Schools all over the world have different rules implemented in order to help keep their students in line. It’s quite similar to why governments pass laws. Having certain rules and laws in place keep societies civilized while maintaining an organized community. Studies have shown that people are less likely to break the rules when punishments are implemented.
However, some punishments that are given in schools are quite unbelievable; some end up leaving a negative effect on students. The years from kindergarten all the way through high school are some of the most memorable times in a child’s life. It’s a defining period where adolescents begin to truly become themselves.
Read on for a list of the 25 most unbelievable school punishments ever given.
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When a person gets arrested, it’s usually due to breaking the law for stealing, driving under the influence, or assault. That’s why it was so shocking when a student was arrested for simply burping in 2011.
The teacher called the police and had him handcuffed and hauled down to their local juvenile hall. Luckily, there were no charges placed against him and he was able to leave the jail after a few hours.
Teachers in the late 19th century were encouraged to punish their students by hitting them on their backside with a wooden paddle. The act of spanking a person with a paddle became one of the most popular forms of punishment over the years.
In 1977, this painful method of discipline was banned throughout the country. Yet, some parents still give teachers permission to hit their children if they are misbehaving.
Attending prom is a right of passage for all young people that attend high school. It’s more than just a dance; it’s a special night where teenagers can dress up and celebrate their adolescence.
For one Mississippi student, her prom experience was anything but special. Her high school held a fake prom specifically for her, her female partner, and five other students with disabilities. This homophobic punishment led to a lawsuit where the school was ultimately found guilty.
The story about a 6-year-old girl from Jacksonville, Florida, being committed to a mental health facility shocked the Internet. Martina Falk, the little girl’s mother, told the media that her daughter was traumatized and does not understand why the school took such extreme measures.
School officials claimed that the 6-year-old was so uncontrollable they didn’t know what else to do. The decision was ultimately made by a third-party licensed mental health professional.
Being Locked in the Closet
One teacher is under fire for using a pitch-dark closet as a way to punish her students. Although the punishment is extremely cruel, the most shocking part about it is that her students were just four years old.
The teacher would read her class a story about monsters who like to hide in the closet. Then she would use the classroom closet to lock away children who would misbehave.
Getting Made Fun Of
Alex Barton, a young schoolboy, was forced to sit in on a classroom discussion about all the reasons why nobody likes him. His teacher was the first one to lead the class discussion and she even commented that she hated him.
After the class discussed Barton’s flaws, they were forced to vote whether they wanted him to stay in the class or not. This bizarre punishment left Barton in tears.
Lamaya Cammon was sitting at her desk one afternoon while playing with the beads in her newly braided hair. A few minutes later, her teacher called her over to her desk. Cammon thought she was going to get a piece of candy but what she got instead was shocking.
Her teacher grabbed her braid and proceeded to chop off a section of her hair. The teacher claims that she cut the girl’s hair because she was distracting other students. Cammon returned to her desk crying and embarrassed.
The dunce cap emerged in the United States as a new form of punishment during the late 1950s. Students would have to sit in the corner of the classroom while wearing the pointed cone hat.
To make matters worse, the student who was getting punished would often get laughed at and made fun of by their peers. Students would be left feeling humiliated and traumatized by the dunce cap.
Eating Lunch off the Floor
If you thought school lunches couldn’t get any worse, think again. In 2009, a group of fifth-graders was forced to eat their lunch off the floor at Summer Elementary School in New Jersey.
The only thing that separated their lunch from the dirty floor was a thin piece of paper. The students endured this cruel and unusual punishment after accidentally spilling a jug of water while trying to refill a cooler.
Wearing a Sign
Canceling fun activities or getting grounded are normal punishments for children who get bad grades. However, making a student wear a sign that reads, “Hey, I want to be a class clown. I’m in 7th grade and got three Fs. Blow your horn if there’s something wrong with that,” is not normal.
Many onlookers honked to support the punishment but others viewed it as an unacceptable and unbelievable punishment.
Kneeling on Frozen Peas
Peas can be a child’s worst nightmare in more ways than one. A picture recently surfaced on the Internet that shows a girl’s severely swollen knees. It was later identified that the girl suffered these injuries after hours spent kneeling on frozen peas.
This form of punishment is quite normal in Chinese schools. While some forms of kneeling punishments may be legal, kneeling on peas is a shockingly cruel and unusual discipline.
Hold Your Pee
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.
Nevertheless, multiple schools across the nation punish students by making them hold their pee. Making a student hold their bladder isn’t just unfair, but it’s also dangerous. If a person waits too long to urinate it could weaken their bladder muscles over time and cause serious problems.
Sent Home for Exposed Shoulders
It may come as a surprise to hear that most students in the United States aren’t allowed to show their shoulders. This rule is implemented because, supposedly, bare shoulders are a potential distraction to other students.
However, many parents are trying to eliminate this rule. They say that sometimes it is too hot to wear a full-sleeved shirt. Also, being sent home from school to change their clothes is too extreme of a punishment.
Unfriend Your BFF
Some schools in England are starting to ban students from having best friends in school. Some teachers are going as far as enforcing students to unfriend their best friends.
These schools 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 of this “BFF ban” argue that having a best friend brings not only joy but lifelong value and support.
Confiscated Cell Phones
We live in a digital age consumed by the Internet, social media, 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 get punished.
Many people agree that cell phones should be limited in school but that they should not be banned or confiscated. Smartphones are now like mini computers. If used in the right way, they can be utilized for academic success.
Silent Study Halls
Schools all over the world implement study halls into their students’ schedules as a way for them to get ahead start on homework. That may seem like a good idea but almost all study halls are required to be absolutely silent.
While this does ensure that everyone stays focused, it can be boring if a student doesn’t have anything to do. If a student is caught talking, they could potentially be isolated from the entire class for the rest of the school year.
Banning Hot Cheetos
The insanely delicious (yet spicy) Flamin’ Hot Cheetos debuted on grocery store shelves 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 banned the food altogether. If a student is caught with the spicy snack, it immediately gets confiscated and the student can be sent to detention.
They're Called Number Cubes, Not Dice
As ridiculous as it may sound, kids are actually getting in trouble 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.
Smile or Else!
In a world filled with instability, it isn’t surprising that people aren’t always happy. Students especially 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.
This school district publicly enforces this rule. If a student is seen looking unhappy, they will get sent to the principal’s office to talk about their problems.
While some aspects of high school are fun and memorable, there are others better left forgotten. For many students, a not-so-great memory was trying to run the 10-minute mile in gym class.
Everyone is unique and has different athletic abilities. For this reason, grading a student off of one particular set mile time seems outrageous. Yet many schools still expect all of their students to run a 10-minute mile in order to receive a good grade in gym class.
Uniforms are no longer just a private school rule. 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 argue that school uniforms take away from students’ individuality 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.
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, each 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.
Shaving Off Facial Hair
Young men start growing facial hair in the later years of their adolescence, typically between the ages of seventeen and twenty years old.
For many people, puberty is already an awkward enough phase in their life. To make matters worse, male students often get called out for having facial hair. Not only is this embarrassing for them, but they could get in trouble too. Some schools make students with facial hair shave it off in front of their class.
Being Held Back a Year
Most schools expect each student to be academically successful. If a student doesn’t live up to the school’s standards, a teacher ultimately has the right to hold them back a year.
Imagine how embarrassing it would be for a child to have to repeat a school year. Not only are they scolded at home by their parents, but they also have to watch their peers move on without them. This extreme amount of pressure and disappointment can potentially leave a child feeling hopeless and lost.
Writing Your Name 100 Times
You’ll never look at your name the same after hours of writing it over and over again. It’s fairly common for elementary school teachers to make students write their name 100 times or more when they forgot to write it on their homework.
In fact, schools all over the world use writing as a discipline. This punishment could potentially leave a negative effect on students. It could even taint the way they see writing altogether.