We asked people about their most ridiculous school punishments

Art by Jill Arteche


As a high school freshman, one peek at my student handbook was enough to make me cower in fear. Coming from a relatively lax grade school, all the rules of my new all-girls Catholic school were scary. There were rules about sock lengths, and rules about short haircuts. One wrong move and you’d be sure to get an offense on your permanent record.

The bag burning debacle at Bicol Central University gave me war flashbacks;    proof of how one unreasonable directive could lead to a senseless consequence. FYI: Rage burning students’ personal belongings could be a crime.

While I’m now old enough to know that some rules are there for a reason (safety and order), this also means that I know better than to follow all of them blindly. It was good thinking on the part of the student who posted the call-out tweet against the school administrator, and I wish I had that kind of outlet when my classmates were being reprimanded for not tying their hair.

In the spirit of unreasonable rules and exposing how whack the education system can be, we asked Team YS about some of the craziest punishments they’d ever received, and what we got was a collection of anecdotes about how crossing legs, playing with sticks, and not bringing a bobbin were grounds for a trip to the principal’s office.

Not severe but extremely annoying. I was well-behaved and quiet, and I just happened to be crossing my legs while sitting. The teacher told me to uncross my legs. I think her problem was that I was crossing my legs in a “feminine” manner, eh it was an all-boys school. Called me out loud enough for everyone to hear. I haven’t forgotten you, Ms. Florentino. I wish you all the misery in the world.

— Jam, copy editor

Hindi naman siya rule talaga, pero nakalimutan ko lang magdala ng bobbin (yung maliit na roll of thread na nilalagay sa sewing machine) para sa sewing class (may kasama rin akong ibang students dito). Ayun, pinapunta kami sa principal’s office pinagalitan tapos pinaglinis kami ng playground. Legit — pinagdampot lang kami ng mga dahon hanggang matapos yung klase.

— Pie, artist


Our Grade 1 social studies class had a career day where we all traced our feet and had to draw ourselves in the profession we wanted that could give pride to the country. I was at the height of my Captain Tsubasa phase at the time so I really wanted to be a football player and drew that. The teacher told me to draw a new one because “football player” wasn’t a profession, so I explained that people got paid for it. She said that even then, only PBA players were paid, and football didn’t give Filipinos pride. She got annoyed and made me tell the class what I wanted to be, then explained why I was wrong and the class laughed at me.

— Enzo, writer

So I studied in this private science high school whose rules are pretty much Catholic school rules. Case in point: the faculty decided to round up all of the couples for a talking to (they gave a roll call of ALL the couples through the PA system during class hours). The meeting was basically them saying we were too young to have relationships and that we should’ve been embarrassed because our parents work so hard, only for us to lose focus on studies, etc. If that wasn’t excruciating enough, they gave an ultimatum that if we weren’t able to present a signed document saying our parents knew about our relationship, they’d be the ones to call them. They also implemented a ‘one-meter apart’ rule.

There were also several cases over the years also of faculty tracking our tweets and Facebook posts, calling us in for meetings cause we either 1) swore, 2) posted a beach photo wearing swimwear, or 3) criticized the school. Man, I really wanted to get out of there.

— Gian, online editorial assistant

It all started when nagpa-deliver ako ng pizza sa school then only shared the pizza with my girl classmates (we were 14 in class, and half of them are girls). I think the boys got jealous so nagpa-deliver din sila ng pizza the following week and didn’t share with the girls until they offered a slice to one girl and she ate it, but the boys teased her saying it had spit on it. So I think she cried and the situation escalated to the point that the advisers found out. Basically the school gave the whole class ‘sad slips’ (the punishment that was a tier before suspension) because we weren’t sharing. They also lectured us about sharing our food.

— Kleona, writer


I studied in a public science high school, and in our senior year, the electricity bill for our building was too expensive. For punishment, our electricity privileges were cut off. We had to write in the dark. Just kidding (but it was super hot).

— Ella, writer

One day before my science class in my freshman year of high school, my friend and I found a pair bamboo sticks in our classroom. As adolescents filled with testosterone, we decided to fight with them like we were in Star Wars (may pagka wer wer ako nung HS). We spent a solid five minutes playing around with it. When the class bell started ringing we decided to stop, but not until we made one more swing at each other to end it. Unfortunately, my science teacher saw that last swing. She gave us the choice of either getting a Violation Report for fighting or squatting with the sticks in the back of the class. Long story short: we squatted in the back of the class and I have nicer thighs now. Also, I tried to throw my friend under the bus by saying it was his idea, but Tina must be drinking coffee ‘cause she was not having any of my tea.

— Ivan, artist

What’s the weirdest punishment you ever received in school and the reason behind it? Sound off in the comments below.

#school #self

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