Silly Bandz look harmless enough. The small, colorful, stretchy silicone bracelets in the shape of people, animals and inanimate objects have taken off like wildfire, and now some Long Island educators would like them banned from campus entirely.
Silly Bandz: a Problem in the Classroom
What could be the problem? Well, for one thing, teachers find them distruptive during class. Children like to trade them, play with them, or just show them off. When kids are doing things like that, they’re not paying attention in class. Katherine M. Rihm, principal of North Ridge Primary School in Commack, Long Island, concurs. In a recent note to parents, she wrote, “Anything with trading becomes an issue and an area of concern.”
Silly Bandz: Dangerous to Your Health?
But there are safety reasons, as well. In a recent statement, Deer Park Schools Superintendent Eva Demyen stated that not only are Silly Bandz distracting; they also pose a hazard to children’s safety.
Lisa Farrell, principal of Duffield Elementary School in the Connetquot district, felt so strongly about the safety issue that she specifically addressed it in a letter sent home to parents. In it, she stated that students are wearing too many of these bracelets, as well as wearing them too high up on their arms, which impedes their circulation. Often when the children go to the school nurse complaining of the problem, “their fingers are white due to poor circulation,” the letter stated.
Other educators have complained that not only are the children cutting off the blood supply to their fingers by wearing Silly Bandz. They also like to flick them at each other across the classroom, rubber band style.This can also be hazardous.
Silly Bandz is Not the Only Brand
Silly Bandz is only one brand under which these rubber bracelets are sold. There are others. And they are popular with children of many ages, even into high school.
Sweeties Candy Cottage in Huntington is a top seller of the rubber bracelets, and business has been brisk. Its owner, Lisa Hodes, told Newsday reporters, “It’s unbelievable, I never had this much traffic in my five years of owning this store.” Sweeties Candy Cottage sells Silly Bandz for between $2.50 and $2.99 a pack.
Children See Nothing Wrong with Silly Bandz
Children, of course, see nothing wrong with wearing the Silly Bandz, and neither do some of their parents. A Huntington mother, shopping at Sweeties with her young son, told reporters that she sees no problem with the Silly Bands craze. “They really are harmless,” she said.
Source: Newsday, May 6, 2010