The Dumbest School Rules We Can’t Believe Are Real

Schools are supposed to be places where learning and growth can take place, but unfortunately, there are sometimes silly rules that people can’t get their heads around.

Many agree they can find something they don’t like about their former schools. From dress codes to rules about what students can and cannot bring to school, here are some of the dumbest rules enforced by schools, according to Reddit:

Playing Cards

teens playing cards

Playing cards at lunch was prohibited because it ‘promoted gambling,'” one user called DavyJonesArmoire said.

Groups With More Than 4 Members Not Allowed

group of happy students

Students were not allowed to gather in groups of more than four people due to the fear of creating a ‘gang mentality,’ another user, Leehk1, shared.

Banned Backpacks

student saying no

In one user’s experience, students were prohibited from bringing backpacks or bags onto the school campus, requiring them to carry all of their belongings in their hands.

This posed a particular issue for those students who had lockers located further away from their classes.

Not Allowed to Use The Toilets

boy needs bathroom

In one user’s experience, the school had locked the only boys’ bathroom due to someone writing “hi” or something similar on the wall in Sharpie.

They kept the door locked until one of the boys wet himself, and his parents threatened to sue.

Snow Rules

school bus driving in snow

At a grade school in Minnesota, where snow falls for half the year, students were not allowed to use the playground equipment when it was snowy.

If they played with or approached the snow, they could be punished as it was forbidden. The commenter was punished for “sitting in the snow.”

During recess, all that was left to do was mill around the blacktop for half an hour. Needless to say, students were not happy with this rule.

Toilet Paper Rationing

no toilet paper

One user, stabbyspacehorse, shared her story about toilet paper rationing in 1997/98.

At a high school, the dean implemented a rule restricting students to only a few pieces of 1-ply toilet paper upon entering the girls’ bathroom.

Their ration would be cut down further if any was found on the floor. If they wanted to do more than pee and asked for more, they were told to save it for home.

Toilet Paper Rationing

girl holding toilet paper

After some “unexpected bowel incidents” and period messes, their fellow classmates had to beg for more toilet paper.

The dean would pass some over the door but wouldn’t give more than she thought necessary.

Eventually, after a week of angry parents calling the school and the school board, this rule was overturned, and students were granted unlimited access.

As a celebratory display, some pupils TPed the dean’s car.

No Beaded Jewelry

child wearing jewelry

“No beads. Apparently, they thought beaded jewelry was gang-related?” one user, PatSmiles17, joked.

Some schools ban jewelry with beads, claiming that these are gang-related items. This rule is deemed by many as completely ridiculous and unnecessary, as jewelry with beads was a popular fashion statement among young people.

No Jewelry

teenager wearing bracelet

Another person could relate to the “no jewelry” rule: “They outlawed bracelets because there was an article in a magazine somewhere saying they advertised what s**ual acts you were open for based on their color,” user billbaperky said. “Then someone tried to outlaw wristwatches for the same reason.”

Sign In and Out of The Bathroom


At a private school in New Jersey, the faculty were required to record their restroom use by logging in and out on a Google Sheet.

This rule was likely implemented to ensure everyone remained productive during the working day and did not take too many restroom breaks.

No Jackets Allowed

student wearing jacket

One user commented about the time they were wearing the school uniform jacket in the classroom during winter, which had no heating.

When the teacher asked them to take it off, they refused due to feeling cold.

As a result, the teacher sent them to the headmistress as punishment.

Not Allowed to Say “OK”

posh school

In a Junior school in the UK during the 1980s, students were not allowed to use the word ‘OK’ as it was deemed slang and inappropriate for their age.

Additionally, they were required to carry combs and handkerchiefs at all times and keep their hands out of their pockets as it was considered slovenly.

According to the user, the students were between 5-13 years old.

No Farting

bad smell

At school, students were not allowed to fart in class. If they felt the need to do so, they had to ask for permission to go to the restroom but were often denied.

To prevent this situation from occurring, students were discouraged from farting at all.

Must Wear Student IDs

college students with student ids

In one student’s last year of high school, the institution issued a rule which mandated that all students had to wear their student IDs. If the ID was not being worn, they were required to purchase another one right away.

This was done as an effort to combat potential school shootings after previous incidents had happened in the same year. The purpose of this was to identify who was a student and who wasn’t in order to ascertain any malicious intent.

However, many of the previous shooters had been students themselves. Hence, the rule was met with some resistance.

Punished For Being Late

late for school

The students were punished for being late to class by the new principal’s “morning round-up” rule.

Anyone arriving to class after the last bell was required to go to the cafeteria and listen to a lecture about punctuality.

This took an extra 15 minutes, meaning that they were much later to class than necessary.

Needless to say, this rule was not popular among students, teachers, or parents. The principal did not last long in the position after implementing this rule, according to the commenter.


happy school student

Some of these rules are very dumb, and it’s no wonder they sparked outrage among students. From silly rules such as not being allowed to say ‘OK’ to ones related to toilet management, these rules definitely raised a lot of questions from students and teachers.

Even though some are still in place today, many have been overturned due to student protests or school boards realizing just how ridiculous they actually are.

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This article The Dumbest Rules Enforced By Schools We Can’t Believe Are Real was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.

I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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