I read the headlines on most days and was very surprised to read an article in The Wichita Eagle on October 4, 2010. The headline read, “Some Wichita-area schools have opted to ban Bandz”. Being a parent, I immediately read the article to see why they would ban Bandz. Not being certain I knew what Bandz were, but I thought I had a pretty good idea.
Because, my younger son is 17 and I had noticed some bands that he and his friends had been wearing. Also, when standing in line to check out at the register a few weeks ago, I noticed some odd outlines of some colorful kind of characters on a card wrapped in cellophane. They looked much to small for someone to put them on their arm, so I thought maybe they were some type of stencil or something. Imagine my surprise when I asked my son and he said you know they are Silly Bandz. And he pointed to band on his wrist then took it off and showed me that it changed into a cartoon character.
So seeing the title of the article made me think, “Why in the world would the schools think these are so bad they need to be banned?”. So I read the article and sure enough it was about “Silly Bandz”. I guess they have valid reasons, or at least they think they are valid. The reasoning that was given in the article was that several of the schools in the district had banned them because they were a distraction in the classrooms and hallways. One of the schools that had banned them has a strict dress code and it goes against dress code.
This got me searching around to find out more about what’s going on with these Silly Bandz. I started looking on the internet and did some reading on them. But, to tell the truth, I had to do a lot of searching because most of the links that came up were for businesses that were selling them. Seems that you can buy 24 of them for around $5 if they are Silly Bandz and a little less if it is one of the knock off brands.
Several of the articles I read stated that teachers like using them as a reward system and then there are some teachers that take them away and give them back at the end of the day. One even eluded to saying that if kids were wearing them a parent would have to come to the school to pick up the Silly Bandz. Hmmm, that seems a little drastic, it seems. I did find out that kids like to trade them much like the friendship bracelets, baseball cards, marbles and many other things that kids have traded at school in past years.
According to the Daily Herald, a Chicago based newspaper, “Some child-psychology experts say the colorful, collectible rubber bands that have captured the hearts of suburban kids in recent months are tools that can help build social skills, form friendships and learn other important life lessons.” This made me see that these Silly Bandz are probably a good thing.
After all the reading I have done on this subject, it seems to me that they are more of a good thing than bad and I think they can probably be a distraction, but so are many of things kids do, like talking while the teacher is teaching, throwing paper wads or thumping paper footballs. However, children need things to bring out their identity. More and more these days the schools are taking away the few things that kids use to make themselves feel individual. Myself anything that may help build social skills is a good thing. Many kids aren’t learning social skills as well as they did in the past because many are interacting more on the internet or texting on phones, than they are in person. Silly Bandz may just be the thing to help counter what technology is taking away in the area of social skills for the kids.
And so, I have decided that I plan on promoting Silly Bandz this Halloween. For many years, I have felt guilty for giving candy to kids at Halloween. So on October 31, this year, I will be giving Silly Bandz to the kids who ring my doorbell so that they can use them to better their social skills instead of candy that will give them tooth decay or diabetes!
Sources for this article:
The Wichita Eagle, www.kansas.com
Daily Herald, www.dailyherald.com
Silly Bandz, www.sillybandz.com