Hello everybody -

Last week, Teenage_Life received a lot of letters about school rules from Matthias-Claudius high school in Hamburg. Since probably all of you are confronted with some sort of school rules on a daily basis I would like to invite other German schools and, of course, American schools to complete the picture by offering their ideas of rules and regulations.

Students from Matthias-Claudius told us that there are very strict rules in Australia about how you dress as well as about many other things like smoking, chewing gum or leaving campus during school hours. At Matthias- Claudius, on the other hand, there seem to be only a few rules that have to be obeyed: you are allowed to smoke when you turn 16 but you can only smoke in a certain place set aside for smokers ("Raucherhof"), you are not allowed to drink alcohol, you shouldn't beat people up and you shouldn't be late for class.

What are some of the rules at your school???

What happens if you break the rules and get caught? Does the school send a letter to your parents, do you get expelled for serious misconduct? Inga, Fabian and Andreas told us that two friends of theirs sprayed a school wall but were not expelled. They only had to re-paint the walls. Do you think this is an appropriate way of dealing with the offenders? Or should they be punished much harder?

Do you think rules and punishment are necessary in school? Would you, for instance, respect a teacher more if the rules said you have to?

Students from Matthias-Claudius high school also offered their opinion on the pros and cons of **school uniforms.** On the one hand, Nils and Nicole stated, they feel better when they wear their own clothes, when they can express through their clothes what they are like. On the other hand, wearing a uniform takes care of the problem of dressing in a certain way in order to be accepted by your school mates.

What is your opinion on uniforms? Are they necessary or should you be allowed too dress any way you want? Do you share Bonke and Serdar's opinion that "there must be some limits because in our opinion many pupils exaggerate. They wear dirty and torn clothes and dye their hair in ugly colours. And most of them don't have much respect against their teachers and other pupils." Do you think there is a connection between torn clothes and no respect or uniforms and good conduct?

Please tell us a little bit about your experiences with rules and punishment at your school. Let's get to know each other's schools a little better. We hope to hear from you.

Kerstin Otto(moderator Teenage_Life)


Absender : Hamburg, Germany

Hi everybody!

This year some pupils of our class went to Australia in order to become better in English. At least they have lived there for half a year. When they came back to Germany they told us something about their host families and school. In Australia they have a book full of school rules. Really everything is fixed in it. For example: they have to wear a special hat on the way to school, they had to use sunblocker, they had to have their hair cut short, they were not allowed to chew bubble gum.So everything is included: behaviour before, during and after school; what to wear (school uniform). But of course each school has their own school rules.

In Germany it is very different handled. Certainly all the schools do not have the same school rules. But we do not have that many. They are fixed on one DIN A4 page.They only tell us not to throw snowballs in winter and that we have to be in the classroom in time for example. Nothing is said about what to wear at school, how to have your hair cut... Even there are pupils with green or blue hair.

We think that the number of school rules we have in Germany is enough. In general there are always rules necessary so that you can avoid a lot of problems. But each person needs his/her personal freedom. We think that this is very important and so pupils as well as teacher should not have to observe stricter rules. What do you think about school rules? How many do you have and how many do you need?

In Australia you have to wear school uniforms but not in Germany... We do not have anything against school uniform. But we think that there are pros as well as cons.

The following is to be said for it:

- you do not have any problems with the question "what to wear?".

- there is no alternative - you are only allowed to wear a school uniform - and because of this you are much faster in the morning

- no one can be reased because he wears the "wrong" clothes because there is no longer any difference (status) between the pupils

The following is to be said against it:

- there is no individuality possible.

What do you think about school uniform

- is it better to wear one?

- what (else) is there to be said for/against it?

Last week we saw a film called "The Breakfast Club". It was about some pupils who had detention. They were told to sit in the library for 8 hours without talking, reading, moving and sleeping. They were very different. The teacher`s rules were not observed and they were talking for all the time. They quarreled. But in the end they became friends. What is it about "having detention" in your country? Are you allowed to do anything? Is a teacher looking after you? What are the consequences when you do not obey his orders (in the film he did not inspect them very strict)? Do pupils often have detention? In Germany you nearly never have detention. It is easier to be suspended than to have detention. The only "punishments" we have in Germany are to write protocols of the lessons (when you talked a bit too often during the lesson, were too loud...) or you have to leave the classroom.

We think that it is very good that there are not that many punishments in Germany. But because of this in some classes the teachers are not respected, (in the case of exception even are hit). So on the one hand it is good not to have very strict rules but on the other hand you need stricter ones in some cases. What do you think about punishments? Have there to be stricter rules?

Yours Stella, Birthe, Frauke and Sybille


From: Illinois

School Rules are the most ridiculious things our school has ever come up with. Some I can understand the meaning for, but some are ridiculious. No eating, No listening to walkmans. Those are ridiculious. The rules that are totally morally correct are smoking on campus or talking when another teacher is talking. See I have fun in my classes. My teachers respect me because I respect them.

Your Friend,



From: Illinois


Hows school over there? Our schools are somewhat like prison facilities. They are built with large bricks, have very few windows and you can't leave till they say so. Our rule book is about 50 pages. Our rules range from not being late to class too many times to having guns,drugs and electronic equipment on campus. If you ditch one of your classes you get assigned some detentions and stay after school for an hour(no talking or moving). If you do it more or don't go you could get saturday school, a suspention and if you have drugs at school you could get expelled. My friend XXX sold some drugs to 2 girls and they got caught with it at school. The told on him and he got expelled. I think it stinks!

Your friend, MILES


From: Wisconsin

Hi, my name is Angela ... I am l4 years old. I live in Tilleda Wisconsin, that is between Wausau and Green Bay. I go to school in Bowler. In my school we have many different rules, such as : cant chew gum, wear hats, coats in class or T-shirts with Co-Ed Naked on them or Big Johnson T-shirts or anything promoting alcohol or tobacco products or gang violence.

Other rules are: dont be tardy which means we have 3 minutes to go to our locker and get our books for the next class. Our classes are 47 minutes long. We have 8 classes in a day. If we are tardy twice in a week, we need to stay after schoolfor after school detention. We have a grading scale of A-F. if we get a F for two semesters we have to take the semester over the next year.