Growing up in a European country and never witnessing what it's like to go to an American school, watching American high school comedies, to me, has always been a pretty surreal experience. I'm sure that most of you fellow non-Americans reading this article could relate to me on this.

There are so many things about American schools that have always seemed utterly fascinating to me. For instance, you get letter grades instead of number ones, schools have swimming pools inside them, there's a club for almost anything, you have to get a hall pass to go to the bathroom during class, and lunch meals are usually pretty bizarre. The list goes on. With that being said, Bored Panda invites you to look through this list of tweets from non-American Twitter users in which they share things that they find the strangest about American schools. Feel free to explain to us the things we don't understand or add your own in the comment section!

#1

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

scultator Report

GC
Community Member
6 months ago

I don’t ever know what A levels etc. are. One of these days I need to look it up.

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#2

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

morosexuaI Report

konnarw1
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

mine starts at 8:00 till 3:00

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#3

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

bieberexhale Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
6 months ago

1. Usually 2. Usually

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#4

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

chromaticaution Report

Jamziee
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes, because if you're in the hall without one, then you MUST be commiting murder (Sarcasm lads)

Imtiredandiwannagotobed
Community Member
6 months ago

Yeah, as we all know, halls are riddled with spears that shoot out like something from Indiana Jones, and hall passes are the only thing keeping us alive

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Ms.M.
Community Member
6 months ago

To prove that we were given permission to leave class, I guess. Some of the hall passes I remember were crazy things like big blocks of wood...

Flare
Community Member
6 months ago

Or a dinosaur toy with the teacher's name on it (I'm not kidding)

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ArtistinResidence
Community Member
6 months ago

I’ve had students start fires when they were supposed to be going to the bathroom or escape and start walking down the highway etc. The school is legally liable for the student. Keeping track of where your students are is very important because if there is an incident you know where your students are at that moment. Yes, it is necessary because you need to monitor the students. 90% of them are doing what they should and the other 10% could be crapping in someone’s locker. We also have cameras to monitor hallways and cafeterias. Most schools are very large here.

Ian Bartels
Community Member
6 months ago

At our school, we have SOOO many kids that skip class, and they aren't smart enough to actually leave campus.

Sean Harrison
Community Member
6 months ago

It's more about control and teaching the kids about obeying authority.

backatya
Community Member
5 months ago

No your just authority phobic

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ProfessionalTimeWaster
Community Member
6 months ago

Not American.....but it's pretty obvious.....a lot of kids use bathroom breaks to roam around. Hall passes ensures kids are not misusing such breaks to bunk classes.

Dilly Millandry
Community Member
6 months ago

Wouldn't the teacher notice when they don't come back? Though in my school you used the bathrooms during the break and didn't really need to leave the class unless ill - and then that was made obvious and so wasn't a problem.

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Demetri
Community Member
6 months ago

Unless you are a senior, there is no free time in high school, you move from class to class. If a student is in the halls, he/she is skipping a class or as Jamziee below is saying, something equally bad.

Mia Maya
Community Member
6 months ago

lol whats walking in a hall? havent done that in 6 months

Emily Smith
Community Member
5 months ago

To prevent truancy. That's it.

Rosanna Jackson
Community Member
6 months ago

Well in a country that loves guns and shooting children halls are actually dangerous

backatya
Community Member
5 months ago

you must not know about guns and even afraid of inanimate object. Also you're a person with freedoms life gives. It's there for the same reason the colonist used it against the British rule

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Lillian Jimenez
Community Member
6 months ago

It depends on what school. I went to a "ghetto" school and you were required to have a hall pass but in my new school that's on the ritzy side of town, you don't need one.

Dogs_are_cool
Community Member
5 months ago

we have them at my school so they know you aren’t skipping

Celtic Pirate Queen
Community Member
5 months ago

If you're not in class "they" want to know why. I think I was a Junior and had a teacher tell me to "hold it" until break when I asked for a pass to go the bathroom. I looked her right in the eye and said, "Lady, I've been potty-trained since I was two and actually do know when I need to pee. Frankly, your permission isn't required. That was a simply a courtesy request" and walked out. She tried to get me written up for some s**t like insubordination (new flash! NOT a military school). When I explained to the VP (another female) that I could tell my tampon was leaking and needed the restroom ASAP, but really didn't feel the other students needed quite that much information, the TEACHER was written up. Second best day of High School.

Susan Mercurio
Community Member
5 months ago

You might be "skipping class": ducking out because it's so boring.

backatya
Community Member
5 months ago

It keeps the rift raft from ditching classes. Keep the students in the classroom

Patti Renwick Parrish
Community Member
5 months ago

yes, the hall police will get you and put you in detention. spent a lot of time in detention.

backatya
Community Member
5 months ago

You must have been one of those that grew up to become imprisoned or with a rap sheet

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carol Vaughn
Community Member
5 months ago

Because it tells other teacher that u are not cutting gclass

Ivana
Community Member
5 months ago

True

Farid Red
Community Member
5 months ago

Some school in Malaysia practice Toilet Passes. 1 passes each class and only 1 person got go to toilet during class time. We don't have hallway in our school, only sidewalk.

GC
Community Member
5 months ago

The answers regarding school shootings are clearly from younger people who seem to think the world began when they did. While one of the first major school shootings in our recent history was in 1979 by Brenda Spencer followed by Colombine in 1999, hall passes have been required since at least the 50’s when my parents were in school. I think part of the reason, again, is size. Teachers can’t keep track of all students (the school my Mom and Dad went to had 3300 students on 65 acres) and passes are a written record of tracking students for their safety and the schools safety. What if someone decided to get up and bail out of class and someone abducted them? There are usually reasons for the “stupid” rules.

Doggo
Community Member
5 months ago

my american school doesnt have hall passes we just need permission

similarly
Community Member
5 months ago

I was a teacher in America about 28 years ago or so, and I remember we had hall passes because the teachers on hall duty needed to differentiate between kids who had permission to be out of class and kids who simply didn't WANT to be in class. I also remember the hall pass was an enormous plastic monstrosity so they had to carry it in their hand because it was too big to fit in the pocket ... to prevent them stealing it. They stopped using paper passes because kids would copy them and make forged passes for themselves and all their friends. They stopped using smaller plastic passes because kids would simply never give it back. So they made ridiculously large plastic passes.

James Pointer
Community Member
5 months ago

rather gross to think about what happened to the passes in the bathroom

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Don't Look
Community Member
5 months ago

Like so many old school ideas, the hall pass was likely an idea to solve a very specific issue at one school many many years ago and it got passed around. For all the wrong reasons.

CatWoman312
Community Member
5 months ago

Blame the mass shootings

Seth Linn
Community Member
5 months ago

It’s actually to make sure people who aren’t suppose to be at the school aren’t walking around the hall. Most of our teachers and administrators would rather us pee ourselves though.

IlovemydogShilo
Community Member
5 months ago

I think that they're given out to let other school staff know that the child has permission to be out whether to go to the bathroom , locker or for another reason their teacher is aware of. If the child has no hall pass then he/she may be trying to leave early or do something else they're not supposed to do. It's as much a safety thing as anything else as it helps the teachers know what their students are doing.

Big
Community Member
6 months ago

I've never been forced to hold a hall pass, actually. I think this is more of a stereotype.

Cal Capone
Community Member
6 months ago

That's... Some schools

lazy pandalert
Community Member
6 months ago

who knows what you are doing. The teachers need to know.

California Jones
Community Member
6 months ago

It was necessary in my school because there was a lot of vandalism in the boys room. Kids s**t in sinks and urinated on mirrors. We also have more school shootings than other countries and it's important to know who's where.

Horror Hero13
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes, also where I'm at, your only allowed to go to the toilet two times a day at school

JessG
Community Member
6 months ago

Because you can’t always trust kids to do the right thing, if you’re out of class without permission, must be up to no good. That’s what they think anyway

sonofabass
Community Member
6 months ago

So elsewhere kids are allowed to leave and wander the halls? The pass is proof the teacher approved the kid to leave the class.

Катерина Булатова
Community Member
6 months ago

You are allowed to ask to go to the bathroom (or to nurse, or if you parents came and brought you something so you can go pick it up, etc), so you'll be absent like 5-10 minutes. Surely the teacher will notice if someone just left and never came back? It's a school, not a prison. If a kid can't bother to study, he'll get prosecuted anyhow - by getting bad marks, bad exam results, poor attendance score. Surely in high school people are sentient enough to be responsible for their own behavior.

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David Dwyer
Community Member
6 months ago

My school doesn't use hall passes.

StrawBerry Turtle
Community Member
6 months ago

Most american schools do it some don't

Jack Ericson
Community Member
6 months ago

Never had hall passes at my American school

Dave P
Community Member
6 months ago

Depends on the school, and on the age group. Where I was elementary schools required it, Jr High and High School did not.

Collin Petrucci
Community Member
6 months ago

My school doesn’t have hall passes

Kiki
Community Member
6 months ago

In France we just have to go with another student (sometimes the student representative sometimes anyone XD). They don't really care !

sylvantic
Community Member
6 months ago

ikr.

Gwenda Christenson
Community Member
6 months ago

Because children are unruly... they don't want us loitering in the hallways instead of being in class learning. This can often depend on the school and the student.

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#5

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

hilaryagro Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
6 months ago

It didn't when I was a kid, but it does for my children. I hate it.

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#6

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

ShadyFennec Report

Michelle C
Community Member
6 months ago

Yep and we decorate them too!

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#7

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

TROUBLET0NES Report

Eva Bryson
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes, don't you?

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#8

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

Nonisbitch Report

Ms.M.
Community Member
6 months ago

That's always bugged me too.

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#9

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

kirstyclyne Report

GlassHalfWay
Community Member
6 months ago

Yep, even a snowboard & skiing club in the Midwest.

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#10

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

Iivingxproof Report

Juniper
Community Member
6 months ago

Wait, don't all schools have cafeterias? Where do you eat your lunch?

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#11

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

bettesbich Report

Brett
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes sadly

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#12

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

argentdols Report

Aunt Messy
Community Member
6 months ago

Canadian here. They don't close schools in Canada unless it's been colder than -40C for three days in a row.

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#13

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

wintersfalcvn Report

Imtiredandiwannagotobed
Community Member
6 months ago

Because we put all our budget into our announcements and lockers

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#14

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

insatiate0 Report

GlassHalfWay
Community Member
6 months ago

Because a gallon would be too heavy on the lunch tray.

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#15

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

lisaislovesick Report

Jamziee
Community Member
6 months ago

They aren't cool it sucks

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#16

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

http_taehyungs Report

Brett
Community Member
6 months ago

I wish I had school lunch that good

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#17

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

balletquartet Report

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
6 months ago

Yep. ours was awesome!

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#18

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

CryinInATaxi Report

Eva Bryson
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes, teachers want you in class to learn, not loitering in the bathroom.

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#19

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

alienrat Report

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
6 months ago

yep...at least in the suburbs because most of us start driving at 16

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#20

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

_smell_ya_later Report

Jamziee
Community Member
6 months ago

one word to answer this- ICE

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#21

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

sapphicnile Report

The Zooble
Community Member
6 months ago

To be very honest, I'm English and I usually do page count rather than word count

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#22

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

LazarusRags Report

konnarw1
Community Member
6 months ago

yeah i wondered this and are the woman stale or something lol

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#23

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

ERODAVOL6 Report

angie but who cares
Community Member
6 months ago

my elementry did

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#24

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

livculture Report

Jamziee
Community Member
6 months ago

No they force students to do it

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#25

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

bollobas Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
6 months ago

So we aren't "distracted". Even rooms with windows usually had the blinds closed.

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#26

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

unsaidalex Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
6 months ago

Not really. We have nearby schools we compete against in sports, but any rivalry is very light-hearted.

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#27

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

prostrider Report

SimplySarcastic40
Community Member
6 months ago

we had an apple machine...for $0.20 you got an apple.

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#28

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

hemsbucky Report

Brett
Community Member
6 months ago

The high school I’m going to does

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#29

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

aidansarson7 Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
6 months ago

We don't, dances are usually 4 times a year.

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#30

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

UnamusedSnorlax Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
6 months ago

Yes

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#31

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

00lisa0 Report

konnarw1
Community Member
6 months ago

yeah sorry but you should move to america.(JK)

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#32

American-Schools-Weird-Things-Non-Americans

ThaumPenguin Report

Caitlin Davenport
Community Member
6 months ago

Candy was usually a very tiny part, if it was there at all. But it was the most exciting part!

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