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20 Absurd Things Schools Have Actually Banned

Diply 25 Jan 2018

It's hard to argue against the idea that kids are overprotected these days. There are endless examples of people trying to shelter kids from absolutely everything.

And that's exactly what we're looking at today, you guys! Turns out, even schools participate in shielding kids from the world.

Schools all around the world have attempted to ban some pretty ridiculous things. Some of them have actually succeeded, too! And this leaves me wondering, how it this even possible?!

Let's take a look at the impossible things schools have banned.

1. Dictionaries.

Giphy | Giphy

Yeah, dictionaries. You know, those handy books that teach kids what words mean and how to pronounce them? This California school district banned them after a student — who was searching for the word "orangutan" — came across the definition for "oral sex." So they pulled dictionaries from the school for having "age inappropriate" words.

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2. Dangerous touching, like high fives, hugs, and tag.

Instagram | @trixie0_0

A school in Brampton, Ontario uses the motto "no loving, no shoving" to enforce a rule that students cannot make any form of physical contact with each other. Students say the rule criminalizes innocent displays of friendship. They know the difference between hugging a friend and kissing someone in the corner.

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3. Balls.

Instagram | @jamiejohnsonfc

The same school that banned all forms of touch also banned balls from the schoolyard. The concern was over students injuring themselves or others with the balls. Students rightly pointed out that this ban will lead to inactivity. If they can't play tag or play with balls, what the heck are they expected to do? Talk about lame!

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4. The word "meep."

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Apparently, some students at a Massachusetts high school were being disruptive in class by continuing to say "meep." I totally agree that students who are intentionally disruptive should be disciplined accordingly, but how do you ban a word? The school sent home automated messages to parents, warning that students will be suspended if they use the word.

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5. Evolution.

The Skeptical Teacher | The Skeptical Teacher

Or at least the word itself and any depiction of it. Smith-Cotton High School in Missouri banned the school band's t-shirts after they depicted the evolution of a trumpet player. They claimed it was too controversial after receiving a number of complaints from creationist parents.

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6. Social Media. 

Ask Dave Taylor | Ask Dave Taylor

The principal of Pope John XIII Regional High School in New Jersey banned students from having blogs or MySpace pages (this is going back a while). This wasn't a ban on accessing social media while at school, they just weren't allowed to have them at all. Students were told to dismantle all accounts or be suspended.

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7. Lunches.

Instagram | @anya.alda

Little Village Academy in Chicago banned lunches brought from home. Unless a student has proof of a medical exemption, they must eat the food provided by the cafeteria. Principal Elsa Carmona says the ban is to protect students from their own unhealthy choices.

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8. Stripes and check prints.

Instagram | @jachsny

Yep. The Mesquite school district in Northern Texas is notorious for their excessively conservative dress code. They actually banned stripe and check print shirts as well as skinny jeans, jeggings, and jeans for being too disruptive to the learning environment. But don't worry, students are allowed to wear solid turtlenecks and dockers!

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9. Father's Day.

Instagram | @tinkerartplay

Thousands of schools in Scotland banned students from making Father's Day cards or crafts for fear of upsetting students who live with single mothers, or who have two moms. The problem is, it marginalizes fathers and further contributes to the FALSE idea that dads are lesser parents.

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10. Cartwheels and handstands. 

Instagram | @almamoore7

It seems the only thing safe for students to do during recess is stand still and stare at the fence. A school in Western Australia banned cartwheels and handstands for being too dangerous. The school defended the ban, saying students were frequently coming in with head and wrist injuries.

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11. Valedictorians.

Instagram | @wattspoets

A North Carolina school board voted unanimously to stop naming valedictorians, saying that the competition was unhealthy and that students were filling their schedules with light courses to up their GPA. Students will still be given special designation on their diploma for a high GPA, so I don't see how this ban will change much.

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12. Bathroom doors.

Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

I can't even make this stuff up. A high school in McKinney, Texas removed bathroom doors, claiming it was done for student safety. But students at the school claim the real reason was to stop sexual activity between students. Either way, parents and students were outraged at the invasion of privacy.

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13. Red Ink.

Instagram | @_irinabek

Apparently, a number of schools in Australia and the U.K. think kids are far too delicate to emotionally handle the intensity of the color red. They have banned the use of red ink to mark and correct school work, saying that it's too "confrontational" and "threatening."

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14. Non-motorized transportation.

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A school district in New York has banned parents from biking to school with their kids. They aren't allowed to walk to school either. The only acceptable means of transportation to or from school is on the bus or in a car. This seems counterproductive to the war on childhood obesity, if you ask me.

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15. Silly Bandz

Instagram | @shannon_ferrick213

Several states have banned the bracelets that come in a variety of shapes and colors. School officials say the kids are "dangerously distracted by them" and that it leads to fights. Honestly, this is literally kids being kids. If you ban their activities, they'll just find something else to replace them with.

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16. Slang.

Giphy | Giphy

Good luck enforcing this one! A school in England doesn't allow slang to be spoken on school grounds, arguing that it will ruin future job prospects if they can't speak proper English. I get that kids need to learn how to be professional, but there's literally no way to police this.

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17. Best Friends.

Instagram | @meeshtaylor_

Yep, you read that correctly. Some schools in London have banned children from having best friends, telling them everyone needs to play together so no one's feelings get hurt. This seems cruel and super shortsighted. How the heck will kids ever learn how to navigate social situations properly if they're banned from developing close friendships?

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18. Milk.

Instagram | @schoolmilknl

This hasn't actually been banned. But a group of vegan physicians in Washington is petitioning the school board to have milk banned from school lunch programs, saying that the high sugar, fat, and animal protein contributes to childhood obesity and is harmful to bone health. Ummm? I'm actually speechless on this one.

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19. Dinosaurs

Giphy | Giphy

Sort of. Not the reptiles themselves, but the actual word. The New York City Department of Education has added it to a list of forbidden words that they want banned from standardized testing. They say the word dinosaur is tied to evolution and creationists might get offended. Other words on the list are birthday, Hallowe'en, and poverty. I cannot.

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20. Uggs

Instagram | @archie_masibay

A high school in Pennsylvania banned students from wearing the popular boots to school, saying they were being used to hide cell phones during class time. Students are not allowed to bring phones into the classroom. Has this school never heard of pockets, waist bands, or bras? Gonna ban all those things too?

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