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A student holds up a wrist full of Sticky Bandz! A student shows off her Silly Bandz at a sofball game in South Carolina (AP Photo / The Rock Hill Herald, Melissa Cherry)

Schools Ban Silly Bandz

These colorful bracelets are the latest craze, and now some schools are prohibiting students from wearing them in class

By Zach Jones | null null , null
Silly Bandz come in hundreds of shapes and colors. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel / Philadelphia Inquirer / MCT / NewsCom)
Silly Bandz come in hundreds of shapes and colors. (Sharon Gekoski-Kimmel / Philadelphia Inquirer / MCT / NewsCom)

Even the creators of Silly Bandz are amazed by how popular their bracelets have become. Students from elementary schools to high schools collect Silly Bandz, boys and girls alike. But the bright, bendable bracelets aren't at all popular with school officials. Schools across the country are now banning students from wearing them.

Several companies make the bracelets, but the name most familiar to fans is Silly Bandz. The elastic bracelets come in hundreds of shapes and dozens of colors. Some are shaped like animals, some like pirates, some like fairies or even fruits. The trendiest is the golden phoenix.

They're so popular that it's hard to find a store that can keep them in stock. Fans like to collect and trade them. The problems start when students begin trading them in class.

"All [the teacher] has to do is turn her back, and you hear the whispers across the room, ‘Do you want to trade a dolphin for a polar bear?' " says Grace, 8, a second-grader at P.S. 199 in New York City.

Teachers say the bracelets distract students from their work. Some students have even fought over them in school. One elementary school in New Jersey banned the bands because some students were stealing them from one another.

DEBATING THE BAN

James Howard is the president of Zanybrandz, one of the companies that makes the bracelets. He thinks outlawing the bands will only make them more popular. "Getting banned fuels the craze like a five-gallon can of gasoline on a campfire," he says.

Students argue that everyone should not be punished because a few people have made mistakes. They also say Silly Bandz are a safe and fun way for kids to express themselves.

Some school administrators have come up with creative solutions. One elementary school in Alabama banned the bracelets but now allows students to show them off one day a month. "We try not to limit their freedom of expression and what they wear," says principal Karen White.

What do you think? Should the bands be banned from school? Share your opinion by voting in Scholastic News Online's poll.

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