We've all gotten into trouble at school at some point during our academic careers, whether we intended to cause a problem or were completely framed for something we didn't do. In any case, those experiences often help us build character and learn from our mistakes. Here are the stupidest reasons students got in trouble at their schools:
#1 It Makes No Sense
For using my asthma medication in class. I was told to keep my inhaler in the office and to use it in there only. I was told it was "distracting." Know what else is distracting? The sounds of someone gasping for air and having to be removed from class. What's worse is kids have died because they didn't have immediate access to their inhalers or EpiPens because they "needed" to be kept in the office. Idiotic.
#2 Asthma Attack
My parents told me to keep my inhaler with me and just not tell anybody. I had to run the mile during gym class outside in very humid weather. Not surprisingly, I had an asthma attack. Probably the only reason I survived it is that I had my inhaler in my pocket. New Jersey tried to end me. I can never live there because of asthma. But I’m fine anywhere else. The only exception is if I try to walk outside in very cold weather. I’ll need an inhaler afterward.
#3 Can't... Breathe...
I went to the same school from junior kindergarten to the eighth grade and I had been taking my inhaler since the first grade. One day in fifth grade, I had to take my inhaler, which I had done at school plenty of times. The teacher told me to go take it at the office so I could rest and "take time to breathe" which I thought was weird, but it was gym class and it was hot outside so I didn't complain.
I went down to the office and explained what was happening to the ladies there and they got super mad at me for having it without having paperwork in. They almost didn't let me use it. They called my parents and made us sign a bunch of forms, which I didn't hear anything about in the previous years. At this point, they already knew me by name and my friends, so I was really confused by the fact that they didn't actually know I had been using an inhaler the entire time. It was equally confusing that my teachers never questioned me having my inhaler on me, despite the rule back then being that all medication had to be kept in the office.
#4 The Fist Bump
Grad school. As in, I was a full-grown adult when this happened. One of my patients was a chill guy. We had one of those relaxed relationships. He would fist bump me after treatment was completed. The dean of academic affairs did not like that. I got a 45-minute lecture on doctor-patient relationships. How dare I violate that trust with a fist bump...
#5 Explicit Lyrics
In 1993, the Flaming Lips song called “She Don’t Use Jelly” came out. I was in third grade and I really liked that song. I started singing it with my friends during a double-handed jump roping session. “She don’t use jelly or any of these... she uses Vaseline.” Boom. I got written up and handed a three-day suspension for saying suggestive things. I had NO idea that's what those lyrics even meant. Worse even, no one would explain why that song was suggestive. It was very confusing.
#6 There's No Winning
I got in trouble for hugging a male friend in the hallway in middle school. We saw each other in the hall and we were like, "Hey!" followed by a quick hug (it was like one second) in front of a teacher's door, which was open. She called us into her class to yell at us in front of everyone. She said hugging between boys and girls was inappropriate. I asked if it'd be inappropriate if I was hugging a girl and she said no. Then I asked if it'd be inappropriate if I was a lesbian and she yelled at me again.
#7 No Friends Allowed
When I was in middle school and high school, the Christian coalition took over our school board and kids got suspended for hugging someone of the SAME gender because that was deemed inappropriate. This was in the '90s. Ah yes, these kids were emotionally developing and forming these things called “friendships.” They can’t have any of that, apparently.
#8 Zero-Tolerance Policy
For “fighting.” The school jerk sucker-punched me and I didn’t retaliate. It was even caught on tape. The zero-tolerance policy is one of the stupidest things ever. Then my mom, absolute legend, threatened to call the police, claiming the school did nothing to ensure my safety after seeing all my bruises and scrapes from fights. They backpedaled on their punishments for me real quick.
#9 Screw You, Ms. Helm
I tripped on a loose tile and bumped into a teacher causing her to spill her coffee on herself. I apologized and showed her the tile. She went on for months about how I did it on purpose. She even got the principal and my folks involved. For the rest of the year, she told me I couldn't come back to her class unless I apologized for doing it on purpose. I never went back to her class. Though I initially apologized for the incident, I never once apologized for doing it "on purpose." Screw you, Ms. Helm.
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#10 Punishing The Introvert
Clearing my throat before reading out loud to the class. She yelled at me and threatened detention because she thought I was faking it for attention but I don’t see how. Also, more context: I was a quiet kid so I wasn’t one to create drama, to begin with. It just made me not want to talk more than I already didn’t want to. Shout out to all of my quiet and awkwardly shy friends out there who feel the pain of being reprimanded for the rare times we actually do talk.
#11 That's Uncalled For
I once broke out in a dry cough in class. I was practically choking, so I started to drink a bottle of water that I got from my bag. The teacher then grabbed the bottle off me, threw it into the bin, and told me to be quiet because someone was answering a question. Needless to say, I was not happy. I stormed out of that room. I was about 15 and I've always hated that teacher since then.
#12 Throwing Wood Chips
A couple of girls were on the swings and I stood in the middle of them hanging out. I picked up a handful of wood chips and dropped them in from of the girls as they swung by. I did it a couple of times and they laughed, never telling me to stop. I got back to class and they told the teacher I was throwing wood chips at them (a big issue in that school). I got in pretty big trouble for that one.
#13 The Accusation
Back in high school, I had a gym teacher that wished to be any teacher other than a gym teacher. I came to the driver's ed course and there was some nonsense three-page pamphlet she told us to read through and summarize. I did just that. She decided my summary of the pamphlet was too close to something she found online, so she made a big huff about it and I literally had to march over to my English teacher with the summaries, have her evaluate them, and sign off on a form that no, she didn't classify my summary as plagiarism.
#14 Useless Strategy
There was an unexpected schoolwide assembly during grade school. We were all brought to the gym and we sat down. It was then explained that one of us had gone #2 on the gym stage behind the mats. "We know who did it, but we are giving them this opportunity to stand up and apologize. If you don't then we'll have to punish you harder." Even to us kids, it was obvious they had no freaking clue who did it. Ordering a kid to stand up in front of the whole school and apologize for going on the stage is NOT how you get the kid to admit they did it.
#15 Cheater, Cheater
It was a spelling test in seventh grade. We wrote down the words as the teacher shouted them out. One of the words was "piece." The kid next to me asked, "Which one? There are two different words." The teacher said, "The one on the list you were supposed to study." "That's nonsense," I whispered, "Piece as in 'a piece of the pie.'" She made us both rip up our tests for cheating.
#16 The Technicality
I had a similar situation with the word "tripod." The definition provided was something like: “Anything containing only three legs," so I wrote my vocabulary sentence as" “My dog’s leg fell off and now he is a tripod.” It was marked incorrect and my mom was furious. She went to the school with that dang vocabulary sheet. I now understand that a tripod isn’t a living thing but nowhere did it specify that. Hah.
#17 Tough Grader
My teacher used to hand out these absolutely vapid little reading comprehension sheets (mind you, this was 7th grade) that amounted to fill in the blanks after reading the story. There was one that involved the discovery of a Civil War battleship (I want to say it was a Confederate Ironclad), and onboard, the research team found a jar of "pickled relish," as the sheet was written. I wrote "relish" for that answer. It was marked wrong. That incident marked the beginning of my English teacher and my mother not getting along, to say the least.
#18 Staring Into Space
For not looking at the teacher during the lesson. I wasn't fidgeting. I was just sitting at my desk, staring into space. We had a payment system in third grade where you'd get dollars for good behavior (finishing homework, cleaning up after lunch) and you'd lose them for bad behavior. At the end of each quarter, we'd get to use the dollars to buy stuff at the book fair. Every kid wanted to stock up.
Now each task would get you between one to two dollars. Each day, you could only get like three max. She charged me TWENTY DOLLARS. It was literally heartbreaking and it took me a full month to recover. Turn out, I had focal epilepsy and was having episodes in class. I got treated like a bad kid for it all through high school.
#19 The Note
I got in trouble for "cheating" on one of my maths exams. The teacher found a piece of paper in my pencil case. I got sent to the principal's office. When the principal asked me about what I wanted to say in my defense, I simply told him to take a look at the note. It turned out to be a shopping list. I was allowed to re-take the exam the following week.
#20 A Near Miss
This almost happened to me. I was sitting at a table in the cafeteria when I felt something hit me. I didn't see anything, so I kept eating. Then I felt something else hit me, and I saw a sandwich on the ground. I knew it was about to go down, so I quickly moved to another table. About a minute later, a massive food fight broke out between the table where I was previously sitting and another table. Luckily, the teacher saw me move, so that was a near miss.
#21 Saving Caterpillars
In middle school, some kids were stomping on caterpillars during recess. I took a Ziploc bag from my lunch and put as many caterpillars in it as I could to rescue them by taking them somewhere else. I fast-walked to get away fairly quickly without making a scene. A teacher stopped me and accused me of running and shoving (I didn't touch anyone at all), and when she saw the bag, she gave me a look of utter disgust. I got lunch detention for it. I ultimately switched out of that school because the staff had it in for me for some mental health issues and quirks that I later discovered was Asperger's syndrome.
#22 Teachers Are Jerks
I had serious concentration issues when I was younger (I now know this was likely ADHD or something similar). I used to get detentions all the time for "daydreaming" and not finishing work when I was uncontrollably zoning out. I got yelled at all the time for it, and I never understood why everyone was angry at me. I couldn't understand why time was just disappearing when I zoned out. I never got help for it. Teachers are sometimes jerks.
#23 Throwing Pens
I threw a closed pen to my friend who was like three feet away from me and the teacher freaked out. He made a big deal out of it in front of the whole class for a solid 5 minutes and then emailed my parents. Luckily, my mom was able to see my side of things and she said, "Doesn't that teacher have anything better to do than email me about my child throwing pens?" We still laugh about it from time to time.
#24 Power Trip
In middle school, the bell to send us home didn't go off on time. We were all standing by the door waiting to leave when all the other classrooms started leaving to go home. The hallways were filled and teachers were telling people goodbye, so my classroom started to leave too. I was one of the first ones out, but apparently, our teacher caught the end half of the class, made them sit down, and told them: "I dismiss you, not the bell." All of us who left like the rest of the school got detention.
#25 The Big Clap
First, I did many things to get in trouble legitimately. I went undiagnosed with ADHD-inattentive type for a long time, because I would laser focus on school work and get done quickly, then get bored and disrupt everyone else. The secretaries in my elementary school office knew me on sight when I went back to visit in high school. But there were a couple of times that were questionable.
One time in fourth grade, I learned you can clap louder by having the fingers, on one hand, go into the palm of the other. I was part of a mini-concert for our extremely talented strings students and I was kicked out and sent to the office because I clapped. A teacher felt I was being disruptive abusing my newfound power. It was decades ago, so I really can't say if I was being a jerk or not.
#26 The Disruptive Student
I was an ADD riddled child that was never diagnosed. I can't tell you how many times I would "awaken" from a daydream and have some angry teacher up in my face telling me I was being bad. I'd be like, "...What?" And that only worsened my case. "Don't play dumb, you're disruptive every single day. Just yesterday, you were making animal noises on your way to the bathroom."
#27 Tie Your Shoes
I didn't tie my shoes the way the P.E. instructor wanted me to... In 11th grade. I sat in the Dean's office for an hour before they called my mom whose response I still remember: "You're calling me during my workday to ask my son to tie his shoes in a way that a P.E. teacher feels suitable? Are you freaking kidding me?" I played AAA hockey at the time along with varsity lacrosse. P.E. class was the least of my worries, let alone how my shoes were tied. Safe to say, I didn't have to re-tie my shoes.
#28 Harsh Punishment
I normally passed all my classes, but my teacher... she hated me for it because I sassed her every time she said something dumb or insulted someone. She did get fired eventually for locking me outside after lunch in the middle of winter as punishment for fighting back against a kid who hit me in the stomach. It was her nephew. My mom knew many people on the school board and teachers as well. Somehow, that teacher didn’t get arrested though, which I wish she did because I got so dang sick from the cold.
#29 The Broken Phone
I dropped my phone down an entire flight of stairs once. I took it out of my pocket, it slipped, I tried to catch it with my hand, but I just ended up hitting it forwards and upwards. It landed at the bottom of the stairs flat on the screen. It was completely broken except for one thing... it could still receive phone calls.
So the next period, my classmates kept calling me on repeat and I could do nothing about it because my phone could not silence or ignore the call. Naturally, my teacher blamed me and I was sent to the principal's office who told me "never to do it again" and that she'd be keeping my phone the rest of the day. I seriously don't think she realized it was freaking shattered even when she was holding it.
#30 Curse His Name
Someone once poked a wasp nest in the school forest, and the whole swarm came out upon the school. The entire school sat detention for an hour. Understandable if you didn't know who did it, but that was not the problem. We were sitting detention because the principal's son got stung. As it eventually turned out, it was actually his fault the swarm came down on us. I have cursed his name since the day I found out.
#31 Kids Are Cruel
I failed an in-class project because no one would let me join their group. The teacher told me to get over it and find a group, which led to a group of “popular kids” tell me that I was a loser. Fun times in school. Man, every time I had to do a group project, the other people in my group asked to work by themselves so they didn’t have to work with me. It felt kind of bad, but I work better alone anyway.
#32 Two Odd Cases
First one: I was waving my fingers to try to get a stuck sticky paper off of it. The principal was passing my class and saw me through the door. He thought I was throwing rocks (in a class) at the back of my friend's head. I got suspended for that. Second one: my math teacher when I was 14 years old had something against me. At the beginning of each class, she would ask me to go into the corridor for 15 minutes. That was her idea of punishment. She didn't even bother to find a reason, I just had to get out.
#33 The Substitute
We had a substitute teacher that everyone hated. I wasn't really paying attention to her. After a few minutes, she demanded that I had to pay attention to her explanation. I said, "Yes captain," because I heard it on SpongeBob that morning. She made me sit outside the class because I was being a spoiled brat, according to her.
Eventually, more people began to say "Yes captain" so they could also get away from her. Eventually, we were sitting outside the class with five people and we didn't have to do any work for a few hours because she totally forgot about us. It was a blessing because there were no other consequences aside from getting away from that stupid witch.
#34 The Old Woman
When I was in third grade we kept all of our folders in this little denim pocket on the backs of our chairs. About halfway through the year mine ripped, so it was pretty difficult to keep everything inside. I was a relatively quiet kid though and I didn’t say anything to the teacher. One day we had a substitute. She was a pretty typical old woman who didn’t seem to care much about us at all. We had to take a spelling test that day, so she asked us to put our dividers up.
As well as being a quiet kid, I was also a kid with undiagnosed ADHD. I already knew the material she was teaching us and I instead got myself absorbed into a book. I didn’t notice it was time to take the test until my classmates were putting up their dividers. I shut my book and went to grab mine. At that exact moment, my denim pocket completely broke. There were papers everywhere.
My panicked little seven-year-old self scrambled to grab them all and put them back in, but putting folders in a broken pocket is an arduous task, and the tests were already passed out before I could finish. So what does the sub do seeing this tiny third grader scrambling to shove 30 crinkled note sheets into a little red folder? She SCREAMED at me.
I’d never had a teacher go off on me as this sub did. She ridiculed me for holding up the class and making the other students wait. I couldn’t help myself. I burst out crying, which only made her yell even louder. I obviously wasn’t some perfect angel during elementary school. I was smart, but I also had a lot of behavioral issues at the time (once again, undiagnosed ADHD).
However, I couldn’t always control my actions, and my teachers were usually very understanding of that, seeing that I was otherwise a pretty chill kid. But this substitute yelled at me as though I had spilled my papers on purpose. My little brain could understand being disciplined for something caused by my actions, but I couldn’t comprehend being screamed at for something completely out of my hands.
I had actual NIGHTMARES from this woman. I don’t even know why, because I can deal with those types of people nowadays. She ended up telling the principal about me, but luckily he was a pretty cool dude. I never had that substitute again.
#35 The Case Of Pink Eye
In 11th grade, I had gotten pink eye in both eyes. I'd never had it before, just thought I was having a reaction to my eyeliner or whatever. I was in the second period, Cooking 101. My teacher kept looking at me funny the entire class. Eventually, she asked to talk to me in the hallway. She told me that I needed to go to the nurse's office because I was under the influence and she could tell by how fascinated I was with the cooking we were doing.
I was so confused and kept trying to tell her I was having some sort of allergic reaction but she wasn't having it and yelled at me. She pretty much berated me while the whole class could hear and had me so embarrassed I was in tears. I walked into the classroom and everyone was staring at me in silence. I grabbed my stuff and went to the nurse. One look at me and she confirmed the pink eye. I got to go home and stay home for a few days. I remember my teacher tried to apologize for the incident... class was super awkward after that.
#36 Out Of Line
In seventh grade English class, a classmate looked pretty sad so I asked her how she was doing. No malicious intent, I was just wondering what was making her so upset, but she started sobbing. I apologized and moved on. Later that day, I got pulled from a different class by a math teacher that I've never met before who yelled at me in the hallway, making snide remarks about my parents and their parenting capacity.
She made me sit in front of the principal's office to "wait for the principal to talk to me" for four hours, long after the school day had ended. When the principal finally did show up, he had no idea why I was sitting there. Middle school me was too shy to make a fuss about it, but in hindsight, I should've made a complaint against her. To this day, the girl that I supposedly "bullied" has no idea why the math teacher flipped out at me.
#37 They Tried
The stupidest reason someone tried to get me in trouble was for doing the assignment. There was a special needs kid in my programming class, and he had an assistant. She thought I was goofing off on the internet and asked me to stop. I told her I was just working on the project. She didn't believe me, so she went to the teacher, who recognized that I was indeed working on the project. So nothing came of it.
#38 The Fluke
The stupidest reason someone succeeded in getting me in trouble was when we had this sub. He insisted on reading the day's instructions very slowly. It was a workday and that was written on the board, but he took a half-hour to describe exactly what the different projects we were working on were. The problem was that we all knew what we were supposed to do, so we got started.
He got upset that we weren't listening to him, so he yelled at us and started over with his speech. Eventually, he got so pissed that he ate up another half-hour ranting about how he's an industry big shot and all the different reasons why he'd fire us if he could. Anyway, I had him as a substitute a couple of other times and he was much better tempered, so I assume that was a fluke.
#39 Amazon Allegiance
I got detention once for not pledging my allegiance to the Amazon rainforest. No joke. We sang a song and the lyrics were: "We've got to buy back the Amazon. We've got to give the earth a chance to carry on. If it's money they need, let's give them all that they want! We've got to buy back the Amazon!" And as a 9-year-old, I thought "This seems to be a little much." I didn't sing and bam, I got detention.
#40 Totally Framed
Argh. Flashback triggered. We each had a notebook in school; something you would use in all your classes instead of those official exercise books. My notebook was full and tattered, so I binned it. Apparently, somebody took it out of the bin and wrote many offensive remarks aimed at different teachers. Then, they handed it to one of the teachers. Just by looking at the handwriting, you could tell it wasn’t me. Nope. Still got bollocked for that.
#41 Above And Beyond
I had to write a book report in fourth grade but I didn't think that a mediocre five-paragraph essay would do the book justice (it was a really good book). So I made a mini tri-fold poster about the plot and character arcs, plus little clay figures, and it had all the elements of a book report, it just looked different. Everybody had to read their book reports out loud in front of the class so when it got to my turn, I went up and presented.
Everybody loved it, except for the teacher. She was a complete witch and the entire reason I hated English class until my junior year of high school. Anyway, she didn't like that I did it differently, so she stopped me in the middle of my presentation and told me to see her after class. When I went to her desk, she told me that I wasted my time and I was going to stay in at lunch and write the book report.
#42 Forced Admission
Another student rubbed his sandwich on my desk in sixth grade. I told him to stop and he started mocking me, saying “Stop, stop, stop!” The teacher thought he was telling me to stop, so she pulled me into the hallway asked why I did that. I told her that the other student rubbed the sandwich on my desk but she cut me off and basically wouldn’t let me go into class until I “admitted” that I did it.
#43 Liar, Liar
One time, my friends and I were asked a question in history class (the same question and no one knew the answer), so the teacher left us all to study after school. One of my friends went there and the rest of us went home. The next day, the history teacher came to our class in the middle of the English lesson and told us to go to the principal's office after that lesson. It turned out, she told the principal that we never do homework and we don't study.
#44 Wrong Answer
Getting a question wrong. My teacher would always assign homework from the textbook, so when she would check it she would only see question numbers and answers. Apparently, she had given a substitute a page of question numbers and answers to check that we had done our work. I had gotten the first question wrong, and this really confused her. She ignored the fact that I had most of the other questions right. No, I got 6 instead of 10, and I got in trouble for trying to “pull one over” on her.
#45 Calling The Parents
In high school, there were three kids in my graduating class with the same first name as me. My parents got a call from the school on a Friday afternoon saying that I had gotten into trouble. In reality, it wasn't me—it was one of the other kids with the same name. The school office got us mixed up. My parents didn't buy my story that I didn't do anything. I got grounded for the weekend but incessantly pleaded that I truly had done nothing. They called on Monday to sort it out. I never even got a freaking apology from my parents.
#46 Poking My Sister
I was in the second grade, so very young, I was sitting with my friend when my older sister and her friend came to me, for some unknown reason. She told me not to punch her in the stomach because it was hurting... It was very weird considering I never punched her before. But young me thought I was funny and poked her stomach. She left and later the siren went for the end of recess. I went back to class and the teacher said the vice-principal wanted to talk to me. He had a go at me for “punching my sister” even though I just poked her, I got detention and a letter sent home to my parents for where I was grounded for a week.
#47 Causing A Scene
Falling down the stairs in the gym in front of the whole school. I missed a step and went tumbling. I tore something in my knee and could hardly put pressure on my leg. I got detention on Friday at school (a three-hour-long period after school) for “causing a scene.” My grandma went to the school with my ER papers and surgeon consult. I didn’t have to serve the detention after that.
#48 Spreading Sickness
Having a non-transmittable illness. I was swinging on the desks in elementary school when a girl shrieked “Don’t touch my desk—I don’t want to get what you have!” (It was nothing new for this girl to hate me, but it was a recent diagnosis at the time.) I cried. The teacher pulled me aside, sat me down, and asked what was wrong. I told her what happened. I got in trouble for provoking the other girl.
#49 Hating Math Class
was doing my work in class when this one kid in a desk behind me kept shaking my desk, over and over again. I kept asking him to stop and every time I did, the teacher told me to be quiet. Even when I tried to explain what was happening, the teacher saw it as “back talking” and sent me out of the room. That’s what made me hate math class.
#50 Getting Slapped
We had a free period and I made a paper airplane. I was being a smart alec and threw it just when the teacher walked in. She got mad, called me in front of the class, scolded me, and slapped me. I think by that time she was already done and couldn’t take one more thing. Disclaimer: I come from a culture where harsh scolding and light slapping or smacking is not a big deal. Though it was a tight slap.