Only recently, news of an Australian primary school that had banned clapping at assembly blew up on social media.
Parents, teachers and ex-school students (so, everyone) had an opinion on the subject. Was it a great, inclusive idea for children with sensory disorders, or a terrifying bid to restrict students’ freedom?
But as a thread on Reddit recently revealed, banning clapping is far from the most controversial rule a school has ever enforced.
And if you thought “fairy claps” were outrageous, you better strap yourself in for some of these…
1. Banning the word “boring”.
“The teachers wanted to make school seem fun… by introducing ludicrous rule that make basic conversation a bit trickier.”
2. Forcing students to pay to wear a hat.
“If you wanted to wear a hat, you had to pay $2. Not just $2 for the entire school year, $2 any day you wanted to wear a hat.” (This seems to contravene absolutely everything we know about sun safety, but hey, whatever.)
3. Enforcing a $70 fine for swearing.
"There was a $70 fine for every time somebody used a swear word."
The rule apparently didn't last long, though: "We all started swearing and it got to the point where it was a ridiculous amount of money that they could never rationally expect anyone to pay. Rule was gone in two months."
4. Outlawing high fives.
"Teachers thought it was a 'gang sign'." Um, righto then...
5. Banning Pokemon and Digimon.
This one seems pretty legit - after all, Pokemon led to a whole lot of playground arguments back in the day. But, strangely enough, the school in question didn't ban those games because kids were swapping cards under the table during class time - in fact, it was because Pokemon "promoted evolution".
6. Shoes must be "70% white".
If you're thinking this would be impossible to calculate, you'd be right: "So much manpower was wasted to enforce this baseless rule."
Watch the Mamamia Outloud team discuss school rules regarding girls' skirt lengths.
7. Students have to freeze for five minutes after the bell rings.
"After lunch got over and the bell rang, every student had to freeze in whichever position they were previously in for five minutes. This applied to everyone in the school, including students in grade 12."
8. No open-toed shoes for girls.
This one seems like a pretty legitimate safety concern, but alas - apparently, the justification was that "it was too sexual because toes remind boys of babies which remind them of sex."
9. Refusing to use the phrase "bullet point".
One anti-gun school took things a little too far by prohibiting students from saying the phrase "bullet point", instead choosing to go with the obvious alternative "nugget point". I guess... "dot point" didn't occur to anyone?
What's the silliest school rule you've ever heard?