Schools across the country and in the U.K. are banning fidget spinners for being dangerous and distracting
The wonder toy that’s supposed to help kids focus is now getting banned from schools for being too distracting.
The wildly popular fidget spinners, or ball-bearing mechanical gadgets that spin in your hand to help relieve stress, anxiety, ADD, and ADHD, are driving teachers crazy for disrupting classes.
“I hate fidget spinners,” Long Island fourth-grade teacher Mike Murphy told Moneyish. “Instead of using them to keep focused, students divert all of their attention to the spinner, and don’t pay attention to anything else.”
Murphy’s school, which he asked to keep anonymous, also just banned the fidget spinners. “Kids were breaking them and playing with the parts, trading them and then wanting to trade back, and stealing them from peers,” he said.
Educators also complain that the spinners make learning even more difficult for the very kids these are supposed to help the most.
“I work in an alternative high school with lots of kids with ADD and ADHD, and the spinners give them something to focus on which takes all of their attention away from the lesson and learning. They are the worst,” Jeff Bernstein from the Village School of Great Neck in New York told Moneyish. “Spinners might help them focus on their own thinking, but learning in a classroom is a process between, at a minimum, teacher and student.”
Frustrated educators are also griping about the palm-sized plastic and metal spinners under the hashtag #teacherproblems on social media.
— Nickolas Corley (@MrCorleyMath) April 24, 2017
— Amber B (@ambernbyrne) May 4, 2017
— Jaclyn (@TeachingMrsF) May 7, 2017
Now Brooklyn intermediate school M.S. 442 has posted a notice warning parents that the toys are now banned for fear injuries from kids throwing the whirling dervishes between classes.
“Although seemingly harmless, these items are being taken out during class causing a distraction to students and staff,” it read. “They are also being thrown around during transition in the hallways to and from class and in the cafeteria and at recess. They are small in size, but can seriously hurt someone.”
But students on the autism spectrum or diagnosed with ADD or anxiety will still be allowed to use fidget spinners – if they are provided by the school for therapeutic purposes. “If your child has a sensory issue and needs a fidget, we have them on hand,” the school added.
M.S. 442 joins Queens elementary school P.S. 122 and the Bronx’s P.S. 196 in banning Fidget Spinners, DNAinfo New York reports.
Chicago schools also aren’t crazy about the playground craze. “Frankly, we’ve found the fidgets were having the opposite effect of what they advertise,” one principal told the Chicago Tribune. “Kids are trading them or spinning them instead of writing.”
Some Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts and U.K. schools are also banning the toys, which currently dominate almost every spot on Amazon’s Top 20 best-selling toys and games list.
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