Follow TV Tropes

Following

Dustbin School

Go To

And so I enrolled at Shikanotoride Middle School, a ragtag collection of losers and delinquents from across Japan. We'd all been written off by adults. Buncha jocks. None of us had any future.
Shiori Kitano, Battle Royale II

There are some pupils who are very disruptive, such as Delinquents; others are just that dumb, and look as if they were moved up to the benefit of the age since they don't seem to have learnt something. The solution: throw them in the Dustbin School until they are past the age of mandatory schooling! One type of such schools was the borstals, where juvenile offenders were locked in until their majority.

Advertisement:

In a smaller scale, some schools may choose to put their less-performing and/or most disruptive pupils in a Dustbin Class.

This can be the setting for a history involving a disruptive pupil trying to get better or simply survive, or for a teacher assigned here because of his lack of experience or as part of an informal punishment; a Sadist Teacher may be assigned these classes. Often the setting of a Save Our Students plot.

Even though some educational institutions have been charged with being this trope, please be careful when entering real life examples.

See also Reassigned to Antarctica, Non-Giving-Up School Guy and Boarding School of Horrors; Military School and Sucky School may be involved. Someone Expelled from Every Other School might end up here.


Advertisement:

Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • In Assassination Classroom, it turns out the protagonists' class is where all the problem students are dumped so the other students can feel better about themselves and work hard to avoid going there. When they actually get better at schoolwork the school staff actively keeps them down and publicly humiliates them to maintain the status-quo (it takes the moon-destroying alien teacher reminding them it would be a Shame If Something Happened to tone it down).
  • Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts segregates students based on their entrance exams. The brightest students live and learn in luxury in Class A, but the stupidest of the stupid get sent to class F, where they are lucky to have cardboard boxes as desks, chalk is a luxury, and the room itself is structurally drafty and unsound.
  • Cromartie High School is a comedy example of this, with the titular school being where all the worst delinquents are put so they won't damage other kids' education.
  • Hinamatsuri moves onto one of these schools in Hina's teenage years. The only school she can afford to attend with her nonexistent grades is Teihen High School, a place whose name literally translates to "Poor School". You can get in without even writing anything on the entrance exam, everyone is some form of slacker, delinquent, or truant, and the only form of authority we see in the school is only marginally better.
  • Jewelpet Sunshine gathers its main characters in the Plum class, known as the "classroom of lost causes", of Sunshine Academy. The students in it are known for very disruptive behavior, though grades are a mixed bag.
  • In the Love Live! Sunshine!! movie, after Aqours failed to save their school in the series and the movie has the Uranohoshi students transferred to another school out of town, they end up in a dumpy building that hasn't been used in years because the new school's administration doesn't believe that a bunch of small-town students would be able to compete with city kids at anything. Aqours having won the last Love Live doesn't even convince them, despite school idols being a certified phenomenon at this point, and one of the objects of the film is to convince them that they're still as good or better than their city counterparts.
  • The Onigashima High in Ōkami-san is a subversion. While at first glance it's a school for delinquents and criminals, it's actually abandoned, with graffiti sprawling around walls and the building itself is in disrepair.
  • One Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt episode is "Les Diaboliques", which sees the Demon Sisters become an Absurdly Powerful Student Council. They soon demote Panty to the deepest sub-sub-basement classroom, about where a septic tank would be. There, Panty wallows in misery among geeks, loonies and morons while a derelict zombie struggles to teach ... something.
  • Sakigake!! Otokojuku is a manga about a school dedicated to reforming juvenile delinquents.
  • Metropolitan Sainotama Girls' High School in Wasteful Days of High School Girls is noted to be academically mediocre; Majime once noted "its standard score ranking is only as high as the intelligence level of a four-year old is." Robo and Majime are actually too good for this school and are known to be here under rather unusual circumstances—-in Robo's case, defying Intelligence Equals Isolation as her Childhood Friends are there, and in Majime's case, falling seriously ill during high school admission exams.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has the Slifer Red dorm, where go the students with the weakest Decks.
  • The very first page of Torako, Anmari Kowashicha Dame da yo describes its school, Ooaoi Private Academy, as a school that gathers delinquents from all over the country. The students are rowdy, violent, and even the teachers start their classes by saying "Sit down, fuckers". The story opens with the incoming transfer of Aiko Torasawa, the titular Torako, whose legend of destruction precedes her. The delinquents' attempts to pick on or attack her fall flat due to her being a Lethal Klutz with Super Strength who largely shrugs off whatever anyone tries to do and hammers others down without even meaning to.
  • Classroom of the Elite: D-class, where the school dumps its inferior students. In order to ridicule them.
  • In GTO: The Early Years, the protagonists are Held Back in School and assigned to the "problem student" class, headed by the Sadist Teacher Yoko Minamino. In the prequel Bad Company, we see that their entire middle school (or previous high school; the translation is unclear) was like this, with nearly every male student being a delinquent.
    • In the sequel series Great Teacher Onizuka, Eikichi himself becomes the homeroom teacher to a class who believe it's their sole mission to run any teacher they're given right out of town.note 

     Comic Book  
  • The Beano has The Bash Street Kids who seem to be the only pupils at Bash Street School. Aside from Cuthbert Cringeworthy they are all about as academically minded as a sloth.
  • Robin (1993): Brentwood Academy (the school Jack forcibly transfers Tim to after getting remarried) acts as a school for the problem children of the rich, who have been expelled from the other schools around or are unable to pass the entrance exams for more prestigious high schools. One of his roommates was a drunk, and another classmate had an incredibly violent anger issue that got him expelled from previous schools for hurting his classmates. Tim ends up there because of the point in the school year at which his dad forced him to change schools.

     Film  
  • Shikanotoride Junior High School, whose students participate in the Game, is featured as one in Battle Royale II; most of the pupils are delinquents and dropouts-in-waiting.
  • Borstal Boy is the movie adaptation of the eponymous book by Brendan Behan (see Literature).
  • The British film Boys In Brown (1949) features Jackie Knowles who got sentenced to three years in a borstal for driving a getaway car in a robbery. Once there, he befriends Alfie and Bill.
  • The 1989 film Lean on Me, based on the true story of Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, which was cleaned up under the leadership of principal Joe Clark.
Advertisement:

     Literature  
  • In the L Astragale, Albertine Sarrasin speaks about a stint on one after she committed an armed robbery in a clothes shop, and describes when, after being punished by the guards, she escapes and breaks her talus bonenote .
  • Brendan Behan tells about his stay in an Irish borstal in Borstal Boy, where he was sent for attempting to blow up the Liverpool harbour during The '30s for the IRA.
  • In Dustbin Baby, after being discovered aiding and abetting Gina with her burglaries, April is sent to Fairgate, where girls with issues such as anorexia, Down syndrome or general behavioural problems are sent.
  • Harry Potter. The Dursleys say to their neighbours that Harry Potter is in the St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys.
  • Hidden Talents is set in Edgeville Alternative School, which is widely known to be the end of the line for students that no other school wants to deal with. It's also the end of the line for a lot of lackluster teachers. The student protagonist eventually helps save it from closure by speaking frankly to the school board about its problems, but also defending its ability to help students with nowhere else to go.
  • Alan Sillitoe's short story The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner tell the stay of a boy in Ruxton Towers, a borstal situated in Essex, for robbing a bakery; once there, he took on running.

     Live Action Television  
  • Chris from Everybody Hates Chris has to go to all-white schools outside his neighborhood because the schools right there, Lamont Sanford Junior High and Marla Gibbs High are stated by his mother to be full of drop-outs and delinquents (though we never see these schools on-screen).
  • El internado: Las Cumbres: Mara, the despotic headmistress at Boarding School of Horrors Las Cumbres, tells a new teacher that the school is known for taking in students rejected by other schools or who are coming straight out of a detox center. Her meaning becomes darker later when she tells a group of students that they are there because nobody else wanted them, not even their own families.
  • Welcome Back, Kotter: The "Sweathogs" was the nickname of a class like this at James Buchanan High in Brooklyn. Gabe Kotter had graduated from this class and gone on to become a teacher. He volunteered to return to his old high school and teach this class, hoping to help kids who were in the same position he had been in in high school.

     Video Game  
  • The Fruit of Grisaia has the brand new Mihama Academy serving this role for students who unable to consistently function long-term in society due to their own emotional/mental issues or due to public backlash from their original hometowns that would cause detrimental effects to themselves or others in a normal school. The academy comes complete with its own dormitory to serve as a home for those students while keeping them closely watched. This example is a slightly lighter one though as well-behaved students are permitted to roam out of the academy to buy their own groceries, get a job or participate in village events; thus the academy operates similar to a half-way house for those under probation.

  • Rival Schools has Gedo High, a school for Juvenile Delinquents and other undesirables.
  • Senran Kagura: In a variant, the evil shinobi school Hebijo has a motto of "where good favors the few, evil accepts all". Thus those who enroll in Hebijo are all delinquents, psychos, sometimes random hobos and outcasts from other schools. To make it up with the general lack of talent they all have, the school employs Training from Hell.
  • In The Sims, children performing poorly at school end in a Military School.
  • Trails of Cold Steel: The third game is set at the "branch campus" of the prestigious Thors Military Academy. The principal greets the new students by describing the school as a trash bin, and telling them that they, and the instructors, are there to keep them away from the main campus.

     Western Animation  
  • American Dad!: In the episode "Stan-Dan Deliver" Steve is forced to join a class of depraved kids because of Roger's actions. Then Roger becomes a Cool Teacher for this class only to prove to Steve that he is not completely immoral.
  • Bromwell High is rather strongly implied to be one of these, considering the Troubling Unchildlike Behavior from many of its students.
  • The Simpsons: in "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" (S05E20) Bart got threatened by Skinner with being sent to the Christian Military Reform School for truancy. Ironically, other episodes show Springfield Elementary is seen the same way by the rest of the school district.

     Real Life 
  • Every sufficiently large school district in the world will have at least one school that qualifies for this trope, or is at least seen to do so... which is often a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. To summarize an extremely complex and controversial topic, if a school performs poorly then parents who both value their children's education and have the resources and the time to try and get them into a better school will do so, leaving the school with the students whose parents can't or won't send them somewhere else or who have been kicked out of some other establishment for bad behavior. A similar phenomenon can happen to the staff as morale falters and it becomes harder to attract talented and motivated people to a school where their efforts will often go unappreciated. The resulting positive feedback loop can carry on for decades if drastic action isn't taken. Experiments with tying funding into attendance and/or exam performance in some countries haven't helped.

Top