By Kumaran P, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Jul 15, 2017, 01.00 AM IST
Bengaluru schools start banning fidget spinners

The new craze among schoolchildren is a toy that spins like a top, but isn’t. It’s called the fidget spinner, and it’s driving teachers up the wall.

These spinners come in different size and quality, can cost between Rs 300 and Rs 3,000, and can, evidently, become rather addictive. In school campuses, students have often been found to bet on who would keep the toy spinning the longest.

As things heat up, some even end up getting hurt. Mansur Ali, member of the Delhi Public School management, and secretary of the Karnataka CBSE Schools Association, told BM: “We have banned them in all DPS schools.

Students should not bring all these things as they end up getting caught in unhealthy competition.” “These spinners have become so popular that they can be found even with roadside vendors. It’s a big headache for us. Almost every student seems to have it. We have told parents to stop sending these things with their children when they come to school,” said Ali.

While articles online claim fidget spinners are useful, and help students concentrate better, school managements are yet to warm up to the idea. “We have heard doctors say this is good and it actually helps students improve their skills; but we do not recommend it inside the school premises.

Also, the low-quality spinners sometimes go out of control and end up hurting people around. We have had incidents where it has gone and hit a student.” Anil Iyer, a psychiatrist said: “Fidget spinners have been popular on the note saying it releases stress but there is no research evidence to prove.

I feel that people spin with the belief that it relieves stress and so the very belief helps them feel better. Positive thought and feeling brings positivity alone. With regard to the talk that it helps students focus better isn’t completely true. This can act as a distraction or a way to release your energy. When you get back to your studies or work after spinning, you would naturally have attention and ability to refocus only because it is not from the same attention span.

Any other kind of break taken to cope with distraction helps you to concentrate just like this.” M Srinivasan, Founder and Chairman of GEAR Foundation, said: “We have advised children not to bring any such materials to the school. Mostly, students don’t use this in the classroom. We do not see a problem if they use it, but definitely not inside the premises.” How are you checking on whether students are bringing these or not? Mansur Ali said: “We have started surprise checks on the school campus. If we find them in students’ bags, we will immediately confiscate it and not return them at all.” Some educationists see the new fad for what it is, yet another way to have fun. As this principal from a city school put it: “These things are common. Earlier, it was the pen fight. They used to waste a lot of pens hitting each other; and it was fierce, at times. They used to shout, fight for these games. That slowly stopped. Now, this has come up. Children being children, they are bound to start using this and over a period of time, I feel they will stop. In the meantime, maybe we can ask parents to stop encouraging it.” Even schools abroad have banned these spinners inside classrooms.