47 People Describe The Stupidest Things Teachers Punished Them For In School

Flickr, Kevin Dooley
Flickr, Kevin Dooley

1. Meth, Yes Meth

Running a meth lab (I wasn’t). I had a bunch of chemicals for a photography class that I was student teaching in my locker during my senior year. Someone saw them, called 911, I was pulled out of class by police and arrested. They genuinely thought that I was cooking meth in my locker. Wouldn’t let me call my lab supervisor to confirm that they were for class… When the narcotics team showed up they basically just facepalmed and told the cops to let me go.

2. Google.com/penis

When I was in third grade I was called into the counselor’s office. The counselor told me that they found an index card under my desk with an “inappropriate website” on it. She wanted to know if I wrote it. I didnt, and I told her this. She asked me again. I denied it. She told me to stop lying. I said I wasnt.

The counselor decided to compare my handwriting to the writing on the index card. I grabbed my writing journal and gave it to her. She showed me the writing on the index card (which had google.com/penis written on it) and then opened my notebook. “See?” She said. “The g’s are identical. I know you wrote this.”

Except they werent. The g’s on the index card had the tail curl up to the top, while my g’s tails hung low. I pointed this out to her.

She slammed the notebook down and yelled “no more mrs. nice counselor, you’re going to tell me you did this!” I denied it, again, (because I didn’t fucking do it) so she suspended me for a week.
Luckily my mom fought her on this and I didn’t get suspended, but damn. I didn’t need an hour of interrogation over that shit.

3. Scapegoated

I was called into the Principal’s office because some kids in lower grades were looking at porn online. During recess you could go outside or spend time in the computer lab playing games online. One of my friends told me about a website called nothingtoxic.com which had online games on it and when some younger kids asked what site I was on I happily told them. A couple hours later I was called into the Principal’s office and asked if I knew about the website. When I said I did, I was informed that there was pornography on the site and it was my fault that younger kids were exposed to it. I explained that I was referred to the site by a friend and many people had been using the site for weeks without this incident occurring buuuut the younger kids said it was me who told them about it so I alone was suspended for a week, not for browsing porn, for telling people about a website that happened to have porn on it. I honestly had no idea there was porn on that site.

4. No Working Ahead!

Working ahead in my textbook.

5. Naptime

I got sent to the Principal’s office in the second grade because during nap time, I would stealthily read a book.

6. There’s A Reason It’s Called HOMEwork

Doing my homework during downtime in class. As an example, I was always one of the first kids to finish a test. If we had an hour I’d be done by the half hour mark and that’s if it’s actually difficult and I’m triple checking my answers.

So while class is quiet with most kids still taking the test, I’d work on my homework. A silent activity that wouldn’t disrupt anyone.

Teacher got pissed and told me they call it “HOME”work for a reason. What did he want me to do instead? Sit quietly and wait for everyone else to finish.

Fucking stupid.

7. Go Sit On The Log

Watching 3 kids play tag on the playground. It’s against the rules. Teacher thought I was with them. I had to spend recess sitting on a log.

8. Again, Reading Ahead Is Bad

I would get in trouble for reading ahead in my book. We took turns reading, and the kids in my class read way too slow for me to keep interest, so I’d be a chapter ahead of them.

9. “I’m the one with the degree in Geography”

A teacher in my school said that Orlando was the state capital of Florida. I corrected him. He raised an eyebrow and said, “I think you’ll find I’m right”, before continuing.

I said, “No, sir, it’s definitely Tallahassee”. His retort of, “I’m the one with the degree in Geography” was met with “Then you’d think you’d know” landed me in detention.

10. “Persons drive cars”

I got issued my first detention in the 3rd grade. We had a substitute English teacher who kept using the word ‘persons’ instead of ‘people’. Not in the legal ‘person-hood’ type way but like in “Persons drive cars.”

After about 10 minutes of this I raised my hand and asked why she kept saying that because the plural of person is people, it’s one of the special ones you don’t add an s to. She told me that both were correct and to look it up in a dictionary. So later that day during our assigned reading time I went and pulled a dictionary from the wall of books, looked it up and carried it over to her at her desk to show her that our dictionary said ‘Person, pl people’.

Needless to say, I got a detention but since it was after recess I was assigned to serve it the next day. The next day when we were released for recess I tearfully went to my teacher to tell her I couldn’t go because I had a detention and she was shocked. So I explained what happened, she laughed her ass off and sent me outside to play.

11. Admitting When You’re Wrong

I had a teacher incorrectly date something in history class. I corrected him, and he retorted by saying I was wrong, but thanks for playing. The next day he apologized in front of the class because he was wrong. Best teacher I ever had, not because he went as far as to verify his information, but because he taught us that it’s important to admit when you’re wrong.

12. No Exceptions, EVER

When I was 12 I became ill and had to take time off school. I was off for 3 months straight before going back on a part time timetable. The slightest bit of exercise would leave me exhausted, I lost weight from not being able to eat, and I looked terrible. So why did I get into trouble? For not taking part in cross country running. I wasn’t alone that day, the girl with a broken leg also got into trouble.

13. Attendance Policy

My school had a strict attendence policy. I got the chicken pox in 7th grade. Symptoms showed up the morning we were to go back to school after christmas break. Missed 2 weeks of school. My mom called on the second day I was out and dropped off a note from my doctor saying I would be out for 2 weeks because I had the chicken pox. On the day I came back to school I was suspended for 2 days for having too many unexcused absenses. They made my mom come pick me up and told her that chicken pox was a childhood disease and I should have had it already. That they don’t consider it an excused absence after the 6th grade, even with a doctor’s note.

My mom was one angry ginger. So many f-bombs at the Principal that day. We were escorted out.


I got a lunchtime detention for writing too big on the whiteboard…

15. Avoid The Sun Or Else

My hair gets highlights in it if I spend a lot of time in the sun. I came back to school after a 2 week beach holiday and got detention because I had “coloured” my hair, even though the sun had bleached it.

16. The Bus Was Late

The SCHOOL PROVIDED bus being late. When the teacher who handed out the detentions was confronted by a large number of parents complaints she responded with “not my problem.”

17. …Too Windy

I got in trouble for continuing to play tag after they told us we weren’t allowed to play because it was too windy.

18. Lunchbox Awareness Is A Must

I was given an after school detention on my eighth birthday for leaving my lunchbox in the playground by accident.

19. There’s No Reward For Honesty

In high school. The year I got there was the year they instituted a rule that you had to display your ID at all times while at school. If you didn’t have your ID out, you could get detention. Due to reasons, I got to school about an hour before first bell and had zero way of getting back home or getting anything from home (well, until the end of school, of course).

So I get to school and realize Oh Noes! I forgot my ID at home! Well, no problem, I’ll just go to the office and get a temp one.

Whelp, turns out I should have tried to make it through the day without my ID, because I got detention anyway. And I knew that I had a greater than 95% chance of making it through the day without anyone who cared noticing I didn’t have my ID out, but no, I tried to do the right thing. Well, fuck you school, you taught me a terrible lesson.

20. “Too Worldly”

I went to an extremely conservative Baptist High School in Guam. I was punished for some pretty insane things; hair being too “spiky”, singing Feliz Navidad during Christmas time (too worldly of a song), and getting caught with DVD’s of mainstream movies. I was eventually expelled when a group of the super religious students sold me out for drinking a beer at a friend’s birthday party on a weekend. At this time the drinking age in Guam was 18; I was 18 when drinking said beer.

21. The Guinea Pig

In third grade my mom had me do some experimental ADD medication thing that caused a bunch of weird ticks and shit. Apparently I kept making some face, because my teacher drew three stars on a post-it note and whenever I made the face, she crossed off a star. I lost all three and got three days in detention for recess.

Plot twist: Turns out I didn’t actually have ADD.

22. Toilet Paper Is Too Sexual

4th grade history, talking about the pioneers moving into the American West in the 1800s, the assignment was to come up with a list of things you would pack in your wagon if you were moving a thousand miles into the wilderness. All of the kids in the class had the usual stuff, food, clothes, medicine, a tent, blankets, etc. A few of us (including myself) had toilet paper on the list because why wouldn’t we have it on the list? Toilet paper is a perfectly reasonable thing to pack, right?

Anyway, toilet paper offended our teacher’s puritan sensibilities and everybody who listed it went to the Principal’s office and got suspended from recess for a few days.

23. Rocks

I got my desk taken away from me in second grade for collecting rocks in it.

24. Prophecy

I once coughed in an exam and the teacher thought I said ‘paedo’ when I did it. Fast forward 6 months and the teacher gets ‘asked to leave’ and it emerges he had been getting way too friendly with young students. Funny thing is that I genuinely just coughed, methinks he may have had a guilty conscience.

25. “Okay” Is Not Okay

I got detention for saying “okay” to my home economics teacher in middle school. Seriously.

We were in class and she asked me to do something and I replied, politely, “okay”. The teacher has a detention board and a day later I see my first name on it. I have a very common name and, joking with her, went “haha that’s for me right?”. She said it was. I asked her what I did and she said it was because I replied okay to her when she asked me to do something and she hates when people do that….she just wants them to do it.

I was stunned. I told her I wasn’t going to detention. I got home and told my Mom what happened. My teacher’s son was in the same grade as my older sister so my Mom knew the teacher. She ended up calling her and the teacher apparently was fumbling over her words trying to justify the detention.

The next day, she goes to me “you served this detention right?” (as a wink wink nudge nudge type of thing). I said no and I’m not going to. She goes “no you served it right?”. I decided to just say “sure” and that was that.

26. Self Expression And Initiative Are Discouraged -The Management

There were limited seats in the high school newspaper ‘class’, and I didn’t make it. A few friends and I published an alternative newsletter and distributed it freely. The content of the paper was 100% clean and all student created original content. Our distribution exceeded the official paper because we didn’t charge for the newsletter. Despite there being no rules against it, when the school caught wind we were forced to disband and received three weeks work detail. (Work detail was similar to detention, but you walked the school grounds picking up trash, cleaning trash cans, washing the Principal’s car, etc.)

Next year there was a new rule in the book forbidding student publications.

27. “Glam Tube!!!”

Not being able to read the teachers handwriting.

Looking back the whole situation was hilarious but at the time, he was a tyrant of a teacher and everyone was scared of him.

He was writing notes on a white board which we had to transcribe into our note books. One of the sentences had the words ‘glass tube’ in it. He wrote the ‘ss’ in a way that it looked like an ‘m’ being young and naïve I asked ‘what is a glam tube?’

He went mental, shouting at me and dragged me across the desk by my ear screaming about me not being able to read and shouting ‘Glam tube!!!’. I’m sure it ended up in a detention for me.

Less than a year later he was dismissed as a teacher from the school due to anger issues.

28. The Worst Wingman

I was flirting with a girl I’d know since we were four.

Special needs kid got angry and punched me in the face.

I got suspended for fighting.

29. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

While in 8th grade, I saw a 6th grade girl getting picked on by a bunch of older guys. I vaguely knew her and went over to stop the guys. Didn’t fight them, just got between them and her and told them to leave; after a minute or so they did.

The girl’s brother also went to our school, and someone had run off to tell him that his sister was getting picked on. He comes running, sees me talking with her and sucker punches me from behind. I swing back, not knowing who I was swinging at, just knowing someone had hit me in the head, and hit him in the face. Of course this happens right when a teacher shows up.

Despite the girl’s protests that I had done nothing wrong, the guy accused me of that and starting the fight between us. I get detention and he gets nothing.

30. No Self Defense Allowed

Some girl started a fight with me in full view of CCTV ( Yeah my old school had CCTV everywhere…) , I threw her to the ground because I practiced self defense martial arts and I wasn’t really thinking about what I was doing.

Apparently putting someone to the floor to stop them from hurting you is reason to receive detention for a month.

The only reason I didn’t get suspended was because she didn’t have a proper injury. I also got told that if I was to repeat the behavior I would be kicked from the school.

The school organized the self defense class that my parents forced me to attend.


31. Rules Are Rules

I forgot my swimsuit for P.E (Gym) and got a detention, even though our lesson didn’t include swimming.

32. The Broken Clarinet And The Scam Artist

I really love music and thought that joining my elementary school’s band was the coolest thing ever. However, I come from a low-income family, so my parents couldn’t afford the $500 entry-level instrument (clarinet, for those wondering). “Fortunately”, my elementary school offers rentals to students who wish to learn how to play. The only thing we had to pay for was reeds. Awesome, right? Wrong.

I was 9 years old and had never handled a clarinet in my life until that point, so I didn’t know what a working clarinet sounds or looks like- the music teacher gave it to me and I was just happy to have an instrument of my own. So without suspecting anything, I went home to practice and had a TON of trouble blowing air into the thing whenever I had my fingers down to the 4th key; forget about anything past that. I figured that it was just because I was new so I didn’t have the strength of breath to blow hard enough to go past the 4th key. About two weeks later, the music teacher stops our practice and makes me play solo because she “couldn’t hear me”. Of course, it’s a piece that required me to go past the 4th key and I just couldn’t do it. I told her that I didn’t have the breath to blow hard enough so she demands to see my clarinet and then proceeds to blow up on me (in front of the whole class) that I had damaged the thing so extensively that it’s unplayable; that I had even had the nerve to try to “repair” it with hot glue where there were cracks along the barrel.

I got sent to the Principal’s office and my parents were called. She proceeds to tell my parents and the Principal that I must have used the clarinet like a sword, because there’s no way the instrument could’ve sustained that much damage staying in its case. I was indignant and I cried and I said that I didn’t do anything to it, but no one listened to me (and mind you- I was a straight-edge, straight-As student; I WOULDN’T dare to do anything to it).

So fuck you, Mrs. Jones- you were supposed to inspect that clarinet before you gave it to me so you knew damn well that it was fucked before you gave it to me. You PLANNED all of that to get my family to pay for something that we couldn’t afford because you fucked up at some point and didn’t want to pay for it yourself. Fuck. You.

33. No Wall Touching, Especially The Brick Ones

I got morning detention for running my hand against the brick wall in middle school. I was talking to my girlfriend and wasn’t paying attention and just dragging my hand along the wall as I walked down. Supposedly the teacher thought I was “banging” on the walls.

34. Sexual Harrassment

Got suspended for throwing paper airplanes in elementary school, also my little brothers friend is in elementary school and he got in trouble for “sexual harassment” for saying this “roses are red, violets are blue no girl on earth is prettier than you.”

35. “Albeit”

I got a C- on a paper once because I used the word “albeit” in a HS sophomore English class and the teacher thought I plagiarized. Fuck that guy.

36. The Nightmare Psycho Teacher Close To Retirement

My fifth grade teacher was hiding my assignments in her desk and then giving me zeros for not turning in assignments, which is not my style. We’re talking type-A teacher’s pet kind of kid. I had the first C I’d ever had in my life and I was devastated and crying on report card day.

Of course my mom was confused because she’d seen me doing my homework and I’d been A honor roll up until that point. She schedules a meeting and the teacher gives her some kind of BS about how maybe I do the work and don’t turn it in for some reason. Nothing really comes of the meeting, because what is my mom going to do? Stand up and demand to see the teacher’s desk?

But it stopped happening and my grades were suddenly As again. My mom believed me when I said I had been turning in my work and she felt something shady was going on.

Fast forward to four years later and my cousin is in her class, but he has a different last name, so I assume she didn’t realize we were related and the same thing happens to him. He does his homework, but somehow gets a zero for the assignment. My mom talked to my aunt about it and told her it just felt wrong, so they went to the Principal who in turn went to the class room and through the teacher’s desk.

Lo and behold there was a stack of his papers. No idea why she kept them and didn’t destroy the evidence. She always made sure to keep the grades at a C. Very low, but passing. I want to say after that they were able to pinpoint one student each year that she jerked around. I do know that was her last year before she retired. She may have been forced into retirement over that.

37. Acting Out

In fourth grade I had this old bitch of a teacher we all really hated. Let’s call her Cathrine (her actual name). So I was hanging out in the schoolyard when some firstgraders came running towards me and kicked me in the nuts. With absolutely no reason whatsoever. So I started crying and screaming from the unbearable pain I was in. Cathrine comes running and starts screaming at me for making a scene. She starts screaming at a little kid who just got his nuts kicked far up his stomach! So i scream right back at her, and she asks me if I wanted to move this whole discussion to the Principle’s office. Knowing I was being treated extremely wrong, my answer is of course “yes.”

Cathrine ended up getting yelled at by the Principal for 20 minutes or so, and I got to go home 3 hours before school ended.

Best. Day. Ever.

38. Improper Stapling

A buddy of mine who went to high school in Los Angeles once had 10% of his grade lowered on a report because when he stapled them together, he did it horizontally instead of at a 45 degree angle. I thought that was ridiculous but couldn’t help laughing.

39. Pencils Are Precious

Dropping a pencil. Got shouted out for possibly breaking the lead inside the pencil.

It was a fucking pencil.

40. Asking The Real Questions

I was asked to leave my Catholic Sunday school because I asked why Jews don’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday since he was a Jew.

41. Mr. Binder Loses His Shit

Standing near the end of the line.

After recess lunch break in grade 5 we had to line up to re-enter the school. I was near the back, and after about half the line made it back into school the on-duty teacher stopped the line because the guys now at the front were causing some sort of ruckus. By the time those of us behind the ruckus were let in we were a few minutes late for class.

My teacher, Mr. Binder (yes, for real), had a temper. While the other teachers accepted why some kids were late, Mr. Binder kept all of us that were late in for detention at the next lunch break.

Another Mr. Binder story – everyone in my class had a 30min slot on the classroom computer each week. My slot on this particular day came right after we got back from music class. Since it was my turn, I went over to the computer. The monitor was off, so thinking that the computer was also off I hit the power button. Which turned off the computer. Which made Mr. Binder lose his work, and therefore, his shit.

42. “Pajamas Make Boys Think Of Sex”

In high school, we had half-days during finals. A lot of us stayed up late studying the night before the exams, so it became tradition for people to roll out of bed, come to school in pajamas/casual wear, take the exams, and go back home and go to bed. For the record, we’re talking sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.–not lingerie or anything.

Anyway, during my sophomore year of high school, they started making announcements towards the end of the year warning us not to wear “inappropriate clothing” during finals. Most of us assumed that a couple of people might have worn skimpy PJs in the past or something, and they were just reminding us not to wear anything that would violate the dress code.

On the first morning of finals, I came to school wearing a sweatshirt and flannel pajama pants. Partway through the day, I got rounded up with a bunch of other female students who were dressed similarly, and we were told we were wearing “inappropriate outfits.” I couldn’t drive yet, so my mom had to leave work and bring me a replacement outfit while I sat outside because I wasn’t even allowed to be on school grounds. I was late to my next exam because of it.

The (female) Principal’s reasoning? “Pajamas make boys think of bed, which makes them think of sex.” As far as I know, none of the boys were called out for wearing PJs that day. Just the girls.

43. No Talking In Art Class

Was working on painting something in 1st grade. Teacher said no talking. I liked the other students art so I whispered “That looks nice.” BAM! “I said no talking!”

He yelled, made a big deal. He walked me outside. I had to spend the rest of the session in another teacher’s classroom sitting in the corner because I disobeyed.

Bro I just liked the girl’s art.

44. Incorrect Prayer Method

I went to a parochial school and the teacher gave demerits to 2 kids for having their eyes open during prayer. Think about it.

45. This Is Why I Now Hate Singing

Aged 10 (year 5 in England), about 100 of us are sat in the main hall having a music lesson. So she’s trying to teach everyone to sing in rounds (I think thats what its called where you overlap lines with previous line etc).

Anyway, we’re doing a part that requires a few of us to sing in harmony and much like JK Simmons in Whiplash she notices someone is singing flat. She eventually whittles it down to me and in front of everyone she says,

“No! Its like this; aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh (in C)”.
Me: “aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh”
Me: “aaaaa -”

I spent my lunch break standing outside the staff room staring at the floor.

I cannot sing. End of. I hate singing now and I largely blame this on that stupid teacher that couldn’t tell the difference between a kid being an arsehole and one with no talent. Thanks Mrs Hammond.

46. The Teacher Thought I Was Stupid

When I was in fourth grade, I was given detention for reading books too quickly. The teacher had divided the books by difficulty, and she thought I was stupid so she put me at the lowest reading level, even though I was one of the smarter students in the class. I finished all of the books within the course of about two weeks. When I told her that I was finished with them and would like to start reading the more difficult books, she called me a liar and gave me a weeks worth of detention, claiming there was no way that I could have read and understood those books so fast.

I saw her a few years ago and she was surprised that I’m on the Dean’s List at my college, let alone at the college I’m attending.

…I’m graduating from college next year with the intention of going to medical school. I think I can fucking read.

47. I Had To Poo

In 5th grade. I had to poo. So I went and pooed. It was a bit of a big one so it took me some time. When I came back, the teacher started asking me (out loud in front of the class) what I was doing that I was gone so long. I said, “I had to use the bathroom.” She then starting yelling at me, “you were gone too long and I won’t tolerate screwing around yada yada…”

She must have been having a bad day, but I got really upset and I yelled out, “I HAD TO TAKE A SHIT MY GOD!” Silence. Detention. My dad came in and when he heard what happened told me while he was happy I stood up for myself, I probably could have been “more tactful.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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