From strict dress code regulations to those bizarre rules you learned about midway through the school year because you definitely didn't read the handbook, schools have some truly bonkers guidelines students are expected to follow.
1. No jackets allowed:
"We couldn’t wear winter clothing (jackets, hats, gloves) in class because they were 'gang symbols.' This was a small farm town in Wisconsin. Besides obviously having no gangs, it was fucking cold — even indoors — in the winter. But clearly wearing warm clothing is something only gangs do."
"No jackets. They think we may hide things like phones or bombs there."
2. The five-minute rule:
"They decided everything bad happened in the last five minutes of lunch, so it got five minutes shorter each year. Also, any group larger than five people had to be up to no good, so no groups over five were allowed."
3. No fist bumps:
"No fist bumps. The reason for this was that kids might accidentally punch the other person in the face."
4. No standing in circles:
"In grade 8, we were banned from standing in circles at recess because of potential scandalous activity going on in the middle. We stood in squares instead."
5. Absolutely no hugs:
"Our school banned hugging because it was 'erotic.' As you can imagine, the boys at school started giving each other very sensual high-fives for the rest of the year."
6. No backpacks allowed:
"No backpacks to class, but purses were allowed. Girls started carrying around purses big enough to be considered a backpack, and guys got pissed so they started carrying purses, too."
7. No salt and pepper:
"My middle school banned salt and pepper from being used in the cafeteria, claiming it was too unhealthy. They still sold Mountain Dew in the vending machines, though."
8. Everyone MUST have a date to the dance:
"I attended an all-girls high school. You had to bring a male date to dances or could not attend at all. No going solo or with your girl friends. So backward."
9. The "no underwear" rule:
"You got in trouble if you wore just a Hanes white T-shirt after school because 'you were in your underwear.'"
10. Everyone in a fight gets suspended:
"If you were involved in a fight, you got suspended. While it sounds reasonable, context didn’t matter. I got suspended once not for throwing a single punch, but because someone knocked the books out of my hand and punched me in the face when I reached down to grab them. Yes, I got suspended for walking down the hallway and getting punched in the face unprovoked."
11. All beds must be made by 9 a.m. daily:
"My first-year dorm at a religious college had a list of rules that filled a legal-sized sheet of paper. It included being in your room for forced study time every night, keeping your towels straight on the towel rack, and making your bed by 9 a.m. every day, including weekends. So if you wanted to sleep in on Saturday morning, you were supposed to get up, make your bed, and then go back to sleep on top of the bed."
12. Matching shirts aren't allowed:
"We weren't allowed to wear too many matching shirts, because we could be a gang. This was in regards to a kid with cancer wanting to make a bunch of shirts."
13. The bathroom privilege rule:
"In my first year of high school, we had a terrible vandalism problem. The bathrooms would be broken in various ways almost constantly. In a stroke of pure genius, the staff decided that any bathroom that was vandalized would be closed for the week on first offense, the quarter for second, and permanently on the third offense. They took back the rule after closing every bathroom on day one."
14. The punishment for skipping class:
"Suspension was a punishment for skipping school. Don't want to come to school? Well now you can't, until next week."
15. No cough drops:
"We weren't allowed to have cough drops in our elementary because the school considered them 'drugs.'"
16. Hall pass limitations:
"We were all given these ugly planners at the beginning of the school year with a few pages at the back filled with 'hall passes'. If you didn't have your planner or if all your boxes were filled, you weren't allowed to go to the bathroom. And no, you couldn't buy a new planner or borrow one from your friend. The only excuse you had was a doctor's note, but no doctor is going to give a note for an upset stomach caused by the school lunch."
17. Girls and boys can't sit together:
"A girl and a boy weren't allowed to sit together. The school employed 'disciplinarians' to roam around and monitor this 'activity.' If found, you would get a reprimand, if it was a repeat offense, you got sent to the principal's office, and if it continued, your parents were involved."
18. The hair accessory ban:
"You couldn’t wear ANY kind of head items that were 'gang colors' (red or blue), including hair bands, scrunchies, beads in your hair, ribbons, ANYTHING. I got in trouble for wearing a blue hair band with white polka dots."
19. And finally, nobody can score 100%:
"We had percentage grades, and if you earned 100% in a class for the semester you would be dinged down to 99%, 'because only God is perfect.' As far as I know this was not an official rule and I only know of it happening once to the girl who eventually became our valedictorian, but that was the reasoning she was given. It was a Catholic girls high school and there were a lot of other weird, strictly enforced rules, but that rule will always take the cake for me."