Banning Bullying Is One Thing — but Socks?
Schools are often notorious for having weird outdated rules and panicking over new trends, but sometimes they just go too far. Over the years, schools all over the world have placed bans on seemingly harmless items they have deemed dangerous to students’ health and safety or even worse, distracting them during class. As ridiculous as they may appear, these items are real things that schools have banned!
Yes, you read that right. Kingsholm Primary School in Gloucester, England, banned children from wearing socks with a frill over three centimeters long in 2013. The ban came after a child allegedly tripped and fell due to her frilly socks, which were handmade by the mother of another child.
Frilly socks had become a trend among girls at the school, which was started by a six-year-old named Lily-Jo. After she became the envy of all the other little girls, her mother began making them for other children at the school.
While the headmistress officiated a ban of the socks, parents of children attending Kingsholm ignored the ban and sent their kids in frills anyway. Students found wearing the socks were then forced to change into plain socks provided by the school or risk being sent home for the day. Talk about a no-frills education.
Officials over in California’s Menifee Union School District actually banned dictionaries from their schools at one time. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary was removed from all classrooms after a student came across the definition for oral sex. Undoubtedly this would not have become a problem if the child hadn’t gone home to their mother and explained what the phrase meant.
While this may have seemed somewhat more reasonable of a reaction in the 1950s, the incident actually occurred in 2010. A committee was formed at Oak Meadows Elementary School to find other age-inappropriate words, which undoubtedly left them all in a fit of giggles upon stumbling across words like “sphincter” in the dictionary.
While equality seems like a perfectly reasonable cause for a school ban, the Priory Academy in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England, may have gone a little too far.
After a thirteen-year-old student started growing out his mustache in support of Movember, the school issued a ban on all mustaches and facial hair. Their reasoning? Movember is a fundraising activity that excludes students who cannot grow facial hair.
Interestingly enough, the school told the student it was because he was one of only a few boys in school who could actually grow facial hair at the time. No mention was made about girls with mustaches, even though they claimed the activity had to be inclusive.
In a display of backwards, puritanical authority, an Orlando-area school suspended two children after they were caught hugging between classes. The two best friends were penalized with an in-school suspension due to the school’s ban and zero tolerance policy on hugging among students.
An actual quote from the school’s country representative stated, “We cannot discriminate or make an opinion on what is an appropriate hug, what’s not an appropriate hug.” That would of course mean doing their jobs.
Instead, a blanket ban is the solution to all their problems regarding touching among students. Also banned at this school is kissing and hand holding, which begs the question: what could they possibly be teaching the students in sex ed?
Officials at Birmingham Elementary School in Milton, Georgia, made students sign a waiver stating they would not use internet acronyms like ‘LOL’ when signing their friends’ yearbooks. The acronyms were deemed inappropriate by teachers and administrators who were worried about bullying messages. IMHO, they probably issued the ban because they didn’t know what many of the abbreviations meant.
It’s unclear what kinds of mean abbreviations they thought kids would be writing to one another, especially since most kids wouldn’t let their bullies anywhere near their yearbook in the first place. Of all the acronyms to ban, LOL is definitely the least offensive of the bunch. I mean seriously, WTF?