The principal of a Park Slope, Brooklyn, elementary school is taking down the latest threat to kids' learning: Rainbow Loom bracelet-making kits.
The bracelets—bright and colorful rubber bands that kids string together, much like the classic friendship bracelet—are popular among young girls and boys. Apparently, too popular.
"It's an addiction," said Eve Litwack, principal of Park Slope's P.S. 107, to DNAinfo New York. "It was like the kids couldn't live without it. It was just getting to the point where it was really crazy."
The Huffington Post reported:
Administrators at P.S. 107 said that loom band mania was getting in the way of learning. Litwack explained that kids were weaving bracelets when teachers' backs were turned. She also said that some kids teased others for not having kits of their own.
Litwack also expressed concern that kids chose to spend their recess time weaving the bracelets rather than running around on the field.
The Department of Education told The New York Post that the agency has not issued a ban on Rainbow Loom bracelets, since these types of decisions are left up to the discretion of individual schools. However, Park Slope's P.S. 107 is not alone. Earlier this month, the principal of an elementary school in Manhattan's Upper West Side also banished the jewelry-making fad. This school, P.S. 87, took the ban a step further, prohibiting the bracelets as well as the kits, because their mere presence fostered worrisome tensions between the "haves and have nots".
The official ban notice sent to parents read:
The children are playing with the bracelets during class without permission from teachers. [They] are playing with them at recess, and it is causing conflict between children. Therefore, starting immediately, your children are no longer allowed to bring any Rainbow Loom bracelets or the kits to school.
Some parents have expressed their frustration. "This is ridiculous. There is nothing illicit about Rainbow Looms," one P.S. 87 parent said. The founder of DivaMoms.com appeared on Fox News to discuss the issue, saying, "If [teachers] feel it's distracting, maybe the teacher at the beginning of the day should set a reminder. Set the rules."