Tassie schools restrict, ban pupils' latest craze

IT IS the latest craze to take over schools, but they are also facing restrictions or bans.

Loom bands or bracelets are taking Tasmanian schools by storm and stores stocking the kits and packets of bands are reporting fast, high- volume sales.

However, parents have reported some schools are choosing to restrict their use to certain days or times, or ban them altogether.

Reasons given have included the bracelets are not in line with school uniform policy, students have been wearing too many, flicking others in the face with them or participating in unfair trading.

The Examiner knows of at least seven primary schools that have, or are planning to, put restrictions around the bracelets, including East Ulverstone, Mowbray, Norwood, Riverside, Scottsdale, St Thomas More's Catholic and Youngtown.

At the start of this week a number of schools in New South Wales and Victoria had banned them.

St Thomas More's Catholic Primary School principal Carol Seagar said yesterday pupils were allowed to make the bracelets at school, but not allowed to wear them because they were not in keeping with their uniform policy.

However, the exception was when pupils had bought them as part of a school fund-raiser and they could wear them that day.

"Students from kinder to grade 6, they're allowed to make them - it involves very good fine motor skills, but they can't wear them with their uniform," Mrs Seagar said.

She said a fund-raiser with the bracelets had helped to raise $46 for Caritas Australia.

She said problems only arose when pupils started taking it a bit too seriously, so it was important pupils knew they couldn't wear them at school.

Birchalls toy and hobby department manager Shirley Clifford said the craze really took off about three weeks ago and the kits to make the bracelets were constantly selling out.

The store is waiting for its next shipment of kits, although it has a good stock of bands.

Tasmanian Association of State School Organisations president Jenny Eddington said this was just the latest fad for children, but the internet and social media sites made them more immediate and potentially longer lasting.

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