University enrollment has been on a steady decline in the United States. Maybe it has to do with tons of high-profile organizations and companies not necessitating undergraduate degrees to hire workers. Or perhaps the fact that the quality of education being offered by some of the nation's most supposedly prestigious universities has also been on the decline.
The truth is that nonsense is a time-honored tradition in our nation's educational systems. Whether it's bestowing students with the authority of being a "Hall Monitor" or creating a pledge of allegiance just to sell flags, there are some strange rules we were forced to engage in growing up.
And a recent Reddit thread has shed light on some of the "dumbest" rules their individual schools enforced.
No middle staircase.
"my school had 3 staircases along a very long corridor. we were banned from using the middle staircase because it got overcrowded. the ban was lifted once they realized it only made the other two staircases just as crowded" - bignastty
"If you throw snowballs, you get a one-day suspension. The first long weekend after a snowfall everyone would throw snowballs to get an additional day added to the long weekend." - MrFake_Name
No talking at lunch.
"Elementary school principal banned talking at lunch. If you were caught talking or even signing to someone, you had to go sit by yourself on a folding chair with no table.
There was once my mom came to eat lunch with my older sister and I. The principal was like " Oh you should go eat out in the hallway with your daughters" and she was like "nah, I'm gonna sit here with my daughter and her friends and talk to them and enjoy their presence" (usually if a parent came for lunch the student could invite one friend to join, unless you had siblings. Then it was too many people so you couldn't invite a friend). Anyway, one of my older sister's friends whispered to my mom that she was going to move so she wouldn't get in trouble for talking. THIS WAS A NINE YEAR OLD." - passatcar
Can't stand up to bullies, have to wear school-branded hoodies.
"That if you say/do anything back to your bully it becomes a mutual conflict and isn't bullying, so if they start calling you slurs and making you feel bad every day and you call them stupid once or twice the school probably won't help. Also dress code required school branded hoodies... they were 50 dollars. If you wore a non school hoodie you got in school suspension." - wowthatfood
No permission for water.
"I was sent to the principle in elementary school for getting a drink of water out of line (as in we walked down the hall in a formation and we had designated water drinking stops). To this day I still remember the principal asking angrily well what if every one started getting water without permission? And I still don’t have an answer." - FriendlyDetective367
"The new Principal made a "morning round-up" rule where anyone arriving to class after the last bell had to go to the cafeteria and listen to a lecture about not being late for class. This took about an extra 15 minutes, making the students even more late to class than they would have otherwise been. Needless to say, everyone hated it, even the teachers. That principal didn't last long..." - LiveTrash
Toilet Paper Rationing.
"Toilet paper rationing. This was in 1997/98, btw. Apparently the high school girls room was going through too much toilet paper so the dean, a woman, stood outside the door and distributed a few squares of 1-ply institutional toilet paper to us as we went in. If she noticed toilet paper on the floor, our ration got cut down. If we asked for more for...bigger jobs...we were told to saved it for home.
There were several episodes of girls stuck in stalls until friends could beg for more TP because of period messes or unexpected bowel incidents. The dean wouldn't even hand it over--she would go in the bathroom and pass it a few squares at a time over the door. If you didn't catch it as it fell and it landed on the floor, well, that's your fault and you're not getting more. If you used more than she thought necessary, tough luck, go to class with blood/shit on your body.
It took about a week of extremely angry parents coming to the school and calling both the school and the school board, but we finally got our toilet paper back, unlimited.
How did we celebrate?
By TPing her car, of course." - stabbyspacehorse
No facial hair.
"We were not allowed to have facial hair at all.
Like to the point where the principal would walk around during lunch with razors and shaving cream and do "Stubble checks".
Absolutely ridiculous and he would send tons of us to the bathrooms to shave during lunch, no matter how small the stubble was." - Captainbuttsreads
No Clockwork Orange references.
"After 9/11, my school instituted a zero tolerance policy on bullying and violence. What 9/11 had to do with bullying, I don't know. Anyways, Halloween 2001, I dressed up as the guy from Clockwork Orange. He carries a cane around. The principle pulled me aside, told me walking around with a cane could be a weapon, therefore just walking with it is an act of violence, and suspended me for a couple of days, telling me that after 9/11, "we don't mess around with that kind of stuff" - BlackIsTheSoul
Beads = violence?
"No beads. Apparently they thought beaded jewelry was gang related?" - PatSmiles17
No reading allowed.
"My school was in a poor area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Not a lot of schools here have money for anything. Because of a huge donation of books at the time I was in school, my school got an absurd number of books, including expensive ones.
There were a few dumb rules, but the dumbest of them all?
We basically couldn't touch the books in the library without permission. It might sound reasonable at first, but check this out.
The library was huge, and there were lots of books, including contemporary classics, non-fiction like The Last Problem, English Literature like Infinite Jest, How to kill a Mockingbird and whatnot. Dude, there was so much there, that place was probably the most valuable place in the entire school.
The rumor was that the principals* - we had more than one - basically saw us as "savages" who would destroy the books if we were allowed to touch them and even though they had no reason to believe so - the library worked well without those restrictions a year before I had gotten there, with only minimal incidents and even those didn't result in the books getting destroyed." - Lufernaal
No shiv candy canes allowed.
"Candy canes were outlawed because you could sharpen them to a point and use them as a shiv.
I went to school in rural Washington. We were definitely weren’t somewhere that shankings were to be expected." - MisterComrade
Bathroom only during class.
"We once had a rule that we could only go to the bathromm during class. Not in the breaks. Only during class." - uncertain_spaghetto
ID present at all times.
"You had to wear your ID around your neck on a rope thing.
Then the chokings started." - the-zoidberg
No card playing.
"Playing cards at lunch was prohibited because it 'promoted gambling.'" - DavyJonesArmoire
No snow...in Minnesota.
"In grade school, we weren't allowed to play on the playground equipment when it snowed. Eventually, were weren't allowed to play with snow or even go near it- I got in trouble for sitting in snow.
This was in Minnesota where it snows half the year. Recess basically consisted of milling around the blacktop for thirty minutes." - BW_Bird
No backpacks allowed.
"Banned all backpacks / bags on campus. Students were expected to somehow carry everything they needed in hand.
This was especially challenging if you had a non ideal locker placement." - nospamkhanman
No "gang mentality" allowed.
"Can’t be standing around in groups more than 4 “gang mentality". - Leehk1
Bathroom sign in and out sheet...for faculty.
"My friend is an administrator at a private school in NJ and the faculty has to sign in and out of the bathroom using Google sheets.
9am, 10 minutes, M-F." - no__ragrets__