“What Is One Rule That Was Implemented At Your School Or Work That Backfired Horribly?” (93 Answers)

People are social creatures and we need rules to help us interact with each other, organizations, and governments. What's more, since the world is constantly changing, the regulations have to be updated too.

But, as one Reddit thread shows, this is often easier said than done. Started by user Mercurydriver, it asked platform users the question: "What is one rule that was implemented at your school or work that backfired horribly?" And they gave plenty of juicy answers.

From demanding that employees ask permission before using the restroom to prohibiting students from parking their cars next to the school if they're late for class, some ideas are simply better on paper than in reality.


They made a new rule where we had to ask permission to use the restroom during lunch.
We all coordinated and the whole cafeteria would raise their hands at once to request to go. They responded by sending us two at a time. We did this for a few days then changed our procedure to everyone just getting up at once and going to the restroom without permission.
They didn't ever officially do away with the rule, but the teachers on duty in the lunch room eventually just stopped enforcing it.

Edit: it's interesting how many people responded something like "my school had the same rule", and how many people said something like "wtf, that's the craziest rule I've heard of, is this even real?"

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My company, as part of its alcohol policy, said you should not drink for at least four hours before coming to work. When engineers got called about production problems over the weekend, they all "just had a beer" but could be there in about four or five hours.

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New manager got rid of the sofa in the break room so people couldn't nap on their hour long lunch break. No one overslept or took the p**s but it was good to have the option on a tough day.

Stoner guy started sleeping in other places, including in-between walls and in the warehouse. That's when we started losing him and couldn't find him as he'd go into a deeper sleep and was less likely to be disturbed.

He didn't lose his job somehow, that place had a hard time hiring.

Edit: To clarify where stoner guy would go, we'd find him in-between walls and shelves. It was a DIY store that had been something else years before so there were random partition walls and oddly laid out shelving units everywhere, a real s**t show of a store lay out. He had quite a few places to hide in and nap.

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In my dorm, if you did something that triggered the smoke/fire alarm, you had to do a safety presentation for everyone on your floor. This was intended to deter pranksters from pulling the alarm.

A guy on our floor was making grilled cheese in the kitchenette, and burned it, which legitimately triggered the fire alarm. Afterwards, he explained, assuming that since it had been a legitimate alarm, and not a prank, that he wouldn't have to do a presentation. He was, of course, wrong.

So, the next Wednesday night, the entire floor assembled, and we were treated to a thirty minute safety presentation on the dangers of grilled cheese sandwiches. It contained literally nothing about fire safety. It was all choking hazards and cholesterol.

Our RA was furious, but the student pointed out that the write-up that he'd been given just said "safety presentation".

We didn't get any more presentations after that.

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If you violated the dress code policy, you had to wear these really big gray sweatpants or sweatshirts that said DCV in big orange letters. (Dress Code Violation). It became a thing to get caught because they were apparently really comfortable. When the admin finally caught on that people were trying to get them on purpose, they changed it so that you got in school suspension. Jokes on them for that too. Lots of kids preferred that over being in class.

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My high school was trying to prevent a senior prank since the class before us had got a little out of hand. They basically told us not to have one, that they would get anyone who did anything in a lot of trouble, yada yada

So somebody has an idea. What if we do an "anti prank". The idea had floated around the halls and everyone knew what we were going to do. For an entire week, every senior was going to bring a potentially threatening item for a senior prank, and do nothing with it.

The week starts and that Monday, nearly the entire senior class carries a banana with them to every class. This is a school of ~2600 student, 650 graduating class. So there are hundreds of bananas being carried through the halls, teachers and assistant principals freaking out. By noon, an announcement was made that all bananas needed to be eaten or thrown away or they would be confiscated. So by that afternoon, every banana was taken away from the student.

The next day got even better. Somebody has the idea that we should all bring a gallon jug of water with us to class. And to no one's surprise, again there is an announcement that they are going to start taking up the water jugs for fear of what we are going to do with them. But this time, the students got creative. People are resentful now and not wanting to give up their precious water. Students are getting creative, hiding them in backpacks, avoiding teachers in the hallways, whatever it took to keep their water jugs. But alas, most of the jugs had been confiscated.

So the students start taking to social media. Tons of tweets and mentions are going out to local news stations, TMZ, Oprah, Ellen, you name it, they got mentioned. All of these messages are going out along the lines of "School is confiscating all water, not allowing students to drink water #highschooldrought2kxx #weredying #sendhelp. You get the picture. Before the end of the day, two different news reporters were at our school. Guess we had the last laugh after all.

TL;DR: School made silly rules to not let us have a senior prank. We anti-pranked them and their rules back fired. lots of negative press over nothing malicious ever happening.

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My high school put in a policy so that after the 3rd time you were late, you got detention. They didn't change the absent policy.

Tardiness decreased by 52(?) %. Absentees increased 70%.

Edit: The punishment for missing was nothing until social services comes in.

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There was rule they put in place my freshman year of high school, that if you arrived late i.e. after first bell, you couldn't park in the parking lot. You'd have to park at the gas station down the highway and walk to school, making you even more late.

It stopped after 20 or so people intentionally showed up late to school and made a mass exodus along the highway. On top of a lot of parents bitching.

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My School banned all balls over a couple of inches in diameter beacuse someone kicked a football through a window during lunch.

Most of us that walked home walked past the woods by the golf course and had a ready supply of golf balls as a result.

Golf balls were allowed under the new rules due to their size.

3 broken windows in one lunch period later they weren't.

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When I was in kindergarten, during the morning announcements one day they came on and said "and please no throwing snowballs. There is a chance you might accidentally get some rocks in them." You could see on the faces of all 20-some students the realization that "OMG we could put rocks in them!"

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Well, it wasn't a school wide policy, but I had a super bitchy French teacher who would constantly hand out detentions for things as inconsequential as walking to the trash can to throw away a piece of paper. She absolutely could not deal with the fact that we periodically might need to actually leave our chairs for a perfectly valid reason. One day she locked herself out of the classroom and nobody would let her back in. "Sorry! We aren't allowed to get out of our seats!" She had to get the janitor, lol.

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My senior year of high school some guy in my class got an in school suspension for wearing a headband (he had long, curly hair) so the next couple weeks almost every guy on the football team started wearing headbands in protest. Keep in mind that girls could wear headbands, just not guys. No one really understood this rule

Edit: this took place right in the middle of football season

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Our school made it so you couldn't play dodgeball anymore. So what happened was is that the gym teachers came up with this new game called "Fireball." The rules are there are balls in the middle of the gym people go on two seperate teams go for and if you get hit you're out, if you catch a ball you- okay so it was basically dodgeball. Then fireball was banned. So now there's this new game called "Pinball". Which isn't involving the machines unfortunately but it's basically dodgeball/ Fireball but there's bowling pins that need to be knocked over as well. I think they just gave up after a while.

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My High School made students wear these neon t-shirts that read "Dress Code Violator" if their outfit didn't adhere to the school's policy. They became so popular the school began selling them one week later.

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We implemented the Buddy Bench for lonely people to sit on and make friends. It was pretty damn expensive and nicely decorated. Someone stole it.

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My middle school had a "no touching rule" which meant you'd get suspended for high fiving a friend. Girls got in trouble for hugging their friends. Our teachers thought this was ridiculous and would have students high five each other in their classes for a minute everyday. So many kids got suspensions that the rule stopped being enforced and only counted if you touched a kid in a bullying situation or sexual harassment.


My high school attempted to ban tripp pants and the like. However, due to a hilariously overlooked typo the student handbook (that got sent to students and parents) just said "Students may not wear pants." We had a good laugh and it made the local news. Unfortunately, this does show the quality of high school I went to...wasn't ready for college haha.

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Not sure if it was exactly a rule but my middle school once encouraged kids to not touch each other at all to reduce physical harassment cases, even friendly gestures among friends.

All that did was get the kids running around touching each either around campus for about a month and a half screaming "physicial harrassment!" As they did so. To add insult to injury they did it twice as often in front of the admin who made the presentation about it.

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If you return a library book late, your parents would have to return it and explain why it's late. It worked about as well as you would think. The rule lasted a few months before they figured it wasn't worth the cost of replacing all the books.

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We found out our Catholic elementary school wasn't allowed to stop any sort of religious behaviour regardless if it's a Catholic school.

Lots of "Hail Satan"s and uncomfortable teachers ensued


My school tried to enforce a "no standing still or sitting" policy at recess, because if we weren't moving, we were surely spreading gossip.

Edit: Realized I didn't really say how it backfired. A lot of the kids thought this rule was because there was some big scandal the teachers were trying to prevent from getting out, which only generated crazy new rumors, mostly about the teachers.

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I've told this story before, but my high school tried to crack down on people wearing their ties too short, as was the fashion. It got to the stage where anything except completely pristine uniforms would get you a detention -- which, coming up to exam season, was one more thing we didn't want to deal with. In protest at what was widely seen as a ridiculous rule, ties started getting longer and longer -- one foot, two feet, two and a half feet, as long as people could get them.

It culminated in one girl sewing two ties together into a five-foot beast that trailed on the floor as she walked and resulted in the Deputy Head having a screaming shitfit one day about how disrespectful we all were to the uniform codes. After that, the teachers quietly gave up on the new hardline approach to uniforms, and everything went back to normal.

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My Dad was a corpsman with the Marines doing high desert training in the Mojave. They had a big problem with unidentified snakebites, ie people would get bit but not identify the snake, so it was hard to find the right antidote. So my dad got all the Marines in a room and said "If you get bit by a snake, bring it back here so we can identify it. Not even a full week later they had to alter the wording a bit, because a marine was bit by a rattlesnake and decided to bring it back-without killing it. This man had carried this snake all the way back to base ALIVE, and the snake decided to let him know exactly how he felt about that by repeatedly biting his arm the entire time. Needless to say, that marine went home, and they made sure to hold another meeting where they told everyone to KILL the snake, then bring it back.

Edit: He kept the arm. They got him to base hospital in roughly 50 minutes and gave him anti-venom. He was out for 6 weeks. This was in 1995 at 29 palms (He calls it 29 stumps) 4th marine division, ie reservist marines out of Buffalo New York

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I told this story before but in high school they banned backpacks in classrooms. Everyone was pissed. Some girls started bringing bigger purses to put their books in, so a bunch of dudes brought their mom's purses in and were using those for school books.

Administration and teachers got upset because we found a loophole so they banned purses too. At which point a bunch of moms got upset because their daughters had to carry around tampons and stuff in their coat pockets, in addition to all of their books, notebooks, calculators, pens/pencils, and whatever else they have in those purses.

Finally the school let everyone have their backpacks back.

Edit: Knowing that other places banned backpacks makes me feel a bit better. What would make me feel a lot better is going back in time and telling Mrs. Gaines that she can eat a bag of decomposing dongs for suggesting that we get rid of our backpacks. That lady hated teaching, and she hated students - she just loved control. Already having an authority problem, I bucked up at her more than once. I remember one story where me and a bunch of other seniors started "compli-sulting" each other. We'd pay each other compliments, but in an insulting tone, start to act like we were going to fight, then hug it out. We thought it was hilarious, but Mrs. Gaines thought we were being disrespectful to her authority because we'd compli-sult each other a bunch outside of her door. Once we learned this annoyed her we started to do it more until some pink slips started coming out and people were getting sent to the office for "complimenting each other in a loud tone." What a joke of a teacher.

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No short skirts rule at my high school resulted in a sharp increase of yoga pants. All the guys at my school saw this as a net gain and did a good job of not advertising our collective appreciation. For fear of ruining a good thing.

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We got a new manager for our office - she was an outside hire and was trying to prove herself quickly, and she was obsessed with efficiency.

So, her first week here she sent out this very rudely worded email about employees eating at our desks (we have a very small break area - 4 tables and we have about 300 employees here) and that we all had to stop eating at our desks, because "it was not efficient to eat and try to work at the same time".

Through a coordinated effort by some of the more sassy people at the office they all had their lunches at the same time and filled the break room with about 90 people. Elbow to elbow and they all ate standing up. Literally, the next day after that happened, she sent out a follow-up email saying that we could eat at our desks but she advised us to take a break from our work from time to time.

It was pretty funny.

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My Jr.high school adopted a policy to not allow kids to loiter in groups of 5 or more, in attempts to crack down on "gang mentality". this was freaking Jr.High. Anyway me and my group of misfits (6 of us) were always hanging out during free times, and the principal eventually stopped us and asked us to separate. I had to casually explain to him that were we not a group of 6, but 2 groups of 3 that were inter-mingling. People caught wind and that rule was basically dead.

That was one of the few times i had to explain to my father why he was called into the principals office with me.

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Overtime is paid in free time instead of money. Three people quit so far, more people planning to. No new hires to be found. It's probably just a matter of time before this shop closes down.

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At one job, you could schedule vacation and give it back if your plans changed. One guy would take 2 weeks off, wait until the schedule was made for that month, then give it back. Since the schedule assumed he wasn’t going to be there, he would make up his own shifts, since he was “extra.” This would lead to him “working 11-7” (showing up at 2, taking lunch, working from 4-6 and leaving early). He would do this 3-4 times per year.


Zero tolerance, which means if you are involved with fighting, you will be kicked out. No questions asked. They think it would means no more fighting.

Nope. It means if the bully is beating up a kid, no one would step in, for fear of involving with the fight and getting kicked out. No one would snitch because it means the bully will target you next, and now you are involved in fighting and get kicked out. It is a s**t policy.

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A school in my area jacked up the cost of the parking pass. People protested by not buying the pass. Instead they rode the bus. Funny thing is the county really relies on juniors and seniors driving because they don’t have enough busses for all the students. The parking pass fee dropped. People drove again. Don’t ever let them tell you driving to school is a privilege. They NEED you to drive to school.

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I went to a private school for elementary, where uniforms were strict. If you didnt wear a belt you'd go to the principles office and he would make you use a shoe string. Well when he opened the drawer there was like 6 different colors and everybody thought it was really neat so for a short period of time there was a bunch of kids coming to school with no belt so they could wear their lime green shoe string belt.

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I'm a programmer. On a previous job, the developers and teams were measured by the number of feature requests they completed.

We figured out to subdivide everything to blow it up into the maximum number of feature requests possible. A manager might request a new report. We'd set up separate feature tickets for "create button", "make button blue", "make button respond when clicked", "implement business logic", "display results in grid", "allow sorting of grid", and so on. We'd subdivide a 1-day task into 20 one-hour tasks.

Management loved it! Our team looked twenty times as productive, despite deliberately slowing ourselves down with red tape.

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My senior year of high school we got moved into a new school building across from a grocery store. The builders put walls up over the plumbing for water fountains by accident so there was a huge increase in reusable water bottles, and the school put up a vending machine entirely full of water.
Now I suppose it’s time to mention that this was in Washington state, where you can sell liquor in grocery stores along with anything else.
SO some freshman got the bright idea to start stealing vodka from the store access the street, fill disposable water bottles with it, and sell it to other students. This caused a huge problem with a large population of drunk underclassmen wandering the halls of the school and getting into trouble.
Finally the staff got together for a meeting about what to do. Someone suggested banning water bottles. So now students had NO access to water during school hours, and everyone was enraged. There were articles written about it and parents complaining. People all over town were talking about how we had a ban on water.
They eventually lifted the ban, and the vodka problem resumed.

TLDR: my school had kids selling booze in water bottles and banned water.


My high school's student council decided to use their funds to build a bike cage. The idea was to reduce theft. Bikes go in at the start of the day and are locked up until the end of the day. There would still be racks outside the cage for students to use who needed to leave in the middle of the day (dentist, cutting class, etc).

I told the other council members that the bike cage would cause a huge increase in traffic as what was previously an open bike rack would now have one exit and entrance. Additionally it would actually increase theft as people could now cut locks in the cage without worrying about someone looking at them through the covered fence (they were planning a chainlink fence with slats in it).

GUESS WHAT F*****G HAPPENED??!? Bike theft increased and traffic around the bike cage became a nightmare.

I quit the student council after they made that decision.


School I attended emailed the entire student body to not use Yik Yak because students were being bullied on it.

All of the students, myself included, who hadn't heard of the app immediately downloaded it and began using it.


not my school but next to mine - started locking the back door so people wouldn't go out and smoke during breaks between classes. the day they implemented this, 6 people jumped out of the window on the ground floor by 2nd period, stepping into the restroom was like walking into a cloud, there was an emergency session of the student council and within a few days everyone owned a vape.


Not school, but work.

My work just recently tried to implement a new attendance policy that didn't last 24hrs. They changed it so that after two unexcused absences in a year you were fired, an unexcused absence is any absence or tardiness (I think you were allowed 4 tardies...) when you didn't give your boss more than 24hrs notice.


An insane amount of time and hand wringing went into my office's dress code policy. When the final draft was ultimately released, every department head had a valid reason why *their* staff should be exempted. So the policy wound up only affecting myself and the guy that insisted on making the policy. I violate this policy on a daily basis.


The school was so hopelessly *obsessed* with League Table standings that any kids getting A-grades were untouchable. They made the school look good, so they could treat who they liked how they liked.

Bullying sky-rocketed, the schools reputation plummeted, attendance dropped, and their precious League Table results followed.

They put winning points ahead of the duty of care to the children. C***s.


My work used to have vacation and sick leave as separate things. 2 years ago they created new "Paid Time Off" that merged sick leave and vacation, but everyone got the same amount of PTO as their old vacation time. So, tons of people just started coming to work sick so they wouldn't waste their vacation time. Now there are tons of people sick all of the time.


If you had 4 tardies in a semester, including first or zero hour, you would receive a Saturday morning detention.

I had accumulated 3 tardies during a semester of my sophomore year because my ride would be a few mins late. I proceeded to skip school anytime my ride (or myself) would be late and, eventually, a vice principal noticed my absences. Naturally, he asked why I was missing so many days of class. I explained to him that I wasn't going to get a detention for GOING TO SCHOOL. His only recourse was to suggest that I try to be on time more often.

Felt good to walk out of his office knowing that conversation didn't go how he expected.


My HS school had (perhaps still has) a program called TAD - Tardiness, Attendance, Discipline. I think that's what it stood for. Anyway the idea is if a student weren't late, miss a single day, or get a detention after a semester, he or she wouldn't have to take exams. Sounds great right? Except when you figure that the most punctual and studious students among us who achieved this became terrible at taking tests. Poor SAT scores and struggling in college.


You now need 40 hours of community service to graduate. It's recommended that all freshman do 10 hours a year, while the seniors start as soon as possible to get the 40 hours out of the way.

The rule was gone the day before graduation because they would have had less than a 10% graduation rate that year, and it would have made the school look terrible.

They did this to try to increase their reputation of being a good school. All the other schools in the area are trash though, so I really don't know why.


IT department changed how work is given out and time is accounted for.

Had to fill out daily time sheets that accounted for every 15 min section of time with a summary of what you've worked on. Anyone that needed IT help had to go thru one person.

The problem is that the one person giving out work had no clue who had what skills. The time sheets were a waste, we had to stop and report what we were working on.

Classic micro management, within months the entire IT staff left except 1 guy.

Don't micro manage when the job market if full of other jobs.


We weren't allowed to run during recess in elementary school after a girl fell and broke her arm when playing tag. The rule was you had to have one foot on the ground at all times. So we ended up having kids doing this little "shuffle run" thing by sliding their feet across the gravel and pavement, but still going at running speed. After another broken bone and a *lot* of scrapes, we could run again.

In middle school we had a very strict no cellphones rule, this was during the flip phone craze. Like, if they saw what looked like a cellphone in your pants, they could ask to look at it and take it. Problem was, all the girls in my school kept their phone in their back pocket, so all the girls would make a huge fuss whenever male teachers would look at their back pockets, and some guys would do the same thing ("why are looking at the front my my jeans, Coach?"). For a little while it didn't work and teachers just took them anyway, but after a couple of parents got *loudly* involved, they stopped doing that.

Also a girl gave some guy a blowjob by the candy machines during an assembly in 8th grade, so we had teacher "guards" patrolling the halls during every assembly after that. It didn't backfire but it did suck, pun intended.


Not work or school, but around 2009/2010, my city implemented new water saving laws that said you could only water your lawns on Tuesdays and Thursdays and started enforcing fines on anyone watering their lawn not on the approved days.

Well, summer turns to fall, the rainy season hits and water mains across the city suddenly started bursting. "What ever could be causing this mass failure of our water infrastructure?" Local university did a study and, sure enough, the Tuesday/Thursday watering rule had put a massive strain on the water mains/sewer lines and caused them to fail across town. The city's attempt to save water backfired with mass flooding and expensive repairs.

At the advice of the university, they switched it to "odd numbers water Monday/Wednesday, even numbers water Tuesday/Thursday." It's several years later and they're still repairing the damage in places.


My high school has a policy where you couldn't wear hats at school unless the school's mascot logo was on it. So a bunch of people just bought a patch of the logo and paperclipped them to their hats.


'Friendship Station' for people to find someone to play with in primary school. Turned out as you'd expect, a place to bully people on their own. Removed quickly.

Edit: Well this story blew up


I used to work for a production company that employed a lot of really skilled, award winning editors. There were producers and executives and directors but the real money makers, the people who really *made* the company were the editors, so the company was basically centered around them.

The executives would always order in food for the editors, and the editors would usually eat in their offices while doing their thing.

One day the executives decided to cut paid lunches to save money. The editors all thought this was a d**k move, so they'd go out for lunch and sometimes stay out for like 3 hours. There was nothing the company could do, really, because these editors were top of their game and if Warner Bros. heard that the editor they always used had left, they might leave, too.

So the company couldn't do anything. They saved maybe $15 dollars per person per day, but lost like 4 hours per person per day. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


My college didn't allow younger years to leave the grounds and go to the shops during lunch. They just asked the older years to buy stuff for them.

The college banned energy drinks. A black market sprung up, with the older years being dealers.

EDIT: UK college, so sixth form. Though we had years 10-13, so ages 16-19.
In the UK college is like high school.


They started a "no gum" rule that made a lot of junior high kids start a black market for gum.


*Little backstory, my high school was a teeny tiny rural school, 600 kids in grades 7-12

Randomly at the beginning of second semester my senior year, the new principal (who had just moved here from an inner city school in another state) decided that we would no longer be allowed to carry backpacks/bookbags in the halls between classes for safety reasons. Makes sense in this day and age, but the students were pissed about this abrupt change in clockwork of our tiny school. Shenanigans ensued after this new rule came into effect, including every student dropping their books in the hall simultaneously at 10:50 one day.

My personal favorite was the guy in my class who decided he would make something that couldn’t be called a “backpack”. First he took a bunch of belts and tied his books together so they could he carried (on his back). That was shut down after day two. That’s when it got hilarious - the next Monday he comes waltzing in wearing a product of his own design. He had made L shaped shelves from pieces of wood that could be connected to the sides of his legs, and proceeded to harness his books to these leg brace shelves. Needless to say, he was pulled from class before lunch.


My high school had a really bad problem with students showing up to class 5 minutes late everyday, so they tried three different solutions.

First they stopped letting us use lockers. They quickly found out that just meant that nobody brought their books to class.

Next they decided to ban use of the restrooms between class periods. Teachers started complaining about everyone asking for a bathroom pass as soon as class started so that was abandoned after a week or so.

Lastly one week they made a ton of announcements Monday-Wednesday that all students were to be on time for class. Then on Thursday they suspended any student who was late for "insubordination". Turns out that included half the football team. This occured right before the biggest game of the year (in a town of 4,000 people this game attracts ~16,000). So yeah they gave that up as well.


My 4 years of high school were full of my school trying out new policies and procedures to use in the future.

My sophomore year, my school decided to make tests count for 100% of the grade, and homework count for 0% (but it was still assigned). And as you'd expect, kids did absolutely no homework. The ones that didn't retain information well (or were bad test takers) struggled pretty hard to make the grade without homework padding it. Our failure rate was pretty high that year.

Then my junior year, they brought homework grades back and made a new rule that there were no due dates, nor penalties for turning in late work for your 6 weeks (we didn't do quarters). As long as it was before the next 6 weeks started, you were good.

This led to students doing no homework until the last few days of the 6 weeks, and teachers had to accept and grade them all before grades were due. This put teachers under immense stress by causing them to work insane hours and spend every hour at home grading. Which made them very irritable and more likely to just shove pointless activities and busywork at us until they could finish grading.


No running during recess. It was made because some kid in the 2nd grade ran and tripped. So for whatever reason, they restricted running for all grades K - 5th. Everyone should know that when you ask a 5 - 10 year old to not do something, that's the next thing they're going to do. They started running in the halls, the cafeteria, the classrooms, and you bet your a*s they ran outside. After a week, the teachers stopped enforcing it and everyone stopped caring.

Edit: Can't believe you people believed such an obvious lie lmao


High school took all the stall doors off the boy's bathrooms because of graffiti or something. So I started pooping in the bathroom near the office. After a couple of times of the superintendent coming in while I was doing that all the doors were put back on.


This was actually in the news a couple of months ago. We had a really hot summer last year, and the boys at my little brother's secondary school were mad that they couldn't wear shorts but the girls could wear skirts.

The Junior Leadership Team bought it up at a meeting, and the headteacher jokingly went, "alright If the boys want to wear skirts,then let them."

A group of boys went to school wearing skirts the next day. Then it wasn't just a group of them


Our school has this day where you can wear pajamas to school but have to pay a dollar to do it. Everyone started wearing pajamas to class anyways saying it's what they normally wear and didn't pay.

The school got rid of PJ day.

Edit: Typo


I worked for a software company that routed all sales < $100K to "inside sales," while larger orders went to the outside sales teams that worked directly with the customers.

Until one of the inside sales guys convinced the customer that they didn't need the $2 million software, and only needed a $99K upgrade.


At my college my dorm used to have this thing called Malt Mondays. Someone would go around knocking on doors at around 8 or 9pm asking if you wanted to order a 40oz. Then they would go on a run to the liquor store and buy them for people that ordered them. We would then all hang out outside drinking 40s and listening to music until security came and told us to take it is inside. It was a fun tradition we had, but the dean hated it. He decided to fund his own Malt Mondays, but instead of malt liquor he wanted to draw people in with free chocolate malts. What ended up happening is people who did the regular Malt Mondays and wanted a chocolate malt would just go to that one first, get a free treat and then leave to go and drink 40s.


"No more smoking at the front gate during recess and lunch".

Then the smokers started leaving at recess and didn't come back the rest of the day.


When smartphones were starting to become popular my school had a zero tolerance for phones policy - having your phone out resulted in an immediate suspension. My phone went off in class my freshmen year and i got suspended for that....keep in mind i was that kid that jad a 4.0, never broke any rules, never even got a detention...and that was the thing that got me suspended. The school eventually removed the policy because more kids were getting suspended and im sure that made the school look bad.


"Don't do anything unless directed by your Boss, any deviation from this will result in write-up/termination."

This was a very literal directive from upper management that took place after an office incident. Our work is very fluid, and our team alone contained 20 people. Needless to say productivity hit unfounded lows.


They tried to restrict students leaving campus during lunch periods at my high school. There were supervisors out every day trying to stop the onslaught of students who didn't give a damn, not wanting to eat the slop they called food in the cafeteria. It was absolutely hilarious.


I worked at a company that blocked EVERY SINGLE website except for the one we used for work. They then hired a new cleaning lady who couldn't speak English. We tried to look up a Spanish to English dictionary, but it was all blocked. This was pre-smartphone as well, so basically she just hung out all day since nobody knew what to have her do or even where the supplies were kept.


Not so much "backfired" as "never worked to begin with."

School was trying to cut down tardies, and made a 10/10 rule to filter out people just going to the bathroom. You couldn't leave class during the first or last ten minutes. Except I was on the color guard, last period, and most of us had to change into activewear in that time frame (asap, if you're in after the director you're late. Plus we had to move the chairs out of the way in the band hall before we could start, so we had to hustle). One of the AP's constantly caught girls going to the bathrooms 20 ft from the band hall doors to change, and got mad because we were breaking the 10/10 rule. She complained multiple times, and once actually followed some girls back into the band hall to lecture our director about the rules. He sat through her lecture with the most *stank* face ever (mocking her, because she has constant rbf to rival the cbf over in r/justnomil) and then said something along the lines of Nick Fury's "f**k the council" line.

The school gave up and got us rubber wristbands to act as a special pass so we could do our thing in peace.

Edit: peace not piece


When I graduated from high school, they had just completed the installation of a new football field (the little rubber pieces, not sure what it's called). They sent out a notice saying that girls were not allowed to wear heels in order to protect the new field. (We'll ignore the fact that they were setting 500 metal folding chairs on the new field.) Most of the class graduated barefoot, wearing the ugliest dirtiest shoes they could find, or in cleats. Basically anything to make a point about how absurd the rule was.

If I recall, there were a lot of embarrassed parents upset with how the pictures of their recent graduates came out. The rule was abolished after that.


I worked at a high school in LES NYC a few years ago. Was a large school 3000 students. As a teacher you realize fights happen. We all know they do and best thing to do is make sure those involved are punished and leaves it at that.

This was our principals first year in the building. She wasn’t a new principal as in brand new, but she was new to our school. Our school wasn’t horrible but it was declining.

A fight happens first period on the basement floor. Security is called, those involved are sent to the deans. Whatever it happens no big deal right?

Principal comes on announcements 2nd period. First she acknowledges there was a fight, which most already knew about. It’s a high school after all. Then she says “no student will be allowed to leave to use the bathroom the rest of the day! Teachers do not allow students to leave to use the bathroom!”

Well, this wasn’t received well. Students decide to flood the halls, yelling and shouting. This happens on all floors (six total). Students refusing to go to class and just shouting, yelling, running in the halls. I opened my class for the good kids and got in as many as I could.

Security couldn’t do anything. This went on for 2-3 periods do this was prime lunch periods. Most of these kids said f**k it and just left.

Around 6th period an assembly was held. Those students who remained were put in the auditorium where they were lectured by administration. The kids who did nothing wrong mind you.

Eventually word gets out to the NY Post that there was a “riot.” It wasn’t but a reporter asking kids you know what’s going to happen.

She turned out to be an awful principal and after more incidents and bad press we ran her out within a span of 2 years.


My high school banned us from carrying bookbags (but girls could carry GIANT purses). I suppose they were afraid of bombings or whatever. So this meant that we had to carry our books, etc. everywhere, which was annoying.

Well, one of my friends became fed up, and put his stuff in a box, and carried that. It was technically within the guidelines so it slid for a while. Well, the box began to break, so he takes a roll of duct tape and completely covers this box. This went on for several weeks and eventually the duct tape box begins to give. So he gets another box. Except he used that box to carry his old box in - and the new box eventually became taped as well.

Eventually individual teachers banned his box from their room, so he would leave it on top of the lockers (because it didn't fit inside). The principal ended up seeing it whilst giving a tour to prospective students. Boxes were subsequently banned. Apparently duct taped boxes look like bombs to would-be students and parents.

This is the same guy who wore a skirt to school one day. Skirts are allowed under the dress code while shorts are banned.


Freshman year of high school we had access to vending machines for drinks and snacks. Senior and Junior classes beat those machines up terribly to the point they were cutting the power cords with bolt cutters and continually breaking/scratching/defacing the graphics, or spraypainting the vending machines with black so you couldn't see inside. Cut to next year and the machines have been revoked for only senior use. They were enclosed in lockable outside areas and while you couldn't get into them outside of the senior lunch period you could climb over the wall and get into them and then climb onto them to get back out. We had upwards of 50 students get stuck in there in an attempt to get snacks and a drink between classes and the rule was revoked pretty fast. They eventually got rid of the machines and opened a snack bar at the school but it was pretty funny walking passed there during passing period and seeing a kid stuck unable to climb back out


Boarding school.

They served junk food in the cafeteria all the time. Chicken nuggets, hot chocolate, fries, all the time.

they had a station for coffee. And they decided to get rid of it because caffeine is bad. Energy drinks were banned, all forms of caffeine were banned.

Hot chocolate and ice cream and fries and burgers weren't as bad as caffeine apparently

The result?

A bunch of pissed off, uncaffeinated teenagers.

If they serve coffee in prison, I think a caffeine strike would be more effective than a hunger strike, for this very reason.


They made us wear bright orange vests instead of carrying a hall pass to leave the classroom. Junior high kids thought it'd be hilarious to put the vests in the toilets and leave them there, or bring them back to class soaking wet. So yeah, the vests didn't last long.


I worked for a place that did RMA repairs on PCs. Most of our clients were businesses like hospitals and factories. Anyway as I was touring the workshop during my orientation the guy taking me around took me to the QA department. Once all builds or repairs are made they're sent tot he QA department for a final inspection before going out to the customer. The guy jokingly said "we used to pay the QA guys bonuses for every mistake they found on a build". I started laughing. The only problem was it wasn't a joke. They actually paid bonuses to the QA people who found mistakes on builds. For anyone not familiar with the internal workings of a PC it could take less than 3 seconds to completely render a computer inoperable. Hell, you could loosen a connection just by inspecting it. Luckily that policy ended before I was hired. I mean can you imagine giving someone a bonus for finding screw ups when it would take almost no effort to make a screw up and then claim you found it?


Worked at a branch of a credit union. We had to recognize our coworkers whenever they did something good. Manager made us do this with a stuffed animal whale as a way to say "whale done!". I know! Ugh! Like we were kids.

Well, we decided to act like children since we were already being treated as such. So....... 2 weeks later our manager found the whale in the backroom....hanging from an extension cord.


I can sign my self out by changing my friends name to "mom" and have him say yes to me asking if I can leave early...

Edit: All I have to do is show my principle the text from my mom


My Highschool told my senior class: "No senior pranks or non of you walk" HA.

Result: We didn't throw a prank. Instead, we threw biggest rager of the year on school property with the permission of the county sheriff as long as we "Took our bottles with us when we finished."

The sheriff retired the next week. He was the real one.

Aftermath: The administration was pissed as hell but couldn't pin it on the senior class becauze sheriff Rick "couldn't remember what kids were there"


Get air quality monitoring for any project involving asbestos material. The problem is that we have a lot of projects which involve only a few holes drilled to mount a piece of equipment and there's already a simple and cheap method which we know negates the risk of asbestos getting released. Forcing us to do air monitoring effective doubled the cost of those projects. It didn't take them long for that policy to get reversed.


I went to a small private school with a strict dress code through middle and high school. Enforcing the dress code meant that they had a lot of violations to hand out. My 10th grade year, we got uniforms to try to fix the problems which were short skirts, wearing sweatshirts, shirts not long enough and low rise pants. However, the policy they chose was that you could buy them from the catalogs they gave or match similar items from regular stores. Everyone went to American Eagle and similar stores and it did not fix the problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think they cared and kept the uniforms.


we tried having 2 classes a day for 3 hours each, one before lunch, one after lunch. you can imagine how that went. lasted 3 days


my school had a really strict cell phone policy. if a teacher caught you with a cell phone they would turn it into the office and you'd have to pay $25 to get it back. Supposedly the $25 went into scholarships for students. Anyway, once I was "caught" with my iPod. One headphone in, iPod in my skirt pocket, as I walked from class. This teacher tried to take it and said it fell under the cell phone policy and I had to pay $25 to get it back. Fat chance. When i asked her to make a call using my iPod (in 2008, idk what iPods can do today) she shut up. I was expelled a few months later for unrelated reasons.

EDIT: for everyone personally affected by this I just talked to my sister who graduated from the same school and said by the time she got there they charged you $25 for the first time your phone was taken and each time after that charged $25 more. So the second offense was $50, the third was $75 and so on.


The first Wawa in my county was recently built across the street from my high school. Kids would go there in the morning to get coffee, and bring it to their classes. The school already had a “no food or drink in class” rule, so when the founder of my school saw Wawa cups popping up he announced a ban on kids walking to Wawa in the morning. He would sit behind a tree in his golf cart waiting for someone to walk off campus to go over there. Pretty soon everyone was skipping class to walk to Wawa and face a suspension of some sort.


My school tried to prevent Senior Ditch Day by threatening to take away Senior Breakfast.

My graduating class was probably one of the worst during our years there- being named “The Druggie Class” and also having the most truents from skipping class. So we ditched on Senior Ditch Day and also ditched on our supposed Senior Breakfast to go eat at a local cafe. Can’t threaten a class that already doesn’t care about school!


Trying to put our class of 22 in Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl.... with only 4 girls.


A local pharmacy was built on the same street as my school and local pharmacies get robbed a couple times a year where I live. To make our school more secure, they started locking every door and making it punishable by detention for any instance of a student opening an outside door for someone else during school hours. Everyone had to go through the front doors to the lobby to show ID and sign in before they got into the actual school. I liked how secure the school was but when our principal was walking superintendents around to show them our new media production and medical sciences wing of the school they got locked out after stepping outside to look at an outdoor set. That spot was on the complete opposite side of the school from the front office. During class change they tried knocking on the door to get a student to open it. Everyone ignored them and followed the rules. Those old men and ladies had to walk around the school in 95 degree, 90% humidity weather sweating their suits off. Our principal did commend all the students for following the rules at the next school assembly and said he was proud to show how safe the school was. Cool dude.


My old job had a Draconian attendance policy in which if you were at a second late, you got a 1/2 point demerit. If you were an hour late, you got that same 1/2 point demerit (demerits accrued: 3=verbal warning , 4=written, either 5 or 6 was termination). In addition to making for some anxiety-filled employees that made dumb decisions to speed through snow storms, it also meant if you got stuck in a traffic jam, you might as well just take your time, stop for gas, get breakfast, etc.

Same place also had a similar policy that assured the plague spread through the whole place. Say you came to work at 7. By 9 am you've got a fever and full-blown flu symptoms. If you clock out then, you get a whole-point demerit. But if you sit there coughing and shivering and infecting your coworkers for another 2 hours (til your shift was half over), you only got a half-point demerit.


At a former job (software development), there was a foosball table. People would play reasonably often, but just 1 game to take a break. One day, management came down to the software engineering floor and saw people playing foosball in the middle of the afternoon. They declared "no foosball until 4:30 PM". That ended up making it so that everybody know when there would be other people wanting to play foosball, so it was much easier to find somebody willing to play and significantly increased the amount of foosball played at work.


The school had assigned parking spaces and if you didn't get your tag for your car (and which space was yours) at the beginning of the year during registration, it was a nightmare to get.

If I didn't get to school 45 minutes before classes started, my parking spot was always taken. I think overall between grade 11 and 12, I got to park in my designated space maybe...9 times. Complaints were made and notices were sent in the school paper, but all they ever did was give a slap on the wrist as it continued.


They tried to ban the Bible.

Within 3 days even the atheists, the Buddhists, and the Muslims were reading it.

They also got a lawsuit.


At my elementary school you had the choice of going either outside or to the gym for recess. The gym was right across the lunch room (They were really the same room split by a retractable wall) so to prevent kids from going there to line up at the door between the lunch room and gym they made it so you had to be participating in what the gym teacher put up for recess; anyone not participating got kicked out of the gym.

The problem was that they never sent out an email to the gym teacher regarding that rule, so to no one's suprise almost everyone who went to the gym lined up at the door and the line wrapped around the entire gym.

They soon closed the gym during recess.


To get us all to quiet down my advance level math class teacher told us all to "shut your mouths, breath through your noses." Followed by the most disgusting 15 seconds of allergy season forceful stuffy group nose breathing.


My high school had just moved to a brand new complex, and were trying to do a "fresh start" in every aspect, including discipline. They attempted to rule that nobody could leave the building until the end of the school day, even going so far as to disable the sensors on the automatic sliding front doors during break times.

After the vast majority of students didn't bother even coming in for the first 2 weeks, they quickly removed the rule.


I was stationed aboard the USS Harry S. Truman from '02 - '05. At one point during a deployment the Capitan found a candy wrapper in a P-way. What's the obvious solution to finding trash? Geedunk (snacks and sodas from vending machines) were only to be consumed on the mess deck, anyone caught eating candy anywhere else on the ship would be put on report. Now, it's not like we organized a boycott, but the only reason to buy something from the vending machines would be to eat it elsewhere. If you were going to eat on the mess deck, might as well hit a chow line. 3 days of zero sales from the machines and the supply officer talked some sense into the Capitan.