It's Time For A Ban On Stupid School Bans

Illustration for article titled Its Time For A Ban On Stupid School Bans

This list of 17 Weirdest Things Schools Have Banned reminds us how dumb — and ineffective — school bans on stuff really are.

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Sure, schools should keep out weapons and drugs. And some of the items on the Huffington Post's list make a certain amount of sense: festive as they may be, I can see how Christmas trees on school grounds might offend non-Christian families. But banning the dictionary or the word "meep" is just fucking silly. And as anyone who remembers school knows, HuffPo's roundup only scratches the surface of banning idiocy. Below, a list of everything banned by my school and/or my brother's school while we were growing up:

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pogs
— yoyos
— "socks pulled up to the knee and worn with cutoff shorts" (I think this was supposed to be a gang thing, but I never saw anyone wear it, and only heard of it in our dress code, which had to be read aloud in full during homeroom every day)
— non-approved forms of handball (the approved form was given to us on a mimeographed sheet, which we immediately and gleefully destroyed)
— "rugby" (this was not the sport commonly practiced in the United Kingdom, but rather a game we used to play when we lost our soccer ball, which mostly involved tackling. I kind of get why this was banned.)
— climbing hills
— cat's cradle

In general, our schools tended to ban anything cool, for fear that kids would fight over it. But kids will always find something to fight over, as our ball-free rugby games attest. And while it obviously makes sense to keep kids physically safe, schools' herculean efforts to keep them from bickering over the latest fad are pretty much doomed to end in failure. Unsolicited advice for administrations everywhere: just act like you don't give a shit. Kids will lose interest in like two weeks and move on to whatever the next MySpace/Justin Bieber/rainbow party craze is. Meanwhile, you can focus on what's really important: silly bandz.

The 17 Weirdest Things Schools Have Banned [Huffington Post]

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Phyllis Nefler

My mom works at a Catholic school and a kid wore a shirt to school with the band name "Satan's Pilgrams" on it. The kid was asked to turn the shirt inside out or make it otherwise Catholic school appropriate. The kid took out the first 'a' in Satan. The shirt read "Stan's Pilgrams".

At the same school, a bunch of boys decided to get shirts with the phrase "LaSallian Stallion" printed on it. While the administration admitted they could see the humor and cleverness in such shirts, they banned the shirts from the school.