Act 1 of a recent edition of This American Life is a story about some very scary places deep inside the New York City school system that most people, even in the City, are completely unaware of.

The thirteen centers are called the “rubber room” (more formally: Employee Reassignment Centers) and it’s something like detention.

Except that it’s teachers who get sent to one when their principal or someone else thinks they’ve screwed up and where some of them stay for a whole lot longer than a couple of days.

Go listen to it and see if you don’t find it frightening as well.

Then go check out the even more disturbing information on the web site of a group of filmmakers who are making a documentary about the rubber rooms and who co-produced the TAL segment.