Silly Bandz a no-no at Finn

Last night WBZ-TV ran a piece on the latest fad in kid accessories: Silly Bandz. Those of you with young ones know that Silly Bandz are brightly-colored rubber bracelets in the shape of things like animals. A private school in Milton recently banned the bracelets because they’ve become such a distraction for students. Turns out, they’re a distraction in our town, too.

While she didn’t call out Silly Bandz by name, Finn principal Mary Ryan sent a note home to parents last week asking them to not send their kids to school with “jelly bracelets,” saying they’re causing similar issues as trading cards.

“The bracelets are distracting, they are being traded, and children are having conflicts because of them,” Ryan wrote in the letter. “I ask that these be kept as special bracelets to be worn outside of school.”

Oh the fashion fads of the young. We had jelly bracelets in my day too, but the only way to wear them was layered over your Swatch. What about you?

(Photo posted to flickr by MGShelton)

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Former Townie
12 years ago

Am I missing something? Rubber bracelets are too distracting ? Earthshattering ! How about using them as part of a class on conflict resolution . As long as the kids aren’t trading them during class time I don’t see the problem.

John Kendall
12 years ago

I can see them being a distraction, just like baseball cards were when I was a kid. I say leave them home so the kiddos can pay full attention and get their (ours) moneys worth from their teachers.

Kaytee
12 years ago

Woodward banned these as well.

Townie D
12 years ago

Im with former townie! Well Said!!!

Former Townie
12 years ago

Banning them is the easiest way to deal with it. Easy peasy, next problem.

carrie alpert
12 years ago

as a mother who has a child at Finn who now refers to the silly bandz as “contrabandz” i could not disagree with the above statement anymore. I think that every time the children find something to collect or channel their energy on and you ban it they just get angry and move on to the next thing so that there is never any growth happening –you just cannot think you can throw down a gauntlet like that and believe that the kids will respect you as respect is earned– Being so authoritarian creates the power struggles in and of itself so that by the time they get to the early Middle School years there is no discussion of anything–just a lot of negative feelings as they are expecting that everytime they like a fad or latch onto something it is forbidden at school. I like to look at the collection of items that the kids like to garner and trade as a healthy way to tune out a lot of the static in the fast paced day where there is a lot expected of them.
I just wonder how the transition is made into Neary when the 4th graders are allowed to bring ipods and the like onto the bus

Pat Quill
12 years ago
Reply to  carrie alpert

Oh, it gets even better when they get to Neary……. they are allowed to “shop” at the “school store”.

Yes, my little daughter would either beg me for money or raid her piggy
bank to get that little eraser shaped like an icecream cone that another student purchased the prior day. Bad enough all those little trinkets are in every check out at most, if not all, stores, but now my kid has to be a little consumer while at school.

It is used, I believe, as an opportunity for math (at least for those students who help run it), but I believe there are better ways to translate math to real world.
It really only becomes, what kid is allowed to bring (or sneek in) the most
change and use their purchasing power while those that don’t or can’t, look on.

Former Townie
12 years ago

Carrie, I agree with you and feel that the kids would learn a lot more if they had boundaries set down by the teachers as opposed to a banning of the bracelets. i.e.” Take the bracelets off during class time, put them in your desk or pockets. Anyone found playing with them during class time will have then taken away, End of discussion, no exceptions,” I think most kids have the self control to deal with that even at grammar school level.

carrie alpert
12 years ago

Pat, my son is in 4th grade this year and his teacher runs the school store, i should rephrase that–she manages the inventory, comes in early on the days the store is open and houses the school store unit in her classroom but it is the kids in her class run who run the school store. The profit that is made from the store is used to buy items for all of the classrooms and to fund more materials for the store; moreover, all of the children in her classroom have the chance throughout the year–when the store is operational, which is only a select few times, to work the store thereby applying math skills in a real life setting. I think that it is very easy to get into a framework of what does not work, but i prefer to look at what does and in this case consumerism has a positive outcome–the children who work the store have to work together in order to make the morning flow and those children who want to visit the store before the start of the school day have to get it together (get to school on time, remember to bring in money if they want to purchase an item) in order to do so–this is not always an easy task when you are 9/10/11 years old but it is a building block for future experiences.

Resident
12 years ago
Reply to  carrie alpert

A “school store” sounds like just another opportunity to differentiate between the “have’s” and the “have not’s.” Some things should be reserved for outside of school. Kids don’t need yet another reason to compete and succumb to consumerism. It’s everywhere around them OUTSIDE of school. Do we really need it INSIDE the schools as well?

Pat Quill
12 years ago
Reply to  carrie alpert

Forgot about my passionate disagreement about this topic and just noticed your
post. I know it is all said and done and “banned” in the school already, but I just can’t help but add my 2 cents regarding a school store.

Carrie, I can usually agree with some of your posts on this blog, but
I strongly disagree with you here.

Your son’s teacher, who runs the store, is a well liked and very respected
teacher at Neary….. and I don’t doubt that they are right. I just happen to
disagree with the whole notion of a “school store” at an elementary school. It is a weak argument, I feel, to justify it as a way to make math “real” to a kid. There is no need for a school store in an elementary school. There are a billion different ways to turn math into a real life skill other than a school store (to buy more trinkets to litter this earth with!). The small number of kids who reap the benefits of any math lessons inherent in this school store concept does not, in my opinion, justify it.

It is not about my kid not being able to “get it together” to get to school on time
and remember to bring money either. My kid takes the bus and is 95% of the time one of the last buses to pull in. So imagine her recurring frustration of being “together” and ready with her money only to watch the cart being put away for the morning or the line of kids too long to even bother to approach. That scenerio of a morning is not a “building block for future experiences”. It brought her to tears several days in a row so I don’t agree with your “commercialism has a positive outcome” philosophy. (and…..there was NO WAY I was going to drive her to school so she could BUY something at the school store to ………..learn math?)

Sorry, just don’t see anything good about it. Our kids already find plenty of ways
to use math in real life commercialism scenerios already. They don’t need it
during the school day. Counting out the change to buy their school lunch does
it for me.

Resident
12 years ago
Reply to  Pat Quill

Amen! I couldn’t agree more. Sorry your daughter was upset.

heather
12 years ago

The ban in elementary schools may be about colorful distractions, but the ban in high schools has to do with sexual activity. The different colors are meant to represent different sex acts. If the wearer gets one of their bracelets broken the sex act that correlates to that color is to be performed by the wearer and done to the breaker. I think it’s meant to head things off at the pass. Everything escalates.

carrie alpert
12 years ago

ok. so i sit down with my freshly brewed cup of coffee and notice, “hey, there is a new response to the sillybanz post” —-the lunches are made and i have a few moments till’ the day really ramps up.
i was not expecting to read this.
leave it to the blossoming youth to come up with such a game that is composed of such a level of emotional detrement as well as physical shame.
i can absolutely see the logic of banning them at the high school level and i would think at the middle school level if there is a trickle down effect. If nothing else i support the teachers and administration; however, at the Finn and Woodward levels i do feel as though it is about teaching modulation and a set of life skills but what you are discussing is another realm entirely. Where it starts and stops, or escalates–that is just hard to decipher and no one wants that situation at the high school.
wow

carrie alpert
12 years ago

Pat-
difference of opinion and we can leave it at that, if anything i am able to see another persons point of view and that comes with maturation and being able to keep my mind and spirit open to other people’s feelings and expectations.

keep dry today and be well

Sickofit
12 years ago

I agree with you Pat. As we are have nots, I am sick and tired of continually having to come up with cash for yet another thing that they are selling at school. I would love for the school store to be abolished and am surprised Linda Murdock has not done that. Honestly, I don’t have the money to waste but my kids want to be like the other kids and shop for stuff there too. I can see better uses for my money. They have plenty of opportunity for “real life” math. I don’t think we need to be spending on trinkets at the school store.

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