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Governor, Please Make My School a Prison

Patty Murray

Dear

“Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are.” ~ James W. Frick

 

A Michigan superintendent channeled James Frick as he wrote a letter to the governor to request that his school be turned into a prison.

 

In this ironic argument, Superintendent Nathan Bootz points out how backwards society must be to dedicate more resources to its prison inmates than to educating students.

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Below is his letter addressed to Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder requesting that he have the decency to start treating schools like prisons.

  • Dear Governor Snyder,

    In these tough economic times, schools are hurting. And yes, everyone in Michigan is hurting right now financially, but why aren’t we protecting schools? Schools are the one place on Earth that people look to to “fix” what is wrong with society by educating our youth and preparing them to take on the issues that society has created.

    One solution I believe we must do is take a look at our corrections system in Michigan. We rank nationally at the top in the number of people we incarcerate. We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union. Now, I like to be at the top of lists, but this is one ranking that I don’t believe Michigan wants to be on top of.

    Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we DO NOT provide to our school children.

    This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!

    Please provide for my students in my school district the same way we provide for a prisoner. It’s the least we can do to prepare our students for the future...by giving our schools the resources necessary to keep our students OUT of prison.


  • Respectfully submitted,

    Nathan Bootz, Superintendent

  • Ithaca Public Schools

 

What is your take on this superintendent's request to the governor? Share with us!


The letter was originally posted on Scott McLeod's blog, Dangerously Irrelevant.