Theoretically, we go to school to gain learn history, math, chemistry, etc. In practice, we mostly learn to follow arbitrary rules and go from place to place according to a bell. A side effect of that, which I don’t think schools plan on, is that some people realize that all these rules are totally random and unnecessary, and become rule breakers for the rest of their lives. It’s a beautiful circle.
A Redditor named u/SoLe123456 wanted to know what drove some other people over the edge, making them question everything.
“What’s the dumbest rule your school ever enforced?” they asked. Even years and years later, people still remembered the stupidest rules that they saw people get punished for or driven into following, and even though some of them are pretty shocking, they’re not surprising. The only thing worse for random rules than school is the workplace.
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 realized it only made the other two staircases just as crowded —bignastty
Not being allowed to wear hoodies/jackets or sweaters that lacked the official 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). —Master_Catch_9089
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. —MrFake_Name
You had to wear your ID around your neck on a rope thing. Then the chokings started. —the-zoidberg
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 —MisterComrade
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.”
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. —passatcar
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. —wowthatfood
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 later to class than they would have otherwise been.
Needless to say, everyone hated it, even the teachers. That principal didn’t last long… —LiveTrash
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”. —BlackIsTheSoul
I was sent to the principle 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. —FriendlyDetective367
Toilet paper rationing. 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. —stabbyspacehorse
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.
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 —Lumpy_Constellation
No beads. Apparently they thought beaded jewelry was gang related? —PatSmiles17