It can’t be easy 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. “No using the stairs”
my school had 3 staircases along a very long corridor.
we were banned from using the middle staircase because it got overcrowded.
the ban was lifted once they realised it only made the other two staircases just as crowded
2. “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
3. “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.
4. “No canes”
After 9/11, my school instituted a zero tolerance policy on bullying and violence.
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 violence, and suspended me for a couple of days, telling me that after 9/11, “we don’t mess around with that kind of stuff”.
5. “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.
6. “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.
7. “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.
8. “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.
9. “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.
10. “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.
11. “No bracelets”
They outlawed bracelets because there was an article in a magazine somewhere saying they advertised what sexual acts you were open for based on their colour.
Then someone tried to outlaw wrist watches for the same reason.
12. “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.
13. “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 .
14. “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’.
15. “No desert 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.