From our fast-growing “Oh, for #@*’s sake!” file: schools around the nation are banning Silly Bandz, those amusing, inexpensive, rubber wristbands that have become immensely popular among the nation’s children.
The Bandz are now contraband. Schools in several states, including New York, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts, have blacklisted Silly Bandz, those stretchy, colorful bracelets that are creeping up the forearms of school kids across the U.S. And starting this week, all 800-some kids at my son’s elementary school in Raleigh, N.C., were commanded to leave at home their collections of rubber band–like bracelets, which retail for about $5 per pack of 24. What could possibly be so insidious about a cheap silicone bracelet?
“It’s a distraction,” says Jill Wolborsky, a fourth-grade teacher at my son’s school, who banned them from her classroom before the principal implemented a schoolwide ban. One student stole some confiscated Bandz from her desk, choosing them over the cash in her drawer.
Students fiddle with them during class and arrange swaps — trading, say, a bracelet with a mermaid for one with a dragon — when they should be concentrating on schoolwork, teachers say. Sometimes a trade goes bad — kids get buyer’s remorse too — and hard feelings, maybe even scuffles, ensue.
Astonishing! Kids distracted during school? Fiddling with things? Feelings getting hurt? Scuffles ensuing?
Obviously the nation’s educators would be much more comfortable teaching robots, or potted plants.
It’s a never-ending power struggle for “educators”. In the Sixties, they were freaking out over white vinyl go-go boots on girls and tight corduroys and long hair on boys. Every year brings a new fad that drives these autocrats nuts – and in large part, isn’t that the purpose of indulging in them? But fads come and go. By the time our educators eradicate this threat to western civilization it will have already passed and a new threat will loom. The constant vigilance keeps them busy, I suppose.