Fidget spinners are the latest toy sensation, but are they an ironic distraction?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 06:06PM
Kemberly Richardson has the story


NEW YORK - Fidget spinners, the small plastic toys the provide a quick, soothing rotation, are the newest sensation that is flying off shelves and into schools across the country.

The gadgets were originally designed to help kids with Attention Deficit Disorder keep focused, but some schools have banned the spinners after officials said they had become a distraction.

The toys come in various colors and designs and can cost as little as $1, and they can also be used for fun tricks and stunts.

One toy store in Manhattan sold more than 300 in just two days. Street vendors are selling out, but more are on the way. And teachers are trying to manage the colorful gadgets.

Faith Hunter, assistant principal at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, said a new policy is about to take effect after a meeting with staff and faculty, including the occupational therapists.

"Keep it in your back pack, take it out at recess, learning all the cool things you can do with them on play dates," she said. "But we're not going to have it in math class."

The New York City Department of Education has decided to leave policy up to each individual school, based on the needs of its students.

At The Windward School, a specialized school for students with language-based learning disabilities, students are not allowed to play with spinners and are encourage to use what administrators call far more effective tools like stress balls.
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