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10 Peculiar Things Public Schools Have Banned

Offbeat  (tags: bizarre, americans, schools, off-beat, children, odd )

- 2231 days ago -
Remember Pogs? The game featured cardboard discs printed with some kind of design on one side (sometimes a TV show or company promo), and was played by stacking the pieces face-down and pummeling them with a slammer (a heavier metal piece).


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Past Member (0)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 12:45 am
"We’ve all heard stories about schools banning books or gang-affiliated clothing, but there are many less-publicized bans in effect. Here are ten of the more interesting cases.

1. Pogs
Remember Pogs? The game featured cardboard discs printed with some kind of design on one side (sometimes a TV show or company promo), and was played by stacking the pieces face-down and pummeling them with a slammer (a heavier metal piece). The overturned pogs were then kept by the player in turn; when the face-down Pogs were gone, the player with the most in his or her stack won. This ban was unofficial in my middle school but, citing concerns that the game promoted gambling, schools in Arizona and Washington, DC, decided to formally remove the collectible pieces from their premises.

(Bonus fact! Paper pogs were printed by AAFES as a form of currency during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom for use in contingency areas. The double-sided gift certificates were thinner and lighter than traditional pogs and came in 5-cent, 10-cent, and 25-cent denominations. They could be redeemed at any AAFES store worldwide.)

2. Dictionaries
When a Menifee, California, parent who was volunteering in her son’s fifth-grade class at Oak Meadows Elementary came across the definition of “oral sex” in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Tenth Edition, 1994), she filed a complaint with the principal about explicit language in the reference book and they were immediately removed. The reason for having a collegiate dictionary in an elementary school? “[W]e have students who are reading at much higher levels,” according to a spokeswoman for the district. According to reports, no parents attended the board meeting to express concerns about the dictionary, and a few days later they were returned to the classrooms.

3. A Hat With Toy Soldiers on It
The assignment asked students to make hats to wear when they met their pen pals. An eight-year-old Rhode Island boy decided to make his patriotic, and affixed little soldiers to a camouflaged cap. But because toy soldiers with plastic guns aren’t allowed under the school’s weapons ban, the hat was deemed inappropriate. [Image courtesy of CBS/WPRI.]

The school’s principal suggested replacing the gun-toting Army men with soldiers without weapons. The boy only had one toy that qualified—a soldier with binoculars—so he wore a plain hat instead. Lt. Gen. Reginald Centracchio, the retired commander of the Rhode Island National Guard, praised the school for supporting the military in the past, but disagreed with the hat ban. “The American soldier is armed,” Centracchio told the Associated Press. “That’s why they’re called the armed forces. If you’re going to portray it any other way, you miss the point.”

4. Silly Bandz, Slap Bracelets, and Cancer Awareness Bands
Bracelets can’t catch a break. First, in the early 90s, the slap bracelet craze came to a grinding halt when kids started injuring each other from “improper use” of the toy. Exposed metal edges were found to “cause hand and wrist injuries to children,” according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More recently, the pink rubber bands proclaiming “I Heart Boobies” in support of breast cancer awareness and the various-shaped Silly Bandz have been deemed “inappropriate” and “distracting” and removed from many schools.

5. Air Jordans

In Chicago, no less. Way back in 1996, fears of gang-related activity prompted Calumet High School officials to ban all clothing red, black and white in color – including the then-new red and black Air Jordans and Chicago Bulls attire. [Image: Air Jordan 5 (1990) courtesy of SneakerFiles.]

6. “Mom” and “Dad”
Not your mom and dad, just the words “mom” and “dad” in school-distributed communications. In 2007, in an effort to avoid exclusionary language considered negative to same-sex couples, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill prohibiting the use of the terms “mom and dad” or “husband and wife” to address memos, letters and permissions slips. This may not seem like a big deal (alternatives are “parents” or “parent or guardian,” which is standard enough), but of course there was serious backlash—Governor Schwarzenegger was accused of “ensuring that every California school becomes a homosexual-bisexual-transsexual indoctrination center,” by the president of the Campaign for Children and Families.

7. Peanuts
With peanut allergies on the rise (up 50% in some areas in the space of a year), some schools have banned all peanut products from the cafeteria, even going as far as prohibiting non-allergic students from bringing in the ubiquitous school-age favorite, PB&J. Others are more lenient, however, and offer multiple lunch options for allergic students and warnings on foods containing peanuts.

8. Jamie Oliver
Los Angeles schools aren’t too happy with Jamie Oliver, pioneer of healthful and inexpensive school lunch programs in the UK. In a move to illustrate how much sugar the LA school system gives students in one week (just in flavored milk!), Oliver loaded an old school bus with 57 tons of white sand. The stunt was met with fierce resistance by school officials and LA-area parents, and the Food Revolution host and his crew are banned from working on location in the city. Oliver still hopes to get into the city schools and help overhaul the lunch program, but for now it looks like he’s hanging out with the Chicago schools’ vegetables.

9. Vegetables
No, really. Not all vegetables, of course—just the ones grown on school grounds. In what seems like a setback for the local food movement, in 2010 Chicago Public Schools prohibited produce grown in the 40 school-sponsored gardens to be served in the district’s cafeterias. Their reasoning? “In order to use food in the school food program, it would need to meet specific/certified growing practices,” a district spokeswoman said.

10. Skinny Jeans

Sure, sagging pants have been under a firestorm since the early 90s. But more recently, in 2009, a school in Mesquite, TX, put a moratorium on skinny jeans. Aside from looking silly (as evidenced by the Menudo pic), the school board decided the emo-favored garb is “disruptive of student learning.” The school also banned striped and checked shirts for the same reason."

P A (117)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 1:36 am
You can understand the reasoning behind most of these - even if some seem an over-reaction, I'll bet it was to protect themselves from lawsuits; however I CAN understand and approve of the peanut ban - if the number of children with allergies has risen by 50% in just one year, then it is vital to protect them - AND the child/children who are just about to become allergic - and peanut allergies can kill!

Giana P (398)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 2:23 am

Jillian Childers (0)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 8:43 am
I am in Middle School and I've realized that they concentrate to much on some things. Things like a small hole in your pants above the knee. And most of the time you would never notice the hole but they put so much emaphasise on it you have to notice. Or not being happy enough. I was once taking out of class during an important class that you have to take notes for because I wan't happy enough. In my school you can't be to happy but you have to always smile, or you're not happy enough!! And it wasn't just me either that this happened to! Definately an over reaction! And they wonder why don't make Ayp because aren't always in class for the lessons. I figure about 4-5 people are taken out of class Just in My GRADE! They should'nt worry about little things like that. What happened to EDUCATION!

Kay M (347)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 11:01 am

Fred Krohn (34)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 2:12 pm
This scheiße is incentive to establish your own school at home using Internet teachers instead of those in defective libtard schools. Gun control should be outright banned along with this stupid libtard Political Corruptness! I establish a 'no tolerance' policy against stupid school policies like the above!

Mary Donnelly (47)
Sunday September 9, 2012, 6:38 pm
Thanks Carrie.

Some of the time, money, and effort used on these projects might have been spent more beneficially--say, by helping the homeless.


Past Member (0)
Monday September 10, 2012, 2:37 am
It seems they've decided to ban common sense too.

Cathy P (97)
Monday September 10, 2012, 9:14 am
Those pants need to be banned from the planet! lol

M B (62)
Monday September 10, 2012, 2:07 pm
It seems like a bad joke. And yes, I too think they've banned common sense.

Carol H (229)
Wednesday September 12, 2012, 5:17 am
noted, thanks Carrie
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