'80s And '90s Kids Are Sharing Things Their Teachers Did That Wouldn't Be Cool Today

Ashley Hunte
A group of colourful school lockers.
Unsplash | moren hsu

Growing up in 2022 must be a lot different from growing up in 2012, or 2002. And it's definitely way different from how kids and teens grew up in the '90s or the '80s.

Whether you were around for those decades, or you grew up a little later, it's nice to look back at the things people remember their teachers doing (that totally wouldn't be allowed in this day and age).

Back in the day, corporal punishment was pretty common.

A dirty blackboard that had chalk on it, but got erased.
Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

"English teacher in high school used to cuss kids out for being noisy in class and if that didn't work, he'd throw the blackboard eraser at us. I wasn't on the receiving end of the eraser. That chalk would leave marks on kid's backs for the rest of the day so everyone knew who pissed off Mr. Charvet."

They say that to this day, Jermaine can still taste the soap.

A bar of pink soap on a pink background.
Unsplash | Alecsander Alves

"My elementary school teacher used to say to kids 'you're cruising for a bruising' and once washed out my friend Jermaine's mouth out with soap. This was circa 1987."

Corporal punishment strikes again.

A wooden ruler and other school supplies in a mug.
Unsplash | Viktor Ritsvall

"It was my first grade. I shook the ruler in my hand, and teacher took my ruler and hit me with it causing my nose [to bleed]. Few years later I found out that she also had been working as a school psychologist."

Totally fine, as long as you stay awake and pay attention.

A dude sleeping on a table among other (alert) people.
Unsplash | Abdulbosit Melikuziev

"My high school Study Skills teacher used to A. Throw your bookbag over the railing outside the class to the first floor below if you fell asleep."

"B. Threw chalkboard erasers at you if you were caught talking during his lectures."

A teacher writing equations on a chalkboard.
Unsplash | Tra Nguyen

"C. Got a megaphone in your ear if you fell asleep and didn't notice your bookbag tossed. Funny thing is, Mr. Stuart was somehow one of the most liked teachers in school."

Schools really got away with anything back in the day, huh?

The empty hallways of a school.
Unsplash | kyo azuma

"Punishments in my elementary school: Standing with nose in corner. Bending over and touching toes for a long time. Paddling with a thick wood paddle from principal. Knuckles rapped with ruler."

Full time elementary school principal, part time dentist?

A dental hygienist cleaning a patient's teeth.
Unsplash | Caroline LM

"My elementary school principal would pull loose teeth. You could go to his office, have him pull your loose tooth and he would give you a lollipop."

Pro tip: emotionally abusing your students doesn't help them. Like, at all.

An empty school gym.
Unsplash | luthfi alfarizi

"My fifth grade gym teacher made me do pushups in front of the class. I was overweight, so I couldn't do any. Then she'd say 'this is what happens if you eat too much food.' There were other, even heavier kids in class, but she never chose them for this activity; just me."

It's the casual racism for me.

A woman saying "whoa!" in shock.
Giphy |

"Had a pretty awesome old school art teacher that was also a boy scouts leader and usually chaperoned school camping trips, he loved to use Indian/Chinese accents when talking to kids from there. Was all in good fun and everyone thought it was funny but looking back wonder how it made them really feel."

This one was a wild ride from start to finish.

A woman in the midst of kicking the air.
Unsplash | Luz Fuertes

"8th grade science teacher calls a kid to the front of the room for some minor infraction, have him bend over, then kick him in the ass. "

"However…. however, the student stepped out of the way just in time, and the teacher kicked the blackboard’s chalk tray, sending chalk flying everywhere."

Broken pieces of chalk on a wooden surface.
Unsplash | Jelleke Vanooteghem

"The humiliation was on the other foot then as the teacher chased the kid around the room a few laps."

Yeah... no words.

A braid of electrical wire that's unraveled slightly.
Unsplash | Steve Johnson

"Electrocuted the entire class as a demonstration of high resistance circuits.

"Basically the class had to hold hands (and you were jeered if you said no) and then he connected us to a battery and shocked us all."

Hopefully this teacher wasn't also the school's driving instructor.

A minibus zooming through a city at night.
Unsplash | Piotrek

"We were taken to a football match in the back of a van, not a minibus, a regular van with no seats or windows in the back. The teacher drove like a bat out of hell, it was like a 45 min trip in a washing machine."

To be honest, this sounds like something a teacher would still try today...

Lines of empty desks in a classroom.
Unsplash | MChe Lee

"I told my biology teacher that I wasn't feeling too well, he said that I didn't look sick, and as punishment made me stand in the corner until I fainted."

To be honest, I think the smoking is the part that wouldn't fly now.

A lit McDonald's sign against a cloudy sky
Unsplash | Jurij Kenda

"6th grade teacher Ms. Sullivan would take 3 kids every Friday to McDonald’s for lunch. She was cool as hell. Smoked during the drive and everything."

Definitely don't try this at home (or school).

Empty desks in a class, each with its own chair.
Unsplash | Feliphe Schiarolli

"In elementary school, we had a teacher who, if you leaned back in your chair with your chair on two legs, would sneak up behind you and kick the chair out from under you causing you to fall and possibly smack your head in the floor.

"He could have seriously hurt or killed a kid by doing that, but no one batted an eye at it."

I almost think anyone who doesn't believe in evolution shouldn't be a public school teacher...

A graphic that roughly displays human evolution from quadrupedal to modern days.
Unsplash | Eugene Zhyvchik

"I remember in 5th grade, we'd go to the classroom next door with the other teacher for Science class. When we started the section on evolution she started the whole thing off with a speech about how she was being compelled to teach this to us by law, but that she personally believes that it isn't true and that we were made by God."

Talk about a misuse of tape.

A large roll of tape among other office/crafting supplies.
Unsplash | Jo Szczepanska

"First grade teacher covered a kid's mouth with masking tape because he kept talking. Also taped up another kid's hands and taped them to the desk when they wouldn't sit still. Used probably a half roll of masking tape for that one..."

This was actually a pretty common thing back then.

A person getting ready to write or draw with their left hand.
Unsplash | Kelly Sikkema

"1994. Kindergarten teacher would tie all her left handed student's left hands to their waist to force them to learn how to write right handed. Thanks Mrs. Williams you [expletive]."

This just sounds... so mean.

A multiplication worksheet that's partially filled out with correct answers.
Unsplash | Chris Liverani

"A 7th grade teacher had a policy where the lowest scorer on a test had to stand against the wall in the undercover area and the rest of the class got to throw dodgeballs at them. That teacher was later promoted to Vice-Principal and then Principal until their retirement."