Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The Washington, DC Prison Experiment

Jerry Stratton, April 21, 2009

I agree with the Ace of Spades commenters who said that if this had been their daughter, there would be injured school officials and an imprisoned parent. When did strip-searching children for medicine they can buy over the counter on the tip of a single other classmate become acceptable?

This isn’t an isolated incident. I first saw a version of it reported in May of 2004, when Maryland’s Kent County High School called in the police to strip-search students based on the smell of their schoolbooks. The only thing isolated is that this time the student and the parent kept up their legal fight.

Public schools are a real-world version of the Stanford prison experiment. Students are imprisoned into schools, school authorities are given vast power over them, and any attempt at escape must be put down—even programs such as the Washington, DC, school voucher program. So what if the DC voucher program helps underprivileged children excel at learning? Learning isn’t the purpose of public schools. Power is.

In an arbitrary forced imprisonment like our government-run near-monopoly on schools, this kind of abuse is inevitable. It’s the same mindset that convinces school officials that mass murder drills—without telling the students it’s a drill—is a legitimate school function. The drug war was the catalyst, but something like this is inevitable when any alternatives are forcefully shut down.

  1. <- Tax individuals
  2. The President’s freelancers ->