Silly Bandz look like ordinary rubber bracelets when they're on your wrist. But take them off, and the bracelets pop into to their original shapes: all different forms from animals to musical instruments.
A pack of twenty-four sells for less than five bucks, and they're the latest "big thing."
The bracelets are so popular that Michael Urbaites, who owns Vanco Pharmacy in Commack, was selling them "about a gross a day. We couldn't get them in fast enough."
But their popularity also extended to the classroom. An increasing number of teachers believes Silly Bandz are a distraction. They also say children sometimes sling the rubber bracelets at each other. And that's why several schools and districts on Long Island have now banned students from bringing the bracelets to school.
The Superintendent of Deer Park Schools, Eva Demyen, sent a letter home to parents on April 30th alerting them that students are now banned from bringing Silly Bandz to school. She pointed out that "this time of year in particular is an extremely important time of year with state testing. And so our focus needs to be on students doing well."
In nearby Dix Hills, the principal of the Rolling Hills Primary School, Janet Studley, has also banned the bracelets. She says so far, most of the parents "have been very responsive and very cooperative. At times, we have one or two (Silly Bandz) come in, and the children put them in their backpacks."
Susan Krimper, a Dix Hills parent, says the ban is "fine" with her. In her opinion, "it's just the latest craze and it's gonna go away soon."
And back at Vanco Pharmacy, sales of Silly Bandz have "slowed up a bit", according to Ubaites. But he says business could pick up again "because in this area especially, we're going into camp season".
We tried to reach Brainchild Products in Toledo Ohio, the U.S. headquarters for Silly Bandz, about the school ban. As of this writing, there's been no response.