It’s gotta be pretty hard trying to set policy in a school, even if your heart is in the right place.
Because let’s be honest, school is chaos.
Even still, there are a few rules that get made that are just plain dumb.
Get ready to live by the letter of the law, because Reddit’s got examples.
1. “Bathrooms are closed”
Closing boys toilets, because some c**t was stealing toilet paper.
When school staff announced this stupid rule, some students actually threatened to s**t on the tables then.
2. “ID safety”
It wasn’t really the rule that was dumb but the reason for it. In my last year of high school, the school issued a rule that all students had to wear student IDs. If you didn’t, you had to immediately go and pay for another ID. While you can see how many students may have saw this a way to skip class, the reason for this was the school shootings that happened the previous year.
The reasoning was that it would be easier to spot who is a student and who is not a student to then see who has malicious intent…..except that most shooters were students….so….
3. “No touching the snow”
In grade school, we weren’t allowed to play on the playground equipment when it snowed.
Eventually, were weren’t allowed to play with snow or even go near it- I got in trouble for sitting in snow.
This was in Minnesota where it snows half the year. Recess basically consisted of milling around the blacktop for thirty minutes.
4. “Don’t play on the golf course”
Our tiny community got a burst of cash in the 70’s due to having mineral rights on land with oil. It was amazing some of the things we had access to for a school in the plains in Montana: computer lab, ceramics, photography, and a freaking laser! They also bought the grade school a miniature golf course in the center of the playground.
A majority of the playground was concrete squirrels, turtles and a whale. These looked like a lot of fun to play on for a kid. We couldn’t touch them. We couldn’t get near them. We couldn’t land our star wars figures on them, incorporate them in our games in any way or even walk near them when running from someone playing tag. Once in PE we got out the clubs and played a few rounds in my entire time in school. Other classes never even got that.
After about 30 years, during a student clean up, they got some of the upper level high school kids to take hammers to them and pulverized them.
5. “Ties ALWAYS”
You have to wear your tie all the way home.
Some sad bastard teachers would stand on the main road away from the school and try to hand out detentions in presumably their own time
6. “Bathroom sign-in sheets”
My friend is an administrator at a private school in NJ and the faculty has to sign in and out of the bathroom using Google sheets.
9am, 10 minutes, M-F
7. “No ankles allowed”
Girls weren’t allowed to show their ankles.
The dean had a pack of socks in her office she would give the students and make them wear.
Only girls tho. This was the 2000s.
8. “No unnatural hair colors”
Except for Lily, who dyed her hair the school color (maroon).
It was dark enough to argue it was a weird red/brown, but it was clearly maroon and I think she got away with it because it was “school spirit”
9. “We keep your phones”
If you were caught on your phone they’d take it until the end of the week. you’d get it back at half 3 on friday.
parents went mental and a few even came together and sent bills through for part of the phone bills, they ditched that rule after 2 weeks.
phones were kept overnight in the school in the office until that friday if they were confiscated. no safe or anything, just in a plastic box. no getting it back at the end of the day, you just had to go for days without a phone, even at home
10. “No jackets without the school logo”
I was a high school teacher for several years, both buildings I worked in were FREEZING, and having admin pull students out of my classroom during a 50 minute period & giving them detention instead of letting them LEARN is cruel and completely unnecessary, in my opinion.
11. “No snowballs”
If you throw snowballs, you get a one day suspension.
The first long weekend after a snowfall everyone would throw snowballs to get an additional day added to the long weekend.
12. “Go to class, no exceptions”
I got Saturday school for missing a day of classes when I was 16. Seems reasonable, except I missed to go complete my US citizenship and officially become a citizen alongside my mom (it took us 12 years to go through the legal process, btw. Whole other issue).
I had a note from my mother as well as a signed official Federal form they give you to explain to school/employers why you were absent.
Apparently the only acceptable absence excuse was illness. I got punished for becoming a citizen ?♀️
13. “Zero tolerance”
That if you say/do anything back to your bully it becomes a mutual conflict and isn’t bullying, so if they start calling you slurs and making you feel bad every day and you call them stupid once or twice the school probably won’t help.
14. “If you’re late, we’ll make you more late”
The new Principal made a “morning round-up” rule where anyone arriving to class after the last bell had to go to the cafeteria and listen to a lecture about not being late for class.
This took about an extra 15 minutes, making the students even more late to class than they would have otherwise been.
Needless to say, everyone hated it, even the teachers. That principal didn’t last long…
15. “Toilet paper must be rationed”
This was in 1997/98, btw.
Apparently the high school girls room was going through too much toilet paper so the dean, a woman, stood outside the door and distributed a few squares of 1-ply institutional toilet paper to us as we went in. If she noticed toilet paper on the floor, our ration got cut down. If we asked for more for…bigger jobs…we were told to saved it for home.
There were several episodes of girls stuck in stalls until friends could beg for more TP because of period messes or unexpected bowel incidents. The dean wouldn’t even hand it over–she would go in the bathroom and pass it a few squares at a time over the door. If you didn’t catch it as it fell and it landed on the floor, well, that’s your fault and you’re not getting more. If you used more than she thought necessary, tough luck, go to class with blood/s**t on your body.
It took about a week of extremely angry parents coming to the school and calling both the school and the school board, but we finally got our toilet paper back, unlimited.
How did we celebrate?
By TPing her car, of course.
16. “No candy canes”
Candy canes were outlawed because you could sharpen them to a point and use them as a shiv.
I went to school in rural Washington. We were definitely weren’t somewhere that shankings were to be expected
17. “No talking at lunch”
Elementary school principal banned talking at lunch. If you were caught talking or even signing to someone, you had to go sit by yourself on a folding chair with no table.
There was once my mom came to eat lunch with my older sister and I. The principal was like ” Oh you should go eat out in the hallway with your daughters” and she was like “nah, I’m gonna sit here with my daughter and her friends and talk to them and enjoy their presence” (usually if a parent came for lunch the student could invite one friend to join, unless you had siblings. Then it was too many people so you couldn’t invite a friend).
Anyway, one of my older sister’s friends whispered to my mom that she was going to move so she wouldn’t get in trouble for talking.
THIS WAS A NINE YEAR OLD.
18. “No canes”
After 9/11, my school instituted a zero tolerance policy on bullying and v**lence.
What 9/11 had to do with bullying, I don’t know.
Anyways, Halloween 2001, I dressed up as the guy from Clockwork Orange. He carries a cane around. The principle pulled me aside, told me walking around with a cane could be a weapon, therefore just walking with it is an act of v**lence, and suspended me for a couple of days, telling me that after 9/11, “we don’t mess around with that kind of stuff”.
19. “If we didn’t see it happen, it didn’t happen”
All it did was train bullies to be really good at keeping their voices down and being aware of their surroundings so they could avoid doing s**t within a teacher’s line of sight.
It meant if you were ever outside of a teacher’s vision range you were still fair game for heaps of abuse, and if you tried to report things that teachers didn’t see then the teachers treated you like you were making up bulls**t.
It also didn’t stop teachers from enforcing double standards, like believing reports from their personal favorites even when they didn’t see it happen, since they could just claim they saw it happen if it was contested.
That school was basically a training facility to turn bullies into stealth experts.
20. “Don’t drink water”
I was sent to the principal in elementary school for getting a drink of water out of line (as in we walked down the hall in a formation and we had designated water drinking stops).
To this day I still remember the principal asking angrily well what if everyone started getting water without permission?
And I still don’t have an answer.
21. “No facial hair”
We were not allowed to have facial hair at all.
Like to the point where the principal would walk around during lunch with razors and shaving cream and do “Stubble checks”.
Absolutely ridiculous and he would send tons of us to the bathrooms to shave during lunch, no matter how small the stubble was.
22. “No touching at all”
Went to school during the time where health and safety suddenly started going crazy, they introduced a “no contact under any circumstances” rule i.e no touching another person, we were like 6 or 7 years old.
Suddenly one day not only is tag suddenly illegal, but they actually enforced it, I remember one day like 70% of the schools population was pulled off of the playground and made to sit on the floor in the hall, for the crime of just playing the games that children play.
23. “No bags”
Banned all backpacks / bags on campus. Students were expected to somehow carry everything they needed in hand.
This was especially challenging if you had a non ideal locker placement.
24. “Bathroom is closed”
Locked the only boys bathroom because someone wrote on the wall in sharpie. It wasn’t even anything rude or inappropriate either. It was just the word “hi” or something like that.
Didn’t unlock the door until one boy wet himself and parents threatened to sue.
25. “No bracelets”
They outlawed bracelets because there was an article in a magazine somewhere saying they advertised what s**ual acts you were open for based on their colour.
Then someone tried to outlaw wrist watches for the same reason.
26. “No Bart shirts”
Many many years ago when the Simpsons first came out, my school banned Bart Simpson t-shirts that said “Underachiever”. It just sent the wrong message to students!
So I wore my “I’m Bart Simpson, Who the h**l are you” T-shirt instead.
….until they banned that one too.
27. “No duct tape ON clothing”
Some girls thought they could get past the “no ripped jeans” rule by covering the tears with duct tape. It became a “fad” and everyone started doing it so it got banned.
A kid in my AP literature class found a loophole and MADE an entire outfit out of red and black duct tape. I mean Shorts, A T-shirt AND a jacket and SHOES.
When the school tried to suspend him they couldn’t because the rule Was ” No Duct Tape ON clothes” It said nothing about clothes made OUT OF duct tape… He won the argument and even wore the outfit a few more times to Say “F**k you ” to the school and principles lol .
28. “No saying OK”
When I was in Junior school (UK boarding school in the 80’s), we were not allowed to say OK as it was considered slang and not befitting the young ladies and gentleman that we should aspire to be. For context, Junior school covered ages 5-13.
We also had to have a comb and a handkerchief on us at all times.
On top of that, we weren’t allowed to have our hands in our pockets because, ‘it looks slovenly’.
29. “No dessert unless it’s from us”
You weren’t allowed things like chocolate bars or basically any unhealthy snack in your lunch box.
But they then sold double chocolate chip cookies and iced buns in the canteen.
Well that’s all…very…sensible?
What was the dumbest rule at your school?
Tell us in the comments.