School is a Capitalist Scam

Ryan Douglass
6 min readJan 21, 2020

School is a scam. Now we said it.

I caught my first whiff of corruption in the third grade, when a teacher who had no business being so close to my face, leaned aggressively over my desk and barked, “Why aren’t you doing your accelerated reader?”

I guess I’d fallen short of credits. I simply didn’t read the books I was told to, because there were too many that I genuinely wanted to read.

Mrs. Hill took my defiance to the administration, and ran a semester-long campaign to convince them I was autistic and should be placed in special education.

I’m not autistic, but I have a sneaking suspicion that academia always wanted to turn me into something I wasn’t. I’ve never done anything I didn’t want to do, or traded in the learning habits I knew to be valuable for myself for what authority figures said were the rules of education.

Mrs. Hill probably never predicted I’d have signed a book deal with a Big Five publisher fresh out of college, but her relationship to me as a teacher was never about fostering my talents.

Teachers who form relationships with students, who listen to their concerns and sow the seeds of self-worth are the unsung heroes of the school system. And yet public education in service to a government ruled by corporate interests leaves teachers under…