Seemingly innocuous, the rubber-band bracelets known as Silly Bandz have so fixated America's youth, it seems, that they're viewed as a distracting menace. Schools in several states, including New York, Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts, have banned the elastic bracelets behind the mega-craze — which a Toledo, OH company has been selling for $5 per pack of 24 at a rate of a million packs per month. Though educators say kids can't stop fiddling with, or trading, Silly Bandz in class, was an all-out ban really necessary? (Watch a local report about the Silly Bandz fad)
Let kids be kids: "I see the teachers' point," says Alexandra Gekas in Woman's Day. But they're fighting a losing battle — forbidding Silly Bandz will either energize the fad, or create a void some other craze will fill. When I was a kid, those ugly troll dolls with the "Don King hair were like crack to me." These kids are just being kids. "Let's try to remember what that was like."
"Kids' new favorite toy banned in schools?"
The ban's necessary — enough is enough: Many principals are uncomfortable playing the "dictator," says Tim O'Brien in the Albany, N.Y., Times-Union, but they have to draw the line somewhere. Children are just getting dangerously distracted by Silly Bandz; many schools have reported fights breaking out when trades go awry, and kids left distraught when their favorite bracelets are stolen. Besides, children can still play with their Silly Bandz all summer, so what's the fuss?
"Ban on Bandz: Silly, sensible, or a stretch?"
Sorry, but this crisis seems laughable: In our time, says the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog, schools devoted their policing energies to actual vices "cigarette smoking in the bathrooms and alcohol and drug use — serious issues you could build a good teen rebel movie around. We haven’t heard of something this ridiculous since John Lithgow banned dancing in 'Footloose.'"
"Are the bans on Silly Bandz necessary?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- What could happen if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare
- 10 things you need to know today: November 21, 2014
- The myth of the stay-at-home dad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week