According to Wikipedia, much of the traditional culture that surrounds corporal punishment in school, at any rate in the English-speaking world, derives largely from British practice in the 19th and 20th centuries. Advocates of school punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline so that the student is quickly back in the classroom learning, unlike suspension from school. On the other hand, opponents, which include many medical and psychological societies along with human-rights groups, argue that physical punishment is ineffective in the long term, interferes with learning, leads to antisocial behaviour as well as causing low self-esteem and other forms of mental distress, and is a form of violence that breaches the rights of children.
That being said, some punishments that have been given to children in schools are quite unbelievable. Here are 11 of the most shocking punishments ever given to students.
In 2011, a 13-year-old student from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was allegedly arrested for burping during class. According to his lawsuit, after he “burped audibly,” his teacher called the school resource officer, who in turn called the authorities to have him arrested for “interfering with public education.”
The lawsuit also claimed that school authorities transported the boy from the school to the detention facility without notifying his parents. Additionally, it described an incident that took place a month before the burping incident in which the same boy was strip-searched on suspicion of selling marijuana. He was never charged.
In March 2018, Arkansas students who walked out of their high schools to protest gun violence against children were beaten with a wooden paddle by teachers as punishment. In some school districts of the US state, corporal punishment of schoolchildren by teachers is still legal, though only with the express permission of parents. Often, a wooden paddle is used to beat the legs or backsides of rule-breaking students.
Arkansas is not the only state that allows this practice in its education system. According to Newsweek, In October 2018, an Oklahoma school principal who spanked two students with a wooden paddle so hard they bruised severely faced police charges over the incident, in which he allegedly used “excessive force.”
In March 2010, the Itawamba County School District board made international news after a lesbian student Constance McMillen was refused permission to take her girlfriend to the school’s prom. As a result of a lawsuit brought against the school, the board decided to cancel the prom altogether.
Parents were then encouraged to organise a private prom, but they cancelled it. A second private prom was organised and represented to be the official prom. Meanwhile, parents organised a secret prom to which McMillen was not invited and which most of the student body attended. The school district settled the lawsuit by agreeing to a payment to McMillen and adoption of a sexual orientation non-discrimination policy.
In February 2020, a six-year-old Florida student was sent to a mental health facility under the Baker Act after a series of alleged outbursts at school. Authorities and her family said she was kept there for 48 hours. At the time, Martina Falk—the mother of the little girl, Nadia—said officials from Love Grove Elementary School in Jacksonville called her that day to inform her that her daughter was out of control and would be sent to a mental health institution based on the recommendation of licensed health care professionals.
Nadia allegedly was destroying school property, attacking staff and running outside of school grounds, a clinical social worker said, according to the police incident report. In Florida, the Baker Act allows for a person to be held involuntarily at a mental health facility for up to 72 hours if that person is deemed a danger to themselves or others.
In May 2012, a Houston, Texas teacher and aide were removed from their classroom for allegedly disciplining their pre-kindergarten students by placing them in custodial closets they nicknamed “monster closets.” Kelon Chaney, a four-year-old student at Varnett Charter School, received such disciplinary action when he laughed at another student who had been placed in the closet for acting up. The “monster closet” title was inspired by a book they were reading in class titled After-School Monsters.
In 2008, a Florida kindergarten teacher asked her students to openly state what they didn’t like about their fellow classmate, five-year-old Alex Barton, and vote on whether they wanted to allow him to stay in class. As the news made headlines, it was revealed that the boy had just been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Shortly after, Alex’s mother reached a $350,000 settlement with St. Lucie County education officials.
On 26 March 2021, Jimmy Hoffmeyer was shocked to see his seven-year-old daughter walk through the door—his daughter’s curly hair had been chopped within inches of her scalp. This incident took place just two days after the Hoffmeyer family had to deal with an unfortunate haircutting incident on the school bus.
On March 24, Jurnee Hoffmeyer was on the bus heading home from Ganiard Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Michigan when a classmate cut her hair. Hoffmeyer’s long curly hair was cut several inches on one side to around shoulder length. When she got home that day, her family was stunned to see what had happened. But her father took her straight to the salon and let her choose a new look.
Days later, nearly all the biracial little girl’s hair had been cut, this time by school staff, who were white. “I asked what happened and said, ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair’,” Hoffmeyer told the Associated Press at the time. “She said, ‘But dad, it was the teacher’. The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”
In 2008, seven Hispanic fifth-graders at Charles Sumner Elementary School in Camden, New Jersey were made to eat off the floor for two weeks as punishment for spilling a jug of water. According to Alan Schorr, the attorney for the students, then-vice principal Theresa Brown, had also punished 15 students in a bilingual class “by making them eat off paper liners normally used on lunch trays.”
Some schools in the UK have taken the decision to ban students from having best friends. Thomas’ Battersea, the school Prince George attends, is one of the schools banning such friendships. Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusion among those without best friends.
Critics say the approach robs kids of the chance to form valuable coping skills. By grappling with mild social exclusion when they’re young, kids will emerge as more capable, resilient adults, these advocates argue.
Northern Lebanon School District students are required to smile while walking the hallways between classes. Students who don’t have a smile on their face while in hallways are allegedly told to either smile or see a guidance counsellor to discuss their problems.
15-year-old Julianna Gundrum, a student at the school district, said students who didn’t smile faced the consequences. “If you don’t [smile] you get called to the office or down to see your guidance counsellor,” she said. “You have to talk about your problems then. You have to or you get detention.”
In 2012, it was revealed that Mint Valley Elementary School in Longview, Washington, had been utilising a padded “isolation chamber” to deal with students with “behavioural disabilities.” In other words, the school was throwing kids in solitary confinement. Anna Bate, whose son had been thrown in there, obtained photos and posted them on Facebook, which sparked the interest and anger of the media. According to the school, the box was used for “therapeutic” purposes and children with special needs were only placed inside with permission from their parents.
Remember the simpler times when we used to binge-watch Cartoon Network on a school night? “I wish SpongeBob was real!” most of us would holler at the playground, while day-dreaming about visiting the cartoon character in his cute little pineapple house under the sea. Several years later, your childhood visions may have motivated you to check out artworks that reimagine Disney princesses as modern women or even hotdogs—all in the guise of nostalgia.
Well, buckle up fellow cartoon lovers, it’s time to kiss your nostalgic desires—along with your peaceful sleep schedules—goodbye forever. Enter Miguel Vasquez, a 3D artist obsessed with making hyper-realistic versions of our favourite cartoon characters. The catch? The entire purpose of his art is “to disturb people.” Here are 18 of Vasquez’s most popular creations—guaranteed to make you pat the artist on the back and say “mission accomplished.”
I bet you’ve only known the wholesome yet goofy Sid who flails his arms around and manages to screw up every mission the Ice Age crew embarks on. But have you ever wondered what the iconic sloth would look like as an actual human being living among us? Hint: think someone with saggy skin, oddly-defined pectoral muscles, crusty eyes bulging out of their sockets and snotty nose dripping onto a set of misaligned and mouldy teeth. Vasquez did Sid dirty. Period. But we’re all here for it.
I’m pretty sure this is not what our 7-year-old selves had in mind while wishing upon a shooting star to meet SpongeBob in real life. Yet here we are, presented with an unsettling 3D illustration of the popular sea sponge—who looks eerily similar to Donald Trump. Scratch that, maybe Howie Mendel in his cosplaying era back in his school years?
Okay, this may just be Vasquez’s least cursed creation to date—and that’s saying something. Based on the character and protagonist of the animated television franchise under the same name, Scooby-Doo looks like the Scooby snack Shaggy would often feed him. Apart from his low-key resemblance to Steve Harvey, that is. “When you’re doing the dishes and touch soggy food,” Vasquez went on to caption the 3D artwork. Meme culture, here’s your new “What the dog doin’.”
Iconically munching on a carrot with gloved hands, Looney Tunes’ favourite anthropomorphic grey hare looks like he gulps psychedelic mushrooms for breakfast. Eh, what’s up, doc?
“Ahoy Spongebob! I’m suffering from nicotine withdrawal, gimme a pod me boi,” rightly sums up this artwork of Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants. “It’s all about shock value,” Vasquez said in an interview with The i. “I put a lot of work into the details. A character’s bloodshot eyes can make them that much creepier, or menacing look.” Well, mission accomplished, mister Vasquez.
Sleep paralysis demons, where you at? Based on the famous characters from the long-running comic strip—written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz—Charlie Brown and Snoopy look baked in their hyper-realistic version like Bugs Bunny. The best part? The more you look at Charlie, the more he looks like Michael Cera. Potential cast if The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show ever makes a live action of the iconic duo, I guess?
Of course, Patrick is on the list. If you’ve been wondering what the pink sea star would look like as a Chuck E. Cheese employee, this is it. With ice cream dropped splat on his forehead (bonus points if you scroll to see it dripping into his mouth), single-toothed Patrick believes mayonnaise is an instrument and you cannot, in fact, “stop the unstoppable.”
Brb, Googling how to delete my childhood.
Remember how we used to tirelessly yell “behind you, Dora!” whenever the characters from Dora the Explorer asked for directions or urged us to spot something on our TV screens? I don’t know about you guys but watching the animated series now gives me anxiety. How many times do I have to repeat myself? Or worse yet, in the age where we pull down our masks to hear better, am I actually annoying the local supermarket worker by asking them where the chips are—multiple times? Well, this time, Dora ain’t playing around. And Swiper, you better stop swiping.
In the interview with The i, Vasquez admitted how he was initially an art school student at Chaffey College but got really frustrated with the curriculum. “I felt like I could learn more at home but didn’t know what to do at first,” he said. “I suppose you could say I dropped out, but it doesn’t feel like the right word. I wanted to leave to dedicate more time to my art, and felt like I was learning more at home.”
After leaving college, he started spending time sketching out the characters he had been previously drafting absent-mindedly. “I had started drawing these characters at school when I got bored, because it seemed like no-one had quite got the dimensions for what these cartoons would look like in real life,” the artist said. “I wanted to show how strangely disproportionate and creepy they would actually look.” Well, all Squidward needs in this artwork is a shower cap and bubbles.
Who knew Michael J. Fox and Willem Dafoe could make such a good intergalactic duo? Armed with a bottle, portal and laser guns, Vasquez captures Rick and Morty in their true elements in this article. Perfectly disturbing, just like the animated sitcom in question.
You’ll never binge Adventure Time the same way again. With missing teeth and a balaclava, here’s what Finn the Human would look like in his yearbook photo. His death grip on Jake the Dog (with well-defined pecs, yet again) is worth noting here.
This is what Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants would look like if he was one of the odd monsters Will Smith fights in Men in Black. Pecs? Check. Bloodshot eyes? Nailed them. The secret formula for Krabby Patties? Got it. At the end of the day, however, I’d be absolutely terrified to meet mildly-ripped Plankton out on the streets.
In an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward is rushed to the hospital when SpongeBob accidentally slams the door on him. He undergoes surgery to have his face fixed but things don’t go as planned. Instead of looking like his old self again, the surgery makes him—drum roll—incredibly handsome! Enter ‘Handsome Squidward’, whose dazzling beauty makes everyone in Bikini Bottom fall head over heels for the hunk. With five different versions of Handsome Squidward, Vasquez has got everyone thirsting in the comment section. I never thought I’d say this in my life, but have you ever seen a sea cucumber packing a sea cucumber before?
In case you’re looking for a video of Handsome Squidward checking you out, Vasquez has got you covered. PS: I can’t wait for the anthropomorphic fanfiction of the character on Wattpad now.
At the time Vasquez gave the interview for The i, he was yet to create female characters. “I have a really good idea for Marge Simpson in the pipeline,” he told the outlet. Well, who’d have thought how The Simpsons character would turn out? Now the question is, when will Vasquez add Lisa and Bart to this unsettling family portrait? Also, I can’t help but see Bruce Willis the more I look at Homer. What do you think?
For Vasquez, his inspiration to create creepy characters was triggered after his artwork of Nintendo’s Luigi went viral on Instagram. “I realised that these characters were getting a lot of attention,” he said. “I started focusing a week at a time on perfecting them. They do look like something that lives and roams in this world.” I never thought Kirby could haunt my dreams with single nail bed for hands and legs.
Ever wondered what old video game characters would look like if they were recreated with realistic graphics? Let’s just agree that if we played Super Mario with this Toad, our childhood memories would’ve been nightmare-filled rather than nostalgic. As for Vasquez, this is exactly what he aims for with his artwork. “I love seeing the reactions,” he shared. True, even if you love or loathe them, you’d definitely share these images with a friend at the end of the day. “It’s just bringing to life what the original creators gave to the cartoon characters,” he added. Wonder what Princess Peach thinks about this Toad though…
Just going to leave this blursed image here.