Schools enact bans for many reasons. One Connecticut school barred parents from having lunch with their children so students can practice their social skills and learn independence. In 2004, the French National Assembly famously voted to ban Muslim head scarves and other religious symbols from public schools to “to guarantee total equality”.
Behind these actions are seriously deliberated discussions involving pedagogy, discipline and government. But many times, they seem completely random. In fact, based on this Reddit thread, they can be downright absurd (and hilarious).
Here are our top picks:
1. A game called “Get Down Mr President”
“… everyone in an area would put their fingers to their ears like the secret service and the last person to do it would be tackled. It could start at any moment and would end up in a dogpile in the hall.”
2. Gel pens
Banned because seven-year-old girls were sucking on them “so their tongues turned into different colours” and they could trade them with each other. The girl who sucked the most would get sick and and throw up.
“The kids would randomly start a round of applause and just…keep going. It was unnerving. It was disrupting lessons, assemblies. Sometimes they would applause in the dining hall or corridors. Still don’t know how this trend started or why.”
4. Hair flips
“Circa 2003, long skater hair was very trendy. [Students] were flipping their hair out of their eyes/face. An 8th-grade history teacher went on a vendetta under the reasoning that hair flips pollute the air with ‘hair dirt’. Kids started getting detentions.”
Students in year 10 started smacking each other on the foreheads with rulers. “Suddenly everyone was a knight with a sword. Staff kept confiscating them but rulers are cheap so kids just went out and bought them by the handful.
“They ended up banning rulers. At a school. The kids who were taking geometry that year and needed them had to be assigned rulers at the beginning of class and then turn them back in.”
6. Saying ‘sorry’
“We legit had a half an hour lecture in assembly because our year apparently said ‘sorry’ too often … I’m English.”
7. Rubber bands
“Kids would buy packs of rubber bands, tie the rubber bands together, making like a big rubber band chain. It became a contest to see who could get a chain of rubber bands to stretch the farthest…One kid got so many rubber bands, they could stretch it the length of the school building.”
8. Sunflower seeds
“I’m 60. When I was in 3rd-grade sunflower seeds were banned. I was told the teachers thought they were drugs.”
9. Fried chicken
“..for some reason it became ridiculously popular [at] lunch in cafeteria, and for some reason the school administration decided to ban it.”
10. Water bottles during state exams
“We poked holes on the end of the caps and used them as water guns during our lunch, and afterwards if we had time to spare.”