Poll finds most Suffolk parents want fidget spinner toys banned from classrooms
PUBLISHED: 17:27 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:27 04 May 2017
More than half of Suffolk parents believe schools should ban fidget spinners – the new playground craze sweeping Britain – a survey by this newspaper has revealed.
In an online poll answered by more than 400 readers, 53.7% said their child had one of the cut-price devices, which are in the shape of a triangle and spin once flicked.
Marketed as a toy which could help children with autism, ADHD and anxiety, creators say the gadgets can relieve stress.
But this link is disputed by experts and schools across the UK have already started banning them – over fears youngsters could be distracted in class.
Around six in ten parents who contributed to our poll – 61.5% – said schools should have the authority to ban them.
Ipswich mother Laura Holland said: “If it’s a distraction to other pupils in class then teachers have every right and should have parents backing to confiscate, just as they would a toy or sweets.”
While another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Shouldn’t be allowed in class, but otherwise fine. Give it a few weeks and the kids will be bored with them anyway.”
One Suffolk mother, who did not want to be named, said her son’s school provided a fidget spinner for him – he attends the Lindbergh Centre.
She added: “They are more than just a toy to some people.
“My son’s teacher would never get through a lesson with my son without it. His school supplied it for him.”
Autism Anglia expert Alan Bicknell said children using the devices ought to be seen as something really positive.
He said: “The fidget devices provide an energy release and can increase calm and attention.
“So although I can see that they might occasionally be an issue in schools let us not ban them, let us just manage their use sensibly and allow children with autism to access benefits such as improved concentration.”
Farlingaye High School headteacher Dr Andy Sievewright said they have no blanket ban on the toys – nine students with special needs are allowed to use them in class.
He said: “Parents and carers who would like their children to be added to this list have been asked to contact the special needs department. “Students who are not on this list will not be allowed to use the toys in class, as this use can be disruptive.”