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Daft school rules

johnnychips

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Were there any rules you considered stupid when you were a kid?

As a parent or teacher, are there any rules you think are ridiculous now?

I remember, as a child of the 70s, I was told by my headmaster (not headteacher) that ‘your hair mustn’t touch your collar‘ and ‘you need to have a shave’; and the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole was not a parody, as we were not allowed to wear red socks.

When I became a teacher, the first (mixed) school I worked at had a rule that prohibited ‘excessive displays of affection between students’, which I assume meant kissing in the yard. I never tried to enforce that - I mean, how do you determine what is excessive without a period of observation which puts your own motives as dubious?

More recently, as a supply teacher, a kid’s mobile phone went off in his bag. I was told by the other students that I should confiscate it and put him in an hour’s detention. I said I couldn’t do that as a supply teacher and all the other kids tut-tutted. At the end of the lesson the kid came up to me - this is a Year 7 11 year-old - thanked me, and cried, with relief I suppose, because I hadn’t done this.

Anyway, I am sure you will have your own serious and not-so-serious anecdotes.
 
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BanburyBlue

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I’m constantly amazed that we keep hearing about schools disciplining children for appearance/uniform issues. For example, children sent home for…
- brightly dyed hair.
- girls skirts too short.
- girls wearing trousers (really!)
etc etc

Did you see that thing in the US recently, where a school Photoshopped the year book if they thought the girls pictures were ‘inappropriate’.

When my kids were at school, the daft rule about ’no sugar’ snacks at break time. The teacher used to check what they had, and confiscated any they deemed ‘sugary’. Then parents getting telling off at home time. I mean, removing one lot of sugary snacks will change a child’s diet.
 

yorksrob

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We had to eat dinner in silence, with loads of "stop talking" from the dinner ladies. Miscreants would be forced to stand up at the table for the rest of the meal.

Also we had these world war II air raid shelters built into the school field, and although they were grass covered mounds, we weren't allowed to play on them.
 

GusB

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We had to eat dinner in silence, with loads of "stop talking" from the dinner ladies. Miscreants would be forced to stand up at the table for the rest of the meal.

Also we had these world war II air raid shelters built into the school field, and although they were grass covered mounds, we weren't allowed to play on them.
Don't get me started on school dinners. If you didn't like a particular kind of vegetable (all of them for me in those days, except peas) you had to make sure you wheeched your plate quickly past the veg-of-the-day lady before she dumped the tasteless, overboiled things on your plate. If they made it onto your plate, you were obliged to eat them even if you had said "no thank you" and were given them anyway. The headmaster would stand there glowering at you until your plate was clear.
 

johnnychips

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We had to eat dinner in silence, with loads of "stop talking" from the dinner ladies. Miscreants would be forced to stand up at the table for the rest of the meal.

Also we had these world war II air raid shelters built into the school field, and although they were grass covered mounds, we weren't allowed to play on them.
Rob, did you have to say ‘Grace’: For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful, Amen?

Then after: For what we have received… etc.

Unfortunately, we said: For what we have received, the pigs have just refused as our leavings went to the farm next door in our village school.
 

yorksrob

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Don't get me started on school dinners. If you didn't like a particular kind of vegetable (all of them for me in those days, except peas) you had to make sure you wheeched your plate quickly past the veg-of-the-day lady before she dumped the tasteless, overboiled things on your plate. If they made it onto your plate, you were obliged to eat them even if you had said "no thank you" and were given them anyway. The headmaster would stand there glowering at you until your plate was clear.

I really liked school dinners.

But we were forced to eat them. I saw a couple vomit on their plate in my time :lol:
 

Cowley

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One of ours in Middle School was “Do not jump across the pond!”
It was in the fourth year garden and we spent every break time doing it. :lol:
 

yorksrob

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Rob, did you have to say ‘Grace’: For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful, Amen?

Then after: For what we have received… etc.

Unfortunately, we said: For what we have received, the pigs have just refused as our leavings went to the farm next door in our village school.

Yes we did.

It was a sort of sung "Thank you for the food we eat...." Thing. That mighty have been infants rather than juniors.
 

Cowley

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I really liked school dinners.

But we were forced to eat them. I saw a couple vomit on their plate in my time :lol:

Where the hell did they get that custard from anyway? To think that there was a company producing stuff like that…
 

Nym

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I’m constantly amazed that we keep hearing about schools disciplining children for appearance/uniform issues. For example, children sent home for…
- brightly dyed hair.
- girls skirts too short.
- girls wearing trousers (really!)
etc etc

Did you see that thing in the US recently, where a school Photoshopped the year book if they thought the girls pictures were ‘inappropriate’.

When my kids were at school, the daft rule about ’no sugar’ snacks at break time. The teacher used to check what they had, and confiscated any they deemed ‘sugary’. Then parents getting telling off at home time. I mean, removing one lot of sugary snacks will change a child’s diet.

Female students getting in trouble for wearing trousers (or male students for wearing skirts) would invoke an absolute excrement storm if I where involved.
 

johnnychips

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Where the hell did they get that custard from anyway? To think that there was a company producing stuff like that…
@Cowley I started this thread about school rules, but I wonder if it’s worth having a separate thread about school dinners!

And don’t get me started about ‘semolina’ with a dollop of jam in the middle. Does anyone under 50 know what it is? :D
 

_toommm_

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We had a 'third layer' rule. When I went to comprehensive school from 2011 - 2016, we had polo shirt, jumper, and coat as layers. If we wanted to put on our coat, we couldn't put it directly over the polo shirt, the jumper had to go on first. They were rather strict about it, and it wasn't even a private, nor a very well-regarded school.
 

Gloster

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I spent the years normally devoted to education at private schools. One of the characteristics of such establishments, particularly the public schools (ages 13-18), is that they each do their best to foster an ‘Us and Them’ attitude by having their own peculiarities and quirks which marks it out as different to other schools(*) and somehow better. There were a number of odd rules, particularly as regards which bits of the school were out of bounds, which in some cases varied at different times of the day. However, the main thing was the names that were given to things, both physical and not. This could include such mundane objects as the chest-of-drawers that we kept our clothes in. Our school was therefore better than any other school (*) because, amongst other things, we kept our clothes in a XXXXX (I am not going to reveal the word as it would reveal the school’s identity.)

* - To a public school and its inmates, any establishment (such as a state school) that doesn’t charge fees for the pupils isn’t really a school. However, any public school is willing to cooperate with other public schools in order to gain advantages over the hordes of people who didn’t have the privilege of having parents who could fork out extortionate fees for...well some advantage or other. And you wondered how the Government got like it is.
 

BanburyBlue

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Female students getting in trouble for wearing trousers (or male students for wearing skirts) would invoke an absolute excrement storm if I where involved.
Agreed. Some of these head teachers need to look at the calendar and realise it’s the 21st century.
 

GusB

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On the subject of school rules, one of our maths teachers used to make us copy the school rules as a punishment exercise (punny eccy), with the number of times you had to write them out being dictated by the severity of the crime you had committed. I suppose it was slightly more interesting than having to write lines, but it was possible to do those without thinking too much about it. There were some kids who would rather just have been belted instead.
 

Shimbleshanks

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We had a completely mad rule banning us from using ballpoint pens for all work in school or homework. We had to use fountain pens with ink (remember them?) instead. Which meant that from the age of 10 to 17 I went about with my fingers and other parts of my anatomy permanently dyed dark blue.
 

Nym

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We had a completely mad rule banning us from using ballpoint pens for all work in school or homework. We had to use fountain pens with ink (remember them?) instead. Which meant that from the age of 10 to 17 I went about with my fingers and other parts of my anatomy permanently dyed dark blue.
Was the colour of ink dictated on them?

There may be some school paperwork of mine, and in my more recent years, test and commissioning reports (for a particularly homophobic client) filled in using a hot pink glitter pen while clearly exhibiting my Unite pride lanyard while listening to Gaydio on the job...

Yes, I used many different colours in school, particularly in primary when they said, "you can't use red or blue", OK, so I used Green, Orange, etc rather than the black they wanted.
 

yorksrob

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Rob, did you have to say ‘Grace’: For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful, Amen?

Then after: For what we have received… etc.

Unfortunately, we said: For what we have received, the pigs have just refused as our leavings went to the farm next door in our village school.

"For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful"

Yes, that ratings a bell for older school !
 

johnnychips

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There were some kids who would rather just have been belted instead.
We could go on to corporal punishment if you like. The only times I had it were at primary school: once a light slap on the leg for going ‘miss, miss, miss’ too often; and a ruler on the hand for karate-chopping a piece of polystyrene in half.
 

Bayum

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Depends on the mood I’m in and whether my class p*ss me off as to what rules I put in place for the day!
I don’t think I have any ‘silly’ or stupid rules. I have two toilet passes - one boy and one girl, mainly for safeguarding so I know if a child is out of the classroom if the pass is gone. Lots of expectations of behaviour etc
 

GusB

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Depends on the mood I’m in and whether my class p*ss me off as to what rules I put in place for the day!
I don’t think I have any ‘silly’ or stupid rules. I have two toilet passes - one boy and one girl, mainly for safeguarding so I know if a child is out of the classroom if the pass is gone. Lots of expectations of behaviour etc
I would never have equated "token working" with being excused to go to the loo at school! ;)
 

Bayum

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Rob, did you have to say ‘Grace’: For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful, Amen?

Then after: For what we have received… etc.

Unfortunately, we said: For what we have received, the pigs have just refused as our leavings went to the farm next door in our village school.
I teach in a Catholic school, so we say prayers four or five times a day. My own childhood school use the prayer you’ve quoted but we use:
‘Bless us, O’ God as we sit together,
Bless the food we eat today, bless the hands that make the food, bless us Oh God, Amen’. We have a prayer after lunch when we come back into class as well.

I would never have equated "token working" with being excused to go to the loo at school! ;)
Any way to get train life in there!
 

johnnychips

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We had a completely mad rule banning us from using ballpoint pens for all work in school or homework. We had to use fountain pens with ink (remember them?) instead. Which meant that from the age of 10 to 17 I went about with my fingers and other parts of my anatomy permanently dyed dark blue.
And there were cartridges that stopped you having to mess about with refilling your fountain pen with Quink Ink - I suppose I should say that there were other brands available, but I can’t think of any. Then in about 1975 you could get a pen called a ‘Stylo’ from WH Smith’s, whose writing looked like a fountain pen‘s. These were accepted by our teachers - even the ‘old guard’ - with surprisingly little resistance.
 

Bayum

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On the subject of school rules, one of our maths teachers used to make us copy the school rules as a punishment exercise (punny eccy), with the number of times you had to write them out being dictated by the severity of the crime you had committed. I suppose it was slightly more interesting than having to write lines, but it was possible to do those without thinking too much about it. There were some kids who would rather just have been belted instead.
If work is done in the wrong place, I.e. missing pages, 11th November between the 3rd and 5th, the piece is done again in the correct place. Funnily enough, within two weeks every child was careful to make sure they had the right page!
 

Sm5

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I teach in a Catholic school, so we say prayers four or five times a day. My own childhood school use the prayer you’ve quoted but we use:
‘Bless us, O’ God as we sit together,
Bless the food we eat today, bless the hands that make the food, bless us Oh God, Amen’. We have a prayer after lunch when we come back into class as well.


Any way to get train life in there!
My little one amazed me with the prayer at her school…
rub a dub dub, thank you for the grub.. yaaay god, amen.


School was a bit harsh for us.. (1980’s Manchester, Headmaster was an ex-serviceman from WW2 with some right stories).

once a kid was messing and got the whole class detention at the end of the next day.
Same kid, another class, same day again got us detention for an hour also next day.

next day, the teachers arranged it so we had 2 hour detention, from one class to the next., now approaching 530pm, we were taken to the hall to watch the student in question get caned.

It was quite harsh, as he made the kid stand on the stage holding the cane and stroke it whilst we all sat down. Once we sat he made him bend over hold a book on a desk and left him there talking to us about what he did any why. The kid was heavily stressed and crying, and the teacher told him to shut up, and told the kid to say when he was ready to be caned, which was really quite a wreck, when he did the head master made him count out each time to 5 asking him after each one how much it hurt.

We didnt get home till 6pm, and next day was a mix of some kids getting told off at home for being late, and some parents coming into school to complain…

Headmaster made the parents wait in a line in the rain in the school yard saying he would only see them one at a time, so its up to each parent how long he wants the others to get wet….

Seeing him discipline the other teachers was interesting too. One assembly a teacher was distracted by something, he asked him to retrieve a book from his office, teacher went off to get it. One his return, he passed the book to him, which he put to one side, continued his talk, and then at the end, called him out and asked him to return the book once again without touching it. He then dismissed the classes, leaving the one class for that teacher, who on his return said, on this occasion you can blame your teacher for stealing your playtime when he should have been listening…and promptly canceled it.

Occasionally if we were messing in our desks, and not aware of the teacher, he would either slam the desk in our fingers, or sit on the desk trapping them.

You’d never get that today.

That said punishments stood out because they were rare, and with hindsight that was why.

That said there was one kid who was thick as two planks, a bit of a nutter and got into a few fights. I recall him saying he wanted to join the army several times, hated school refused to study and stood up to the teachers. Most of the others thought he’d end up in jail before he reached 18. He was the only one on the right side of the headmaster despite his goings on, years later I caught up with him, he told me the Headmaster put him to various junior camps, he ended up a reservist and later a career soldier both UK and UN, served in Yugoslav wars, Rwanda, Belize as well as the gulf war, he credits all that to the Headmaster putting him on the right track and turning him around.
 
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Ostrich

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No jumping on the back of a metal chair and using it to slide along the waxed floor in the classroom.

You could get up a fair rate of knots doing that, and I remember one of my classmates failed to stop once and went through the front of a glass stationery cupboard .... o_O
He got a public "6 of the best" for that (I'm going back nearly 60 years, mind you, different era then). Such punishments were very rare, and it was certainly a deterrent.

And no playing table-top football with old pennies and a sixpence during break-time.

A particularly authoritarian prefect gave me a detention for that; because we had Saturday morning school, detentions were Saturday afternoon. An hour sweeping up rubbish on the outdoor sports courts, from memory.
 
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