metal detectors (despite having a “high risk” student body) had sixty-two percent graduation rates compared to fifty-five percent at schools that frisk the students at the doors.

The “nurturing” schools also boasted higher retention rates, fewer criminal acts and suspensions and better attendance.

Considering other studies have shown metal detectors and police in schools don’t necessarily make the buildings any safer, what are we doing to our kids by forcing them to spend one hundred eighty days a year in a prison-like environment?

Because it isn’t just the metal detectors. Where else do doors open with the sound of a bell, are certain ordained adults given such power over a group of individuals and the schedule of the day set without a person’s input or control?

The memories of the institution of learning somehow comingle with episodes of Oz in the back of my brain, and they make me wary of the day I’ll have to send my daughter into a public school setting. . . even a country school minus the metal detectors that are de riguer in city schools.

Is your kids’ school more inviting or inmate?

Image: ImpAwards

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