5 State Education Laws that will Surprise You


The United States is a country with vastly different laws from one jurisdiction to the next. This has a lot to do with the vast amount of autonomy each state enjoys to enact its own laws based on its own history and the expectations of its public. It can certainly make for some unexpected contradictions from time to time and this applies for laws regarding education as well. Probably the best rule to live by when studying individual state law in the US is to expect the unexpected. Here are 5 state education laws that you likely had no idea existed.

The Great Onion Debate

Apparently children in West Virginia just can’t keep their hands off wild onions. They must be eating them wherever they can find them – at least that what you’re likely to conclude after hearing about an obscure education law in that state. It turns out children in West Virginia are not allowed to go to school if their teachers can smell wild onion on their breath. Kids there don’t have to worry about coming up with fake illnesses or other creative reasons for why they can’t go to school – all they have to do is chew on a wild onion. There are some kids in neighbouring states that are probably quite jealous!

Say No to Gambling

Gambling can be a real problem for some people and there’s no doubt that gambling addiction should be taken seriously – the people in Fresno, CA certainly thinks so. In that educational district they’ve gone as far as to ban elementary schools from hosting poker tournaments. It seems that gambling problems start early in this area of California. I’m guessing that most other jurisdictions in the state haven’t followed suit because they don’t see much of an issue with elementary schools hosting poker tournaments and for less than a hundred bucks you could buy yourself a speaker to spread the good word to your friends. I’m just speculating of course. It’s entirely possible that eight year olds are big poker fans in California.

Snowman Height Discrimination

When you think of snow Alaska is one of the first places that come to mind if you live in the United States. It’s the only state that sits on the article circle so it is a likely candidate for snow. It’s also the only state that actually restricts the height of snowmen that children can build on school property. All snow creatures must be shorter in height than the person building them. The reasons for this law aren’t really clear, but perhaps if we could track down Frosty at the North Pole he could clarify things for us.

Keep the Chickens at Home

Someone in the state of Florida though it was necessary to create a law banning the transportation of livestock on school buses. How this came about I’m not sure, but it may have been during an avian flu outbreak. It’s always better to be safe than sorry – whatever the reason for it just remember to keep those chickens at home.

Too Much Reading

I can only speak from personal experience, but when I went to grade school teachers were always encouraging their students to read at every opportunity. There’s a good chance most people reading this article had a similar experience. Encouraging children to read may seem like a good idea to most of us, but apparently not to everybody. In Athens Gerorgia you can’t read a book to your friends after 2:45. This may be an attempt to get the kids out of school faster so the teachers can close up and head to happy hour, but who knows.