These gadgets are intended to help kids focus in class as an outlet for restless energy, but as they've become the hot new school trend, this "fidget toy" has morphed into the main distraction for some teachers. In order to combat this new widespread craze, some schools have made the decision to ban the fidget spinner from classrooms after complaints from teachers that the whirling toy is interrupting learning.
"As the teacher, I am thoroughly distracted by your child's trendy toy," Christina Bolusi Zawacki wrote in her essay "I'm a Teacher, and Trust Me When I Say That Fidget Spinners Are the Effing Worst." "It makes it difficult for me to focus and do my job, and I worry about the students in the room who are completely thrown off-track because it's all they see. These are not the helpful devices they were intended to be. Instead, they've become the Millennial/Gen Z/Linkster version of Pokémon cards, POGs or Tamagotchis. Now I understand why MY teachers hated those obnoxious things with the same red-hot rage I feel for fidget spinners."
After the toys became an "overnight sensation" at Washington Elementary School, principal Kate Ellison explained to The Chicago Tribune that the administration had to ban them due to the increase in classroom distractions. "Frankly, we've found the fidgets were having the opposite effect of what they advertise," Ellison said. "Kids are trading them or spinning them instead of writing."
Another school got behind the ban after kids started throwing them at each other. "They are small in size, but can seriously hurt someone," Carroll Gardens School For Innovation wrote on its website. "In an effort to prevent injuries, we must officially ban these fidget spinners from being brought into our school."
However, as some teachers praise this decision for the sake of their sanity, enraged parents are speaking out. Some students still use this sensory toy for its intended purpose — as a therapy tool found helpful to children with ADD, autism, or anxiety — and they don't want the fad to overshadow that.
"Our middle school just banned them, and my son has been using them as part of his 504 plan," Ro Marks told Today. "I have already written the school about this, because although he could still be allowed to use it legally as part of his 504 plan, he doesn't want to because it will now draw unwanted attention towards him by his peers. Solving an annoyance problem of this viral craze by making a blanket ban actually does more harm than good and creates a more serious issue. Plus, kids who don't need them as therapy toys will likely lose interest in them in about two weeks. Problem solved."