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Top 10 Kids BANNED From School For Stupid Reasons

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
These ridiculous school punishments had us shaking our head at the rulebooks. For this list, we're looking at some of the most insane reasons for which students were reportedly disciplined, with their penalties ranging from demerits to full-on expulsions, from recording bullying, to sharing jolly ranchers, and asking for tylenol! WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Stupid Things Students Were Punished For.

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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Unbelievable Things Students Were Punished For

These punishments had us shaking our head at the rulebooks. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10unbelievable things students were punished for.

For this list, we're looking at some of the most insane reasons for which students were reportedly disciplined, with their penalties ranging from demerits to full-on expulsions.

#10: Sharing a Jolly Rancher

Sharing is caring...unless it’s candy and you’re at Brazos Elementary School in Texas. Third grader Leighann Adair accepted a Jolly Rancher from a friend at lunch. This simple exchange among friends was treated as a heinous act and punished by the student being banned from attending lunch and recess with other students for a week. Administrators said that having the candy violated their policy against non-nutritious foods, even though Adair never even opened the Jolly Rancher. Healthy lifestyle choices are important, but this punishment for one piece of candy seems a bit excessive.

#9: Having At-Risk Genes

You’d need a microscope to see why this Palo Alto student was taken out of school. In 2012, 6th grader Colman Chadam was told he’d have to leave school due to his carrying the genetic markers for cystic fibrosis. The logic behind this decision was somewhat legitimate. Two other kids in the school had the disease and there was a risk they could get each other sick. On the other hand, his medical information was allegedly disclosed by another teacher without permission and Chadam never showed signs of sickness. All in all, Chadam missed two weeks of school and his parents sued the school for discrimination against his genes.

#8: Asking for Tylenol

Keeping drugs out of school makes complete sense. But in the case of Maine student Tracy Jannicelli, things went a little overboard. When the 9th grader had a headache at school, she asked classmates if they had Tylenol and was handed two white pills. Later that day, she was called into the assistant principal’s office and asked to sign a statement about her actions. By that night, Jannicelli had been suspended from school for five days for violating the school’s zero tolerance policy against drugs. She was later expelled for the incident, prompting the ALCU of Maine to take on her case.

#7: Recording Bullying

Being bullied by fellow students is bad, but coming from a teacher is unacceptable. When 11-year old Brianna Cooper witnessed her teacher spewing insults and threats at another classmate, she took action. She recorded the teacher’s taunts on her cellphone and handed it to another school official. Unfortunately, since taking audio of a teacher without their knowledge is illegal in Florida, Brianna was given a five-day suspension. Her actions led to the teacher getting fired, but it’s still a shame she was punished for standing up for a fellow student.

#6: A Mother’s Facebook Rant

Most of us are guilty of getting a little angry online. Ashley Habat’s online rant, however, cost her son his spot at school. Habat felt that Sonshine Christian Academy didn’t give her enough time to prepare for her preschooler’s picture day. She took to Facebook to vent her negative feelings on her profile page, making the post friends only, but also while tagging the school. The next day, Habat was called into the main office and her son was asked to leave the academy. Her son’s expulsion sparked debate about which side had overstepped their boundaries. Hashtagging the school in a rant may not have been the smartest thing to do, but surely the innocent child deserved more consideration from the school.

#5: Carrying a Leaf

A sixth grader’s problem all started with a leaf. An assistant principal at Bedford Middle School in Virginia discovered a leaf and a lighter in an 11-year old’s backpack. Believing the leaf in question was marijuana, the student received possession charges and a 364 day suspension. Months later, three negative tests proved that it had just been an ordinary leaf. With the truth coming to light, all charges were dropped against the student and he was able to go to another school. On probation. Once again, there was little flexibility against a zero-tolerance policy.

#4: Hugging a Friend

The “Full House” gang would be banned from Southwest Middle school in a heartbeat. Why? Because the school has a strict no-hugging policy. Student Nick Martinez learned this the hard way when he and a female friend were seen embracing in the hallway. Though it was likely just an innocent gesture, it violated the school’s strict rules against PDA and earned the two students in-school suspensions. With similar policies in surrounding area schools, if you end up taking classes in that area, you’d be better off sticking with a friendly fist bump.

#3: Hairstyle Choices

A surprising amount of educational troubles have started with a hairstyle. In 2017, a student was suspended when her red hair dye came off as “too unnatural.” In 2014, a male student’s dreadlocks kept him out of class. But it was a 9-year-old’s hair-related punishment that really had heads turning. Nine-year-old Kamryn Renfro shaved her head for a friend going through chemotherapy. The school board issued a suspension because her shaved head violated the dress code. Fortunately, social media backlash led the board to overturn their decision, and Kamryn was free to return to school and support her friend at the same time.

#2: Keeping Up with “Glee”

There are some people that don’t like the musical show Glee and others who consider it a punishable offense. Chris Peterman was attending Bob Jones University, a Protestant college in South Carolina. He had already been on the university’s radar for his social media activism when a fellow student reported seeing Peterson at Starbucks watching “Glee.” Since the show had some content that the school found unacceptable, such as the depiction of gay relationships, he received 50 demerits for tuning in. Although this wasn’t the act that would ultimately get Peterman suspended from the school, keeping up with the musical hit was still a costly choice that brought him closer to the suspension.

Before we call our top pick to the office, here are some honorable mentions.

Having “Too Tight” Pants

Burping Leads to Arrest

Holding a Door Open for a Visitor

#1: Building a Clock

It’s not everyday that the President gets involved with a school punishment. In 2015, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed wanted to share a digital clock he’d constructed with his teacher. However, it was confiscated over concerns that it supposedly looked like a bomb. He was then arrested for having a “hoax bomb” and received a three day suspension. Ahmed’s story caused a social media firestorm over the belief that he was targeted because of his Muslim identity. Fortunately, the charges were dropped. As icing on the cake, one of his supporters, then-President Barack Obama, invited Ahmed to the White House to show off his clock in person.


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