Fidget spinners are the hot new toy. Kids love them. Teachers and schools, not so much.
If you've never heard of a fidget spinner, it's a toy with a ball bearing in the middle and prongs (usually 3) popping out. You hold the spinner with your thumb and index finger, then spin it by tapping one of the prongs.
If you're feeling crazy, you can do stuff like spin it off your finger, or if you get really good you can perform a bunch of tricks like the ones on YouTube (and there are a lot of them).
The spinner themselves are cheap — you can get one as low as $2. Some spinner manufacturers claim they can help people suffering from anxiety or ADHD to focus.
But schools in the Chicago area are starting to ban spinners because they're too much of a distraction, according to The Chicago Tribune.
“Frankly, we've found the fidgets were having the opposite effect of what they advertise," said Kate Ellison, a principal of Washington Elementary School in Evanston, Ill., to the Tribune.
On Twitter, searching the hashtag #teacherproblems brings up a couple samples of teachers fed up with their students' latest obsession.
I'm going to have a nice collection of fidget spinners by the end of next week. Hopefully the fad dies before next August. #TeacherProblems— carla riley (@carlarileynew1) May 3, 2017
Others find legitimacy to the "students need them to focus" argument.
“Some students may very well require a fidget or sensory device as part of an individual plan, so we can't ban it,” said Matt Barbini, deputy superintendent of a school district in Illinois, in an article on The Daily Herald. “But if it disrupts instruction, or creates an unsafe environment, we need to act responsibly.”