The Many Things Confiscated From British School Children

If you’re a teacher, you know that students often bring things to class that they’re not supposed to. Hopefully, these prohibited items will be toys and not things that say, make fire or something equally unsuitable for the under 18-21 set. Chances are, you’ve probably seen some interesting stuff if you’ve spent a decent amount of time in the classroom.

A former teacher (and artist) in the UK, Guy Tarrant, has assembled an archive of items confiscated from schoolchildren. The items came from over 150 schools (over the course of 30 years), and were contributed to the project from a number of teachers. Tarrant became interested in toys as a resistance to school routines and teacher discipline, and curated the project as a result of this interest. In total, there are 8 cabinets on display (through June 2014) at the Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood in London. Each item is tagged with the name of the item confiscated, the year, and the gender and school age of the student it was confiscated from. Additionally, the cases are separated by gender, and the girls’ case is visually much….pinker than is the boys.

Take a look below at some of the confiscated items. Have you confiscated anything interesting from your students in the past? Leave us a message in the comments to share!

Items Confiscated From School Children

(for a larger version of the photo, click here)

What has been confiscated from students over the years? These items are just a few of the examples of toys and other kid paraphernalia that Guy Tarrant has included in his collection.

  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • Sega Game Gear (which wasn’t retrieved by the student because he knew he was getting a new one!)
  • Pagers
  • Cell phones
  • Pogs
  • Tennis balls
  • Yo-yos
  • Rubber band balls
  • Snaps
  • Action Figures
  • Trading cards
  • Cars
  • Mr. T
  • Candy
  • Caps
  • Mini water pistol
  • Pea shooters
  • Finger skateboards
  • Watches






  1. Gary

    December 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    What a joke. Stealing games and playthings from children is wrong. I taught and often took games from kids but they got them back at the end of the day.

  2. Chris

    December 11, 2013 at 1:03 am

    As a Teacher myself, I would tend to agree with such school policy. These are gadgets which distract students from learning in class.
    Having said that, this week in Canada, a student died after his asthma inhaler was taken away from him. What a shame!