"I went to a private Baptist school my freshman year of high school. Whenever we had an assembly and it was time to clap our hands for someone who had just spoken or performed, we would all have to clap our hands in unison.
It would be led by the pastor's bat guano crazy wife. She felt normal clapping was too chaotic. It was the weirdest thing I have ever witnessed."
"The cooking teacher is not allowed to run a cooking lesson with more than fifteen kids in the class because it's unsafe. I am required to run chemistry practicals with 30-plus kids in a class, even if the students are disruptive or have behavioral issues, because cooking is much more dangerous than chemistry. Or dissection.
It just blows my mind that the school believes a class of 30+ doing something, say, boiling water, is totally safe, when the same activity is considered unsafe if done with more than fifteen in another class, just because it is a different subject! Thirty bunsen burners, open flames, scalding hot tripods, and expensive glassware. What could possibly go wrong?"
"In my elementary school, they had 'silent time' for Kindergarten, First and Second grade. For half of the lunchtime, you couldn't talk at all, and depending on whether the teachers were cranky that day, you couldn't even make eye contact. I guess it was to make sure that kids ate their food instead of talking all through lunch.
They also doled out 'silent lunch' for the middle schoolers as a punishment, which meant you had to go get an uncomfortable chair and sit in a corner of the cafeteria, alone, and eat your lunch on your lap. And if you had bought the hot lunch, you couldn't go back for seconds like normal, which was awful because portion sizes for hot lunches at the school were very small. Kindergartners got the same thing as the eighth graders, except on pizza days, upon which they got an extra slice. So basically, if you did not get seconds, you were guaranteed to be hungry because there is no way four mini corn dogs the size of a baby carrot and a small cup of baked beans was enough for a growing 12-year-old. You also couldn't go use the bathroom during 'silent lunch' and if the teacher caught you with a book it was confiscated.
What's worse is that depending on how moody the teachers were that day, it would be given out if you were talking too much, or if you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"This was in elementary school. Our toilets kept getting clogged, so the teachers thought the best response was to limit students to three squares of toilet paper per bathroom trip. It fixed the clogging problem and, instead, they had a bunch of First through Fifth graders with swamp butt running around. Apparently, that was somehow better."
"At my high school we had a break between third and fourth period called 'brunch.' It was 15 minutes to socialize or grab something from the snack bar. We had an open campus. Well, during my junior year in late September, I was sitting in my third period class when an announcement was made through the school's intercom: 'Students are to stay in their third period class during brunch today because of an incident on Filmore Street.'
That street was right next to the high school. I also lived on that street.
A minute went by and an office aid walked into the class.
'Your house is on fire,' he said to me. I asked my teacher if I could go because I was just told my house was on fire. He said no. It was our brunch time and we were told to stay in our classrooms for brunch today. I am not much of a rule breaker, so I sat there for the next eight minutes freaking out that all my stuff had been destroyed, wondering if my sister had gotten out, and our dog and cat as well.
The bell rang and I ran into a friend while walking toward my next class who told me my house was on fire. I walked in my class and told my teacher my situation and she said, 'Go.'
I went to the office and asked them what I had to do. They said I had to call a parent. My mom did not have a cell phone, and our house was ON FIRE. I didn't think anyone was going to go BACK in the house and answer the phone. They told me I couldn't leave without parent's consent. That was the last straw for me. I walked out of the office and down the street to see my family on the sidewalk in tears about our home. Everyone was ok.
Thanks a lot Mr. Ragland, for not letting me leave third period. Watching you microwave a White Castle burger was much more important. And thanks Mrs. Crainhaigen for being a monster and not letting me leave without a parent's consent."
"'The bathroom stalls in the gym locker rooms are NOT to be used for changing; If caught changing in the bathroom stall, you will receive a detention and zero participation for the day. If you see someone else changing in the bathroom stall, you are to tell the nearest gym teacher.'
I have no idea what the administration was thinking with this rule. Some kids are self-conscious. It's high school! Not every teenager is comfortable with showing off their body to a group of their peers.
My school no longer enforces this rule. Additionally, there were only ever 30-40 kids in the locker room at one time, and 10 different stalls to use."
"I went to a Catholic elementary school between 1995 and 2001. I could go on for days about their rules.
Among my favorites: we weren't allowed to talk or turn on the lights during lunch. Lunch was eaten in silence and darkness. Also, if a classmate got in trouble for any reason, no one was allowed to talk to that person for the rest of the day, or longer for repeat offenders.
But, my absolute favorite was May Day. There was a day in May on which we all stood in a circle around this giant statue of Mary, prayed and celebrated her and whatnot. The kicker was everyone was required to be in full winter uniform for this: wool pants, shirt and tie, and a sweater. In May. One year, it was about 80 degrees out and I passed out. I awoke to a teacher yelling in my face that I had dishonored Mary.
All the craziness really turned me off of Catholicism. It absolutely amazes me how many of my former classmates have remained faithful, though."
"In middle school, we had a teacher who would not let this one kid go to the bathroom. He kept saying he wasn't feeling well. After the first time, the teacher was said, 'Just sit quietly then.' In her defense, I think there was a game going on in the school in which you couldn't be caught alone or you got 'assassinated,' or something, leading to many suspicious washroom trips.
He didn't come to school the next day because he had to get his appendix out."
"I went to a small middle school (25 people each class, Kindergarten through eighth grade). At the end of the day, we would go to the front lawn to get picked up. The teacher in charge hated me and gave me several detentions for the following reasons (keep in mind, these occurred either outside of school or after school):
-Eating a mint.
-Deliberately taking the mint out of my mouth, and gently placing it on the ground.
-Sitting on the sidewalk (not the road sidewalk, but the one next to the school).
-Sitting 'dangerously close' to a mulch pile.
-Burping 'abnormally' loud.
-Signing "'V for AP' to a friend in an upstairs window (fantasy football trade we were planning).
-Cracking my knuckles, once."
"I was in middle school when they started giving out 'red slips' for any sort of fault one may have had. They had 1-pointers, 3-pointers, and 5-pointers. Each meant a certain length of detention, as well as 'in-school suspensions' (sit in a room alone all day and do random work out of a book) and parent-teacher conferences. The more points you had, the crappier your life was. Plus, it was WAY too easy to get points. Forget a pencil? 1-pointer. One second late to class? THAT'S ANOTHER 1-POINTER!
I once got five points for finishing a book because I had nothing else to do and I had finished all of my work before everyone else. I knew a girl who forgot a red pen, called her dad while crying, forced him to go to a store and bring a pack of pens to avoid detention. This system literally launched me into a state of depression for a couple of years before high school, which does not have 'red slips' for some reason."
"One time, I was expelled from school for self-defense. There was this bully who was shoving me against a corner, so I fought back. I managed to break his nose and busted his lip. The bully's parents got so peeved that I hurt their 'precious little baby,' so they threatened me with a lawsuit. My parents were luckily on my side with this, especially my dad, but he didn't want a lawsuit on his hands so he paid for the little poop stain's medical bills.
The principal scolded me and told me that no matter what the circumstances are, never fight back. He said to always report bullying to a teacher or staff member, just never fight back. My dad was outraged when he found out the school suspended me for self-defense. He is one of those manly, macho, tough marine guys who has been in countless fights in his life. My dad was proud of me that I defended myself.
He says he thinks my generation and future generations are being molded into whining, little weak victims. I agree with him."
"I went to see my sister perform in a chorus recital. At this school's venue, you could not take pictures. You could not speak between performances. You could not leave your seat. You could not eat. No drinks were allowed.
If you chose to disobey any of the rules, you were asked to leave. When you stepped out into the lobby, you were interrogated by whoever was running the event. They would ask what school the person you were there for attended. That school would then get disqualified. The one thing they would always say at the very end of the performances: 'Please raise awareness of these events and invite others to attend!'
Yeah... Let's get one thing straight: with those rules, I'm not ever coming back to these things."
"When I was in high school, I took a biology class. Part of this class was dissecting a frog, as millions of other students have done. The thing was, we were not allowed anything sharp to dissect these frogs with. We got punched metal safety scissors and popsicle sticks. No scalpels, no knives. Not even toothpicks.
This was a class of 16-18-year-olds and we were not allowed to even touch anything remotely sharp. If we could not get the unsharpened, unfinished scissors to cut, we had to call the teacher over to poke a small hole into the frog's skin to fit our unpointed scissors through. It was not just one stupid rule, is was a darn cavalcade of awful policies."
"I have a tale from Catholic school.
All of my teachers, especially my second grade teacher, were adamantly opposed to me being left handed. My second grade teacher talked to the priest and called a conference with my parents about my inability to make first communion because I 'refused' to use my right hand to make the sign of the cross, etc.
For six months, I had to make a conscious effort to become right handed just so I could make my first communion, with some help from the teacher, of course. She would stand over me, take my pen out of my left hand, and put it in the right one. It took me forever to do anything."
"In my high school, if you were late to class, even within five steps of the door when the bell rang, you had to go to the attendance office and get a pass. This caused scours of students to be down there. One day, in protest of the administration's stupidity, we got roughly 40% of the students to be late. Our school was about 2,100 students. We had roughly 800 students in line to get a pass.
Surprisingly, they stopped the rule after that."
"When I was in the third through sixth grade, when our school bell would ring after recess or lunch we had to freeze where we were. No movement at all. The duty teachers would scan the schoolyard just looking for someone to yell at for continuing to move after the bell. After about two minutes, they would ring the handbells and we could line up to go in.
It has been over 50 years and I still cannot figure out the reason for it."
"I went to private school all my life. The high school I went to had a 30-page dress code covering everything from length of sideburns, appropriate number of necklaces, accepted tie knots and maximum fingernail length. Polo shirts were not allowed on Fridays, shoelace colors must have matched shoes, socks must not have been visible.
Every year they would tweak them because kids found it so oppressive they would actively seek out bizarre ways to dress that were not specifically covered in the dress code. Then, the next year's edition would include those things. Like once we had a kid wear his belt through just one loop, buckled and dangling down the side of his leg. CODE UPDATE: Belt must go through all belt loops and be buckled at the front of the waist."
"There is a school in Ireland in which all the main corridor is just one big circle. It takes about three minutes to walk it all. The rule is that you can only go clockwise through the corridor, if you are leaving a class and have to go to another at the next door on the right, you have to do the full circle.
They enforce this too. Get caught walking counter-clockwise and people will go crazy."
"On my first day of high school, I walked up the stairs between classes. A teacher stopped me and yelled at me, but I did not understand why. She called me down from the stairs and, in the middle, stopped me and made me go back up again.
I eventually surmised that you were only allowed to walk up the stairs if you were all the way on the right, even if there was no one using it. When I asked how I was supposed to know that, I was told that it was 'common sense.' When I argued against that, I was written up for 'defying authority.' Then, she made me walk down the stairs and walk back up 'the right way.'
This sort of nonsense happened all the time at my school. They were crazy. The year after I left, they began locking the doors from the outside to prevent people from leaving."
"In the eighth grade, no Google was allowed for projects. We had this crazy librarian who instituted a school rule that you weren't allowed to Google anything because 'there is too much false information found through Google.'
We had to use this website where each surfer used a personal account that cost the school a ton of money. Nobody could find the information they needed and the library professor drove the already fleeting school budget into the ground. Last I heard, she still works there."
"At my elementary school, we could not walk around at recess in groups larger than three people. Why? Because my friends and I organized an underground 'Yo Mama Battle' between two guys. This stuff was official. We had tickets, VIP passes, and a location set at the volleyball courts. When the day came, a few dozen people would meet up at the spot. Then, a few dozen more. Then, the crowd effect kicked in and the entire fifth and sixth grade was huddled in a circle around the two gentlemen who were battling it out.
The yard aids eventually rolled in and dispersed the whole situation. Kids ran in all directions. How did I get out? I made a bee-line to my teacher's room and started working on homework like a diligent student.
The next day the principal talked to the whole school and enforced this rule. Due to fear that news of 'The Great Yo Mama Battle of 2007' would spread to other schools, administrations all over the district established this rule too. All in all, it was a great way to spend senior year of Elementary School. I would definitely have done 'Yo Mama' again."
"I go to a 140-year-old school in Chicago run by the Jesuit order of priests. No facial hair, no long hair, no jeans or jean styled pants, no cell-phones, no moccasins or moccasin looking things, shirt tucked in at all times, no tight clothing, you get points off if you write god instead of God, The priest I had for a teacher freshman year gave you a JUG (Justice under God - it's what we call detention here) if you didn't do your homework. Only his JUG was different from the schools. I had to sit for a half-hour and copy George Washington's 110 rules of civility. I finished all of them twice. My history teacher formatted tests so that there are 7 impossible questions and you could skip 7 questions so you had to pick out the ones you're not supposed to answer. What the heck is the point of that?? Also, some students here will have 2 or 3 classes at the beginning of the day and then have free periods from 1130-3. But you have to wait until 2 before you're allowed to leave. They wonder why we take every opportunity to destroy things."
"One summer, when I came to visit my dad and stepmother, I found that they had gotten rid of all their old, comfy living room chairs and got shiny leather ones in their stead. I shrug and grab one so I can play some N64 (good times) and my stepmother materializes next to me and asks if I have to sit on a new chair, as she doesn't want "dips in them from sitting". I look at her blankly and then ask if they saved any of the old chairs I could use. 'No' she explains, "they were from my dad's student days and seriously had to go". I tell her that I would like to sit somewhere because their stone floor is too uncomfortable and cold to sit on. My dad ends the Texan stand-off, by inquiring where the problem is. My stepmother explains and he rolls his eyes and tells her that despite the price they are chairs which are meant to be sat on. My stepmother leaves grumbling - not before informing me that I 'better not sit on them for too long'. I get annoyed and tell her that this is my holiday and in the holidays I like to play games and either she sorts out a TV with start plug in my room or she gives me a chair I am allowed to sit in or she coped that I will sit on her chairs. By the last bit, she is pretty much outside the door and I lean back to play my game. Well, throughout the entire rest of my holiday she would watch when I went to the loo or got up to get a drink and dive in to change the chair, so at least they all got sat in equal. I did avoid the living room for all other activities though to keep the peace with my stepmother. I still try not to sit in the living room chairs to this day, even though her holy leather is very sat on by now, with bum shaped indentations and everything..."