Top 10 Absurd Overreactions by Schools


If you’re reading this site, you’ve gone through some school of some sort and have experienced the unintentional hilarity of school rules being followed to their extremes. Rest assured, unless you went to one of these ten schools, you most likely haven’t seen anything yet.

10.  UK School Bans Triangular Flapjack


Proving that the insanity shown on British TV show TOWIE is home grown, a Local Essex school banned lunch ladies and parents alike from serving flap-jacks cut into triangular shapes. In the UK, flapjacks do not refer to the soft pancakes eaten with maple syrup consumed by Americans. In fact, according to Castle View school, it refers to dangerous weapons that can be used by children to bludgeon or stab each other to death (or, according to those liars at the BBC “chewy biscuits made from rolled oats, golden syrup or honey”).

On one occasion, a year 7 student was hit with one of them so hard he had to (hold your horrified gasps in), go home for the rest of the afternoon. The principal, Gill Thomas, immediately banned all lunch ladies from cutting their flap-jacks into triangular shapes, only squares and rectangles were allowed. An insider reported that this was due to a health and safety issue in the school as apparently, the sore eye the student received was more life-threatening than anything pens and pencils could cause. These often utilized instruments can, in the hands of school children and MacGuyvers alike, double as dangerous weaponry capable of causing severe injury or even death in some cases.

After verifying it was not a spoof article written by the Onion, the UK health and safety agency gave a carefully worded statement “We often come across half-baked decisions taken in the name of health and safety, but this one takes the biscuit. The real issue isn’t what shape the flapjacks are, but the fact that pupils are throwing them at each other – and that’s a matter of discipline, and has got nothing to do with health and safety as we know it. We’re happy to make clear that flapjacks of all shapes and sizes continue to have our full backing.”

9.  School Bans Frilly Socks because of Trip Hazard

Again in England, a school in Gloucestershire banned students from wearing frilly socks as one student had tripped over them. After assessing the situation in a kangaroo court of some unknown variety, they came to the conclusions that long frilly socks were an unacceptable risk and issued strict restrictions. When parents rebelled against this new rule by sending their children in with frills, the school kindly provided new socks for them and gave them a reminder letter, warning that next time the kids would be sanctioned.

It is worth noting that shoelaces are a bigger trip risk in schools, more students wear the than not, and reportedly fewer know how to tie them than use an iPhone. As errant shoelaces can lead to trips more frequently, we’re curious as to why those haven’t been banned yet.

8.  School Bans Hugging and Handshakes to prevent violence

A school in Croydon, South London, placed a heavy handed ban on hugs and handshakes.  Why? This was done so as to reduce incidents of bullying in school. As the school revealed to the BBC after a student was suspended for giving her friend a hug, “Physical contact between students is not allowed at the academy because it is often associated with poor behaviour or bullying and can lead to fighting.” That’s right, giving someone a hug could lead to you emotionally harassing them and then eventually giving them a physical beat-down.

Similarly, another primary school in Australia banned its students from hugging each other after the principal noticed that hugging in the school was apparently an epidemic which occupied students and possibly consumed every waking moment. Ironically, studies show that giving of hugs help increase positive emotions and could help reduce outbursts of violence by people as well as calm them down. In the first case, we can say the reasoning was counterintuitive, in the second case completely absurd.

7. Schools ban best friends and Christmas cards because they could lead to hurt feelings

Proving that the ultimate goal of schools is to create a mini version of the island Lord of the Flies, select schools have placed bans on best friends and giving of personalised Christmas cards. In both cases, administrators fear a sense of rejection and disappointment may push these kids to depression and make them feel excluded. Personally we feel the worst that can happen is probably that the children…throw tantrums or something, or at the very least feel mildly disappointed (and we can’t have that now can we?).

6.  Schools ban Birthday cake

Remember bringing your birthday cake to school and sharing it with your friends? Turns out that means that you’re an incredibly bad person who deserves to be punished for attempted murder. Several Australian schools banned cakes due to their triggering allergies in a few students. Let that sink in: because a few students were allergic to some ingredients, cake was banned for everybody. Parents were not the only ones pointing out the absurdity in this. The CEO of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia agreed with parents, with reference made to the guidelines of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy which describes general food bans as “generally unnecessary and are not recommended in late primary or high school”

5.  War on Birthday Candles

Proving that Australia hates both childhood and birthdays, blowing out of birthday candles on a cake is now prohibited in some Australian schools. This is because germs could be transmitted from the blowers into the mouths of those who consume the cake. Children are instead encouraged to have little cupcakes instead.

If you think this is going too far, there’s more: staff are required to wipe down toys, door knobs and children with disinfectants so as to prevent the spread of germs. Ironically, Australian doctors pointed out that this policy would lead to the children being less healthy in the long run as they would have underdeveloped immune systems.

4. School tells child to keep his bag away rather than punish bully

Everyone knows that schools are supposed to deal with bullies for the kids that can’t defend themselves. It’s a natural thing to expect. You give your kids over for a few hours and they protect them in return. So it must have come as a shock to Noreen Bruce when her child who was the target of bullies was simply advised to stop making himself a target. Grayson Bruce was a fan of the My Little Pony series and his mother had bought him a bag with the face of the character Rainbow dash on it. What must have started as some casual teasing escalated into full blown bullying with some kids telling him to go kill himself.

When the school counselor had to be involved, she merely advised the boy to stop wearing the bag, as it triggered bullying. That’s right, if someone attacks you for doing a thing, stop doing that thing. Instead of stopping the bullies, the school merely told him to go away (and if you think not wearing the bag anymore would have been effective, you don’t know children).

3. School disallows girl with food allergies from eating with others

Turns out having allergies means you’re anti-social in some schools. Yup, that’s right. A school in North-West London had a student named Lisa-Mbali McFarlane effectively quarantined at lunch times because her parents wanted to regulate her diet. Turns out that Lisa had allergies to different foods like which contained additives, sugar or dairy products. Seeing as they could not control the foods the school served and knowing that four year olds have no capacity to stop and think, “Wait, that’s bad for me,” they opted for making her a packed lunch. Knowing about her allergies and understanding that she had reasons for not eating the regular food, the school then proceeded to keep her in a separate room at lunch time. Because eating different food is anti-social and so therefore we must keep you in a different room to make you more social?

2. Skinny Jeans on girls are banned

Don’t worry, London isn’t the only one that does the whole blaming the victim thing, a Petaluma middle school in California banned skinny jeans on girls. Well, that’s normal in a twisted way, schools have dress codes which students must adhere to. The reason however, was utterly baffling.

The school had banned the girls from wearing the jeans so guys would not be distracted. That’s the same thing as banning wallets so thieves wouldn’t steal them and legitimizes sexual harassment. Of course the students protested but the school turned a deaf ear. While we understand the motive behind this we can’t help but think addressing the underlying sexism would be more helpful.

1. School bans girl for being different

Apparently being different in a school can lead to you being expelled even if all that is different is a haircut. Sunnie Kahle was three years old when she and her grandmother, Doris Thompson, chopped her hair to donate to cancer patients. A clearly sweet and charitable act led to horrible consequences when, at eight years old, school asked her grandmother if Sunnie was a lesbian. In second grade, the school decided to not allow her admission because she apparently behaved like a boy in school.

They sent a letter to her grandmother saying “You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian Schools is a religious, Bible-believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment, and we believe that our biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be ‘Christlike…It seems that the school’s goals and biblical foundations are going to be in contradiction with the direction that Sunnie is heading at this point.” To sum this up, the school thought the 8 year old girl might have been becoming lesbian or transgender and then expelled her. Hurrah for traditional family values right?

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  1. Australian schools have banned quite a few things. No singing the national anthem in some of them so as not to offend people. Hugging and holding hands is another. Some refuse to mention Christmas due to offending non-christians. No food with nuts. Only nuts seems to be banned even though some kids have allergies to other things like eggs but there is no egg ban.
    The world is a ridiculous place sometimes.
    The cake blowing one is about the only one that makes any sense.

  2. I have zero issue with number 6. I have always been leery of blowing out candles. Kids don’t realize what else is coming out and they always try to blow like a hurricane. At least adults try to just blow air.

  3. Change is scary. Difference is scary.

    It undermines the groundwork the government set into place to control the people. No creative expression or individualism is allowed. If possible, everyone should wear the same clothing and have the same hairstyles. All part of the plan…

  4. How about the overreaction of schools to students playing “guns”, like the kid who was suspended for biting his pop tart into the shape of a gun or the kids who’ve been disciplined for playing at recess and using their finger to go “pew pew”?