An Upper West Side elementary school has banned the popular Rainbow Loom friendship bracelets from the premises because the principal says children are getting distracted in class and fighting over them on the playground, according to a published report.
The Department of Education told The New York Post it has no citywide ban on the colorful bracelets, but forbidding specific items at any given school is up to the principal's discretion.
Rainbow Loom bracelets come with a plastic kit that helps kids stretch rubber bands into multicolored chains. Children have fun trading their creations among friends, or giving them away like friendship bracelets.
But if kids are focused on weaving their colorful bracelets during class, they're not paying attention to their schoolwork. And when some are tooling around with the kit during recess, children who don't have the bracelets get jealous -- and kids fight, PS 87 Principal Suzan Federici explained to parents in a letter announcing the ban.
Federici told parents that any child caught with one of the kits has to hand it over to a teacher, reports the Post.
Some parents said the rule was too strict, that the kits inspire creativity and craftsmanship and children should be able to make the bracelets during down time.
Others said they trusted the school administration to make the right call.
Several other schools have banned Rainbow Loom bracelets also, including the private Greenwich County Day school in Connecticut, according to the Post.