The reign of Dolores Jane Umbridge over Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter was mercifully brief, but that doesn't mean that this pink tweed-clad toad didn't manage to do a lot of damage to the school or it's students during her stay. Umbridge was a teacher who hated students and an educator who hated learning, and her only pleasure in life seemed to come from dominating, abusing, and humiliating people that she had power over. So in shor,t she's staggeringly similar to many of the muggles who work in schools in the real world.
When Umbridge decided that she needed to clean up the nonexistent mess in Hogwarts and bring order to a bunch of lawless students, the Ministry of Magic gave her unilateral authority to change the school in however she saw fit. And change it she did. She made dozens of educational decrees changing the rules and regulations of Hogwarts, and here are 10 of the worst.
10 Any student found in possession of a spell-check charmed quill will be severely punished
Anyone who knows Dolores Umbridge fully expects her to be a super stickler for the rules, but it's hard to understand what is even so bad about having a quill that checks the user's spelling, especially in a school like Hogwarts.
Even in a normal muggle school the students would be allowed to check the spelling of a word that they're unsure about, and obviously they are allowed to use programs like Microsoft Word that automatically spell checks. Also, this is what a muggle student would expect in your average English class; Hogwarts doesn't even have English class, so this is penalizing students for something that they actually kind of needed.
9 Any student found in possession of sweets from unauthorized suppliers will be expelled
Schools are pretty notorious for enacting strict rules that don't make any sense, so honestly this kind of rule is something that most muggle students wouldn't be surprised to have in their own school anyways. But at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it's definitely an oddly specific and bizarre rule to enact.
Professor Umbridge had a reason for doing so obviously, but again it seems like she is simply punishing students because she can even though there's no wrongdoing that needs to be penalized. Plus, we have a sneaking suspicion that there really aren't any "authorized suppliers" of sweets, meaning that Umbridge just banned candy completely.
8 All Weasley products will be banned immediately
The Weasley twins would undoubtedly look at this ban as a point of pride for themselves, but that doesn't make the decree any more just or understandable. Yes, the Weasleys created some pretty wild joke magic, but it's not as if magical gags didn't exist before they created them.
What really rubs us the wrong way about this particular educational decree is simply that it is directed towards the Weasleys. Dolores isn't known for being a just or egalitarian leader, but it seems exceptionally awful to enact a rule that specifically targets individual people, especially when those people are students and children.
7 Wands to be confiscated from students casting recreational spells. All magical objects to be held by High Inquisitor until further notice
Did Dolores Umbridge's parents suspect that she might be a squib when she was a child or something? Because for a witch who works at a magical school, she seems to have a completely unreasonable dislike for actual magic.
The entire point of Hogwarts' education is learning how to master magic, so banning magical objects or taking a witch or wizard's wand because they have used it recreationally flies in the face of everything Hogwarts represents. But Umbridge's rules are all about control, and taking things away from students just because she can seems to be her greatest pleasure in life.
6 Boys & girls are not permitted to be within 6 inches of each other
This is yet another educational decree that makes Dolores Umbridge seem like every uptight school administrator in the world, and it's pretty common for muggle schools to come up with these kinds of absurd, arbitrary rules as well. But with that said, it's still a ridiculous rule that can't and shouldn't be enforced.
Obviously the intention is to keep students from getting frisky with one another, but this rule is weirdly heteronormative (gay people exist, Dolores) and realistically can't be enforced. Plus, students of every gender will come within six inches of one another for normal reasons. It's absolutely insane to police their behavior this intensely.
5 Those wishing to join the Inquisitorial Squad for extra credit may sign up in the High Inquisitor's office
Just like the muggle world, nobody in the wizarding world likes a snitch (unless it's a golden snitch), but sometimes telling on someone when they've done something wrong is just the appropriate thing to do.
With that in mind, it's no surprise that Dolores enlisted other students in her quest to control every inch of Hogwarts, but giving students an objective incentive to spy on others or even make up accusations to make them look bad is plainly immoral. Dolores doesn't trust children, so clearly her creation of the Inquisitorial Squad was more about pitting students against each other than anything.
4 Students must consent to have their post checked for illegal contraband
We don't know what the legalities surrounding mail in the UK, but in the United States it's illegal to open someone else's mail. So the idea that the staff at Hogwarts are entitled to look at every student's mail before the student actually gets it is nuts, and the notion that a bunch of little kids would be receiving illegal contraband through postage is absurd.
Granted, using children as drug mules would probably work pretty well, but it seems unlikely that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is home to a bustling heroin trade. This rule is clearly about robbing kids of privacy as much as possible.
3 Dolores Jane Umbridge (High Inquisitor) has replaced Albus Dumbledore as the Head of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
And herein lies the dark genius of Dolores Umbridge and her quest for power. By becoming the woman who is allowed to enact any educational decree that she sees fit, she has already assumed control of Hogwarts behind the scenes, but by replacing Albus Dumbledore she has taken away any possibility of someone standing up against her.
Luckily, her tenure as headmaster was blissfully short, but she really projected her own issues onto others when she continually accused Dumbledore of trying to wrestle control of Hogwarts away from the Ministry and use the school's students for his own ends.
2 Any items deemed not of educational value are henceforth banned
What an absolutely nutty and over the top educational decree. It only demonstrates Umbridge's short-sightedness and lack of creativity, because any item can be educational to someone who uses it in the right way, and true education requires something outside of books and rote instruction.
However, the motive behind this decree seems to be quite clear. It is so insanely broad that it essentially gives Dolores Umbridge permission to take absolutely anything from a student for any reason she sees fit, and she can excuse it by claiming that whatever she is taking holds no educational value.
1 Any literature by non-wizards or half breeds is banned forthwith
Look lady, you're not living in Fahrenheit 451. In the normal human world, banning books is insane, and trying to contain creative thought and learning is looked down upon for the barbaric idiocy that it is. But to ban any books written by muggles or "half breeds" is exceptionally repugnant.
There's no excuse for banning books, but Dolores isn't banning books because of their actual content; she's banning books because she's racist as hell. Muggle books are some of the greatest literature ever written, and books by half breeds certainly provided a lot of insight and education in the magical world, but she banned them simply because she was a bigot.