25 Completely Unfair But Still Enforced School Rules

Posted by , Updated on November 27, 2023

In almost every form of society, there are rules implemented in order to protect the community. Similar to how governments create laws, different organizations create rules that their members must follow.

For the most part, having certain rules and laws does keep people from acting out in a negative manner; however, there are quite a few regulations that just don’t make sense, especially in schools. 

The years of elementary and high school are some of the most important times in a child’s life. It’s during this period where adolescents start to truly become themselves.

Every person is unique, which makes enforcing some of these school rules completely unfair. What may be no big deal to one student could be the end of the world for another. (And let’s face it, sometimes rules are just made to be broken.) 


Writing as a Punishment


There was nothing worse than forgetting to put your name on your homework in elementary school. This would often result in having to write your name repeatedly on a piece of paper.

Many schools across the nation still use writing as a punishment. This rule can leave a negative effect on students and potentially taint the way they view writing altogether.

A better punishment would be taking off a few points from their homework grade or giving them a timeout.


Good Grades

Good gradeshttps://www.quora.com/Why-do-schools-in-most-states-of-the-USA-enforce-strict-shaving-policy-on-high-school-male-students

The majority of students strive to be academically successful. Not only is there often pressure from the parents to succeed, but schools also set expectations for their students.

If a student isn’t where the school thinks they should be academically, they have the right to hold them back a year. This extreme pressure to pass can ultimately leave a child feeling helpless and lost.


Facial Hair


It’s completely natural for a young man to start developing facial hair sometime during their high school years. For many people, puberty is just an awkward phase that is a part of life.

To make matters worse, some male students are getting called out for having facial hair. Not only is it embarrassing for them, but they could get in trouble because a lot of schools have a strict “no facial hair” rule.


Dodge Ball

dodge ballhttps://www.foxnews.com/us/dodgeball-ban-at-new-hampshire-school-district-after-bullying

Dodge ball (also called dodgeball) is a team sport where the object of the game is to avoid getting hit by the ball while trying to hit other opponents. In order to win, a team must eliminate all of the other team’s players.

The game is a widely popular sport amongst the younger community. However, public schools in New Hampshire have banned the game because it is considered a human target sport. They also said dodge ball could lead to unwanted violence and bullying.


10-Minute Mile


There are some aspects of high school that you just wish you could forget. For many students, it was trying to run a 10-minute mile in gym class.

Everyone is unique and has different athletic abilities from one another. For this reason, grading a student off of a particular mile time seems outrageous. Yet many schools still enforce that their students run a 10-minute mile in order to receive a good grade in gym class.


School Uniforms


More and more public schools across the nation are starting to implement a school uniform. Among other rules, they hope that enforcing school uniforms will help reduce clothing-related peer pressure and create uniformity.

However, critics are arguing that school uniforms take away from students’ individualities and freedom of expression. Also if a student’s uniform isn’t up to the standard, he or she could be denied entry into the school. 


Don’t Forget to Smile

Smiling kidshttps://typicalstudent.org/hot/students-life/insane-school-rules-students-must-follow-worldwide

Let’s face it, the majority of people aren’t happy 100% of the time. So they shouldn’t have to fake a smile just to please others. Yet, the Northern Lebanon School District believes every student should have a smile on their face while walking through the hallways.

The school district publicly enforces this rule. If a student is seen looking unhappy, they will get “invited” to the school office to talk about their problems.


Number Cubes

dice https://tfln.co/31-ridiculous-school-rules-students-forced-follow/4/

Imagine getting in trouble as a kid for not calling a set of dice “number cubes.” For many students, this is a reality.

Some schools have decided to ban the term “dice” because they consider it a word associated with gambling. If a student is heard calling it by the wrong name, they could potentially get sent to detention or written up.

Many parents think this is completely unfair.


Red Ink

Red Penhttps://time.com/31960/school-bans-teachers-from-using-red-ink-because-its-too-mean/

Now, this is a rule for the teachers instead of the students. For some reason, the color red is associated with negative qualities when used for grading papers. That’s why schools in the United Kingdom have decided to ban teachers from using red pens when correcting a student’s work.

Teachers are encouraged to use more of a calming color such as blue, green, and purple. They believe this will lower student’s stress when they see the corrections on their coursework.


Flamin’ Hot Cheetos


The insanely popular snack Flamin’ Hot Cheetos was originally released in 1991 by Frito-Lays. Over time, it has become one of the company’s most successful products. However, in recent years there has been some speculation over the snack’s nutritional value.

Several schools in California, New Mexico, and Illinois have even gone as far as to ban the food altogether. If a student is caught with this spicy snack, it will be immediately confiscated. 



French Frieshttps://metro.co.uk/2011/10/12/tomato-ketchup-banned-in-primary-schools-in-france-181893/

For many Americans, ketchup is a staple condiment in the majority of family households. This is why it’s so shocking to hear that France banned ketchup in their primary schools except when it is served with french fries, which is usually served to students once a week.

School officials announced the reason behind the ban was to help keep the younger generation interested in traditional cuisine




There is something so magical about the holiday season. All the lights, decorations, and warm atmospheres make for a feel-good time of year. However, some school districts have decided not to partake in the holiday season in an effort to stay completely neutral.

Even certain Christmas colors like red and green are purposely not used during the winter season to avoid offending anyone.



school buss https://www.educationnext.org/do-schools-begin-too-early/

A nationally representative dataset recorded that the average start time for most schools in the nation is 8:00 a.m. That means most students are waking up no later than 5:30 a.m. to ensure that they have enough time to get ready, eat breakfast, and head to school.

If a student is running late, they could face consequences. If someone is tardy too frequently, or more than a specific number of times, they might get expelled. 


Missing School

missing schoolhttps://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab5_14.asp

It is very important to attend class, but sometimes life happens and you have to miss a few days. Perhaps a student falls sick or their family plans a vacation. A student is typically allowed three to five unexcused absences before they start to face consequences.

The average school year in the United States lasts around 180 days. This means a student is only allowed to miss one day roughly every two to three months.

As a result, many students attend school even if they feel sick just so they won’t get in trouble. 


Snacks in Class


A few weeks before school starts, students receive their class schedules in the mail. This piece of paper organizes their entire day up to the exact time they will get to eat. For the lucky students, their lunch period is around noon.

However, for many other students, their lunch period could be anywhere between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. which makes for very awkward eating times. The worse part about it is that snacks are prohibited in many schools. This results in students going hungry for hours before they get a chance to eat.


Silent Study Halls

study hallhttps://bethebestteacher.com/how-to-run-a-study-hall

Study halls are implemented in a school’s schedule as a way for students to get a headstart on homework. Almost all study halls are required to be absolutely silent.

This does ensure that everyone stays focused; however, once a student has completed all their work, they are often left feeling bored and restless.

Allowing sections of the study hall for quiet talking or playing soft music could provide a relaxing environment for students and teachers.


Yoga Pants

Yoga Pantshttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-31/how-america-became-a-nation-of-yoga-pants

Lululemon was the first clothing brand that sold yoga pants back in 1998. They were created as a comfortable piece of clothing women could wear while exercising. It wasn’t until the early 2010s that they grew popular as everyday casual wear.

It was also around this time when schools started to ban these tight black athletic pants. They argued that yoga pants were simply inappropriate for a school setting.


Multicolored Hair

Colored Hairhttps://www.urbo.com/content/of-the-most-outrageous-school-rules-ever-enforced/

Around 57% of public schools in the nation forbid students to dye their hair. Some principles even go as far as to ask parents for childhood pictures as proof of their real hair color.

Schools are trying to justify their actions by saying multicolored hair is a big distraction. However, critics argue that letting a young adult dye their hair is a great way for them to express their identity and creativity.


Cell Phones

Cell Phoneshttps://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/10-bizarre-school-rules-from-all-over-the-world-402810/

We are currently living in an era of social media, internet, and cell phones. For many people, having their cell phones constantly by their side is a necessity. However, if a student gets caught on their cell phone, they are punished.

Many people agree that cell phones should be limited in school but that they should not be banned. Smartphones are now like mini computers and, if used in the right way, can enhance academic success.


Best Friends

best friendshttps://brightside.me/wonder-curiosities/10-bizarre-school-rules-from-all-over-the-world-402810/

It has recently surfaced that some schools in England are starting to ban students from having best friends in school. They are claiming that tight-knit friend groups lead to other children feeling left out.

While it is a good idea to learn how to be friends with everyone, some people just don’t get along. Critics are arguing that having a best friend brings not only joy but lifelong value and support.


Chewing Gum

chewing gumhttp://www.chewinggumfacts.com/chewing-gum-benefits/health-benefits-of-gum-chewing/

Chewing gum in class should not lead to getting detention. Yet, thousands of students get in trouble every day for chowing down on their favorite minty treat. This school rule is very unfair.

Actually, scientific research shows how beneficial chewing gum can be. It can improve a person’s memory while reducing stress. It also helps improve oral health and manage weight.


Five Minutes Between Classes

Walking to classhttps://www.buzzfeed.com/hanifahrahman/bizarre-school-rules-thatll-make-you-say-what-the-hell

There are many exciting things about leaving elementary school and going into middle school. Students are given a bit more freedom and a locker to store their belongings. They are also given a set time to get from class to class.

For many students across the country, that time lasts only five minutes. As a result, students are rushing (and sometimes running) to get to class on time. Sometimes students have their carry around all their books because they don’t have enough time to stop at their locker. 


Bake Sales

Bake Salehttps://www.foxnews.com/health/bake-sales-to-be-banned-in-massachusetts-schools

In 2012, the state of Massachusetts made the announcement that they would ban bake sales in all public schools. They explained that even though bake sales are a great way to raise extra money, they ultimately promote unhealthy eating.

A majority of students and parents were outraged by the new rule. Mostly because the money raised from these bake sales went towards expenses like athletic equipment, class trips, and enhanced learning. 


Exposed Shoulders


It may come as a surprise to hear that most students aren’t allowed to show their shoulders. This rule is implemented because, supposedly, bare shoulders are a potential distraction to students and could cause them to lose focus.

However, many students and parents are trying to contest this rule. They are saying that sometimes the temperature outside is too hot for a full-sleeved shirt and they should have the right to wear what makes them feel comfortable.


Limited Bathroom Breaks

Bathroom Breakshttps://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2018/03/29/21/13/stop-holding-it-in-4-bodily-functions-you-should-let-out

Going to the bathroom is a natural bodily function. Nobody should have the right to tell you when you can or cannot go. It’s just something that should not be regulated.

However, many schools across the nation have rules that limit the time you can spend in the restroom or the number of times you receive permission to go.

Holding your bladder isn’t just unfair but it’s also dangerous. If you wait too long to urinate, it could weaken the bladder muscles over time and cause serious problems.

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