Kid craze ‘fidget spinners’ banned by some Southern Nevada schools

Tayler Rexroad went to school Monday morning with a new toy and a stern warning.

“If you get in trouble using this at school, you’ll be grounded.”

That’s the message Dave Kaminski gave to the 8-year-old second-grader at French Elementary School in southeast Las Vegas before she brought her new fidget spinner to school.

Tayler did not get in trouble with the spinner at school — although she lamented breaking a piece off it by spinning it too hard — but some Clark County School District administrators are striking back at the latest kid craze.

Fidget spinners are all the rage among kids and some adults. Approximately 3-inches wide, the handheld device spins like a windmill and emits a faint humming noise. Concerned about their potential for distraction, some Clark County schools are joining others across the nation in banning the toys.

Leave them at home, some schools say

J. Marlan Walker Elementary School sent a message home to parents Friday telling them the toys are to stay at home. Rogich Middle School, Harris Elementary School and a number of others have also banned the spinners, according to the district.

“A decision to ban fidget spinners or any other toy is made on a school-by-school basis,” district spokeswoman Melinda Malone said in a statement. “While a few CCSD schools have banned these toys from campus, others permit fidget spinners for use before or after school, or during non-class time like recess or lunch. While students are in class, the focus should be on learning and anything deemed to be a distraction can be confiscated.”

Malone said parents with questions should contact their child’s school.

The tiny toys, found at gas stations, 7-Elevens, toy stores and online, will likely end up joining the ranks of jelly bracelets, Beanie Babies, slap bracelets and the cellphone-based Pokemon Go game as big fads for a short time.

Fidget spinners have been around for years and mostly used by kids with autism or attention disorders to help them concentrate. Engineer Catherine Hettinger says she came up with a toy that was similar but not identical in the early 1990s, but a patent expired more than a decade ago.

‘Entertaining’ and ‘de-stressing’

Many find the repetitive motion soothing. Anthony Murillo, a 15-year-old student at Thurman White Middle School, called the toy relaxing.

“It de-stresses my arm,” he said.

Tayler said she and her friends have contests to see who can keep the toy spinning the longest. Although she broke hers Monday at school, she was able to show off her moves by holding the pieces in place.

“I think they’re really entertaining,” she said.

Her older sister didn’t quite agree. Morgane Rexroad, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at White Middle School, didn’t see the appeal.

“I don’t get it,” she said. “I think they’re a waste.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

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