Bizarre Rules That Are Actually Enforced By Schools

Learning rules is one of the first things we ever do as children. The second thing we do is learn that some of these rules are just plain ridiculous. The worst is when we're still in school and can't do anything about these rules, except maybe go on Twitter to whine about how unfair life is (which is actually great preparation for the rest of our lives). Here are some of the most bizarre school rules out there.

Students have to wear RFID chips

Pull out your wallet. Stare at your credit card. See that cute lil' chip you can never figure out how to use, that's like plugging something into a USB port — no matter what you try the first time, it's wrong? That's an RFID chip. It's used to find the card or phone, no matter where you are. And now, theoretically in order to combat kids skipping classes, schools are making students wear them on special bracelets, so the kids themselves can be tracked. Isn't technology just the best?

Naturally, some people are opposed, including the ACLU, but the courts don't really seem to care that students are being tagged like animals. The schools don't care much either, because it's school, so there is no privacy, done and done. One school went as far as to suspend a student for not wearing a literal tracking device — after the kid sued, the judge was like, "Yeah, no, that sounds like a fair punishment." This totally does not sound like the beginning of a terrible YA dystopia or anything, nah.

Now granted, this is only two schools, so far. However, this is still big news for a few reasons. For one, a lot of people in America think think RFID chips are a literal sign of the End Times. So when you start tracking kids, you make it easier for Satan to do the same, or something. Of course, that's ridiculous — if using things with chips in them could destroy us all, Black Friday would've ended in a planet-wide ball of flame.

Ketchup isn't allowed in France

You can re-read the title. We'll give you a second.

Done? OK. Yep, ketchup — one of the most popular condiments in the world — isn't allowed in French schools. What, are they still mad about the whole "Freedom Fries" thing? Okay, look, we get that Americans renamed French Fries to "Freedom Fries" for a while, and so the French might be attempting to get back at America by snubbing the American condiment, but come on — why you gotta punish the kids like that? Don't you want them to enjoy lunch?

Actually, that's the exact reason that French schools removed the red stuff — because the schools want their students' palates to be preserved. They also say they want to keep students healthier, which makes us wonder if they have any idea what tomatoes actually are. Now, the good news? You can put ketchup on your French fries, but only a very small side of it, so you might as well not even bother. You're forbidden from putting it on anything else though which, tragically, means there's no probably meatloaf there. Shame.

Can't grade with red ink

For a long time, marking papers in red ink has been the industry standard. "Red mark" is a commonly understood thing based solely on teachers so often using the color to mark things correct, or — as is dreaded — marking them wrong.

Unfortunately, that very oh-so-common dread is the very reason that red ink is now being banned by schools all over. The color is apparently considered "too mean" and too harsh and now cranky old people have one more thing to point to when claiming kids today are too soft. Look, we get the idea of not wanting to hurt the kids' feelings, but when you enforce a rule like this, it seems that you're saying, "This thing you did? It sucks, and you suck, and now you fail this grade and also life," isn't that bad a blow when communicated in green.

No dodge ball allowed!

OK, really? Banning dodgeball, and not just because it's an awful, pointless, brainless pseudo-game? Are schools attempting to be the bad guy in a children's sitcom, or is it just an accident?

Not quite — apparently, throwing heavy-ish balls at people all the time can lead to injuries, hence the ban. Even worse: some adults think it could lead to actual murder. They even call it "murder ball," and one teacher who thinks that name is entirely accurate name-checked Columbine of all things, as a reason that the game should go. The reasoning (if you can call it that) goes: dodgeball is violent, school shooters are violent, therefore if you play dodgeball you'll become a school shooter. Oh, and one of the people to call it murder ball? He wrote a paper about how it damages children emotionally. Well, yeah, but the entire school experience does.

Look, just because dodgeball is such a dumb sport it inspired an entire dumb movie all about how dumb it is, doesn't mean you should deprive kids of having fun. But if you do decide to keep it, don't let the kids know you call it "murder ball." You introduce a group of kids to a game called Murder Ball, and there's no way on Earth you'd ever get them to stop playing.

No Pokemon cards

What reason could schools possibly have had for banning cute little Pokemon cards, aside from naturally hating anything the hip young ones like? According to the BBC, the band began because the cards proved to be too much of a distraction — kids would spend too much time trading cards and playing with them, and not enough time learning their ABC's. Of course, this is the same BBC that quoted a guy back in 2000 as saying, "the craze could be dead in the water tomorrow." So what do they know?

If you ask the kids, like the ones in this Reddit thread, they'll tell you their favorite game has been banned for a myriad of wacky reasons, from teacher fears that kids suck at trading and would give away stuff they actually wanted to keep, to "a kid stabbed another kid [for them]", to even suggesting that maybe it's because one of the characters totally looks like they're in blackface. Others suggest teachers see it as a form of gambling, which is the argument some of us at Grunge recall hearing when we were in school. Still though, after all these years, the only confirmed response is still "distraction," which is a nice, professional way of saying, "God, kids are really annoying."

No photography

School photos are a huge thing around the country. Hell, if you take a second to click over to Facebook, you could probably scroll through almost your entire high school career in pictorial form.

But some schools have decided to place a ban on that. Taking the approach of "photographs are actually magic, steal your soul, and since vampires can't be seen in them, what is the actual point?" some schools are banning anyone from taking photos on school grounds. Aside from the creeper factor of some rando just snapping pics of anybody knee-high to them, there's also the fact that these children — well, their parents — aren't necessarily consenting to appear in the photos being taken.

Oh, and this isn't just during school hours — even at PTA sales, photography is banned. Want to take a picture of your kid forgetting their lines at the Christmas pageant? Tough luck, unless you want to fill out dozens of forms, after which you still probably won't be allowed to do it.

While we kind of get it, this rule is also the epitome of butt-covering and paranoia over litigious nonsense. Besides, isn't this a ridiculously hard rule to enforce, when literally every human on Earth has a camera stapled to their hand at all times? All a rule like this is likely to produce are grumpy kids, worn-out adults, and nothing accomplished.

No best friends allowed

Okay, schools, it's official. You are the villain in a bad teenage sitcom? You have a rule about not having best friends? At what point did the Dementors get you? Does getting a position in school automatically turn you into Principal Strickland? The Hunger Games don't even prohibit making friends, for Pete's sake!

Now, the reason for getting kids to play in big groups, rather than with one or two besties, actually make a ton of sense: if you have a best friend, other kids might get sad about it because they're not your best friend. Wait, did we say "make sense?" We meant "oh dear God, what are you talking about?" Listen, we understand the idea of trying to include everybody in the whole friend thing, but that's not a good reason to stop children from actually making friends. Look, there's only three things you learn in school that you'll need for the rest of your life: the alphabet, basic math, and how to make friends. That's it. Do you remember the symbolism of Moby-Dick? Do you know what genus a scorpion belongs to? We don't know if that question even makes sense! But we know how to say hi to people and invite them over for tea and X-Box.

Granted, we understand encouraging children to play with the kids that seem to be left behind, but we don't think you should do that by breaking up a pair of actually teenage friends, because isn't that the kind of thing evil stepmothers do? Don't be an evil stepmother, schools.