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Silly School Rules That Backfired Beautifully

There are plenty of rules to follow in school, from strict dress code regulations to senseless time management techniques. And while some of them help people find direction, others are… just weird and silly.

So students shouldn’t waste their energy thinking about how to break or change them. Sometimes you can just wait it out. If the rule is as ridiculous as you think, there’s a big chance it will backfire. And there are plenty of examples to back this up.

This happened in the late 80’s high school. The rule was no shorts. A classmate came for an exam with basketball shorts that were below her knees.

The teacher at the time made her go home and change. She came back in a micro mini skirt and finished her exam with no issues whatsoever.

There was a strict “no visible bra strap” rule at my school (even if you were wearing a tank top with thick straps, even if it accidentally fell to the side as bra straps do). There were no exceptions.

Being the clever teenager I was, I took my bra off whenever I got yelled at and put it in my backpack.

The bottom floor of my secondary school was a square with corridors all the way around. After some incident where a kid got knocked over, they implemented a one-way system.

Unfortunately, they were Very Strict in enforcing it. You couldn’t just turn around if you accidentally walked past your class. The school seemed very proud of their new rule until everyone started showing up late for class because they had to do extra laps of the bottom floor.

My mother was an elementary school teacher. For years the teachers’ “be quiet” signal held up one hand in a peace sign. The principal explained that she had a new sign at a staff meeting. Hers stood for “ears Listening, eyes Looking, lips Locked.” She then made an “L” with her index finger and thumb and held it in front of her forehead.

This principal didn’t take criticism well, so none of the staff members were willing to tell her that she was making the Loser Sign. And so the new sign was taught to the children. Most of them made fun of it. Some of the more sensitive ones got upset by it. Overall it was a disaster, and within a few weeks, they went back to the peace sign.

I went to a strict catholic school with uniforms. The kids in 4th-8th grade had to wear belts until we got a new principal who made it mandatory for all the kids in the school to wear belts. Many bathroom accidents from kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders later (and complaints from parents, of course), the principal rescinded her addition to the dress code.

More recently, this principal was fired for embezzling money from the school.

At my old school, you could get suspended for most minor infractions. This included a wide list of things. However, if you witnessed other people’s bad behavior, you would get suspended along with them.

So this ended up with everyone constantly working together to hide the troublemakers at all costs; otherwise, just about everyone would be suspended.

The school staff sometimes takes it too far when it comes to dress codes. This happened in my brother’s school too, and he wasn’t happy about it.

I remember my brother wearing a skirt to school for a while when they changed the dress code so boys could no longer wear shorts. No one could say anything to him. 

At school, no going to the bathroom during lunch. You can imagine how many teachers got mad about students always needing to go to the bathroom during class.

By the way, they made the rule because someone stole a stall door during lunch, so they thought that the students couldn’t be trusted. I don’t know how making them go in class could have improved the situation, though. 

To make moving between classes more efficient, they had designated up and down stairways. But they didn’t consider that the stairs were located at the ends of the very long corridors.

This meant that it was impossible to get to your next class on time. Because of this, no one bothered trying to get to class on time and just blamed the stairway rule.

They said no to backpacks or bags. Teachers were mad when you didn’t have any supplies. What were we supposed to do? Stuff it all in our shirts or pants?

Also, as a girl, it was even more difficult as a lot of clothing they wore didn’t have any pockets. They did not think that one through. I remember getting in trouble for carrying my purse when the rule initially took place. They eventually lightened it so we could have small bags.

It was the late 80s and a no shorts rule was a big one at my hometown high school. The girls, of course, could wear mini skirts. The football team protested this by wearing mini skirts to school.

The rule was changed not long after. Everyone could wear shorts so long as they were no more than 4 inches above the knee when kneeling, and skirts had to follow the same rule.

Back in the early 00s, my high school implemented a policy that you had to wear your ID tag. If you didn’t have it on, you were sent home. No exceptions!

So many students “lost” their ID tag to go grab food or skip a class. We were the only graduating class to wear them all four years. The policy ended soon after. It was a disaster. 

This happened a long while back, but my school forbade the color pink because many students were wearing it one October, and they thought it was a “gang” thing.

It was for breast cancer awareness month. The rule didn’t go well for them, and the backlash they received matched the stupidity of the rule.

In chemistry class, we had plastic bottles of distilled water which could be squeezed to produce a small jet of water. We used to spray one another’s crotches to make it look like you’d peed yourself.

To counter this, our teacher introduced a punishment to anyone caught spraying or having been sprayed. Hence, if you could spray someone and get away with it, they would have wet trousers and have to write excerpts from a Martin Luther King speech. Needless to say, the punishment for being sprayed was quickly abolished.


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