One of the perils of using a metaphor to talk about the realities of life is that the metaphor can be taken too seriously. It really seems to bother some people that I talked about layers and divisions within the pro writing community, but name me a human community of 3+ people that doesn't have layers and divisions. We're monkeys, people, that's what we do — sort ourselves into groups and hierarchies.
The value of the high school metaphor is that it is transparently comprehensible to almost all Americans, and most other Western-educated readers. The peril of the high school metaphor is that a lot of people have very bad memories of the original experience.