Fidget spinners have become a huge issue at one Waikato school

Principal concerned that children that don't have a fidget spinner will feel left out.
AMIR COHEN/REUTERS

Principal concerned that children that don't have a fidget spinner will feel left out.

One Kiwi  school has banned the use of fidget spinners because of the disruption they've been causing in and outside the classroom.

Cambridge Middle School principal Ross Tyson said instead of serving their purpose, the unique new buzz toys were creating issues among students.

And he's not alone, similar concerns have seen the toys banned in some schools in the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Cambridge Middle School principal Ross Tyson has banned fidget spinners from the school.
EMMA JAMES/FAIRFAX NZ

Cambridge Middle School principal Ross Tyson has banned fidget spinners from the school.

The fidget spinner is a hand-held device consisting of a bearing in the centre of a three-pronged device, which is held by two fingers and spun.

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It was originally designed as a therapeutic tool for children with autism and ADHD, but has gained popularity worldwide amongst all children.

The fidget spinner was originally designed as a therapeutic tool for children with autism and ADHD.
EMMA JAMES/FAIRFAX NZ

The fidget spinner was originally designed as a therapeutic tool for children with autism and ADHD.

The ban meant children with those learning difficulties could no longer bring their spinner to school.

But Tyson said that wasn't an issue.

"Teachers are pretty good with kids with learning conditions these days, and before the fidget spinner there were other ways of helping them, and we can continue to assist them like we have for many years," Tyson said.

Schools in the US and UK have also banned the use of fidget spinners.
REUTERS

Schools in the US and UK have also banned the use of fidget spinners.

A post was made on the school's Facebook page on Wednesday  announcing the ban, stating spinners were causing huge issues with arguments around ownership.

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Comments on the post were divided, with some people agreeing with the decision to ban them, and others spouting outrage.

"But if something goes haywire out in the playground, it carries on back in the classroom and then the teacher has to investigate what happened and that doesn't take just five minutes," Tyson said.

The latest must-have - the fidget spinner.
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The latest must-have - the fidget spinner.

"Then it takes up my senior management teams' time if goes higher up - it's a chain reaction taking up unnecessary time."

The spinners are solidly built, but there had been no injuries or broken windows from the toys.

"It's just one of those fads I think, something new comes around every two or three years and it becomes topical to have one."

Tyson said there was also concerned that students who didn't have a spinner felt left out.

"I mean that's why we wear a school uniform, so these kids don't have to wear the latest Nikes.

"If a child that doesn't have one and feels a little aggrieved, and a spinner is lying there on the desk, they might feel like taking it."

Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand president, Michael Williams, said there had been no issues with fidget spinners in secondary schools, but he had heard about them causing issues in primary schools.

"I think the thing with younger kids is they can get into these fads, and it can cause issues with trading them in school, or cause distractions in class which I have heard about," he said.

He confirmed secondary school students were also using the toy.

"But we're teaching young people how ignore distractions, because there are heaps of distractions in the world."

It was impossible to ban everything that students might fiddle with, such as their pens.

If teachers noticed their students fidgeting, it might be time to bring more a bit more excitement into the classroom, he said.

"Most secondary school students using them know how to manage the distraction, and that's a key part of life."

New Zealand company Game Kings, which stocks the fidget spinners, has had trouble keeping up with demand.

"I think we have pushed out about 10,000 units since the craze went mental about three weeks ago," he said.

They hadn't had any negative feedback from schools regarding them as a distraction.

"But we have had some schools actually buy them in bulk."

He said it was amazing that children were getting into a craze that wasn't technology.

"Both the spinners and the fidget cubes have been really popular, people are placing back orders."

 

 

 - Stuff

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