dave-mittlemanSilly Bandz are stretchy, colorful silicone bracelets that are creeping up on the wrists of schoolchildren across the country. While the new youth fashion trend may seem harmless, they are apparently causing quite a ruckus in classrooms and teachers are striking back against the “distracting” bracelets.

Bandz are already contraband in several states including New York, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts. Last week that ban spread to Raleigh, N.C., where approximately 800 children at an elementary school were instructed to leave their rubber band-like bracelets at home. When teacherswere interviewed at that Raleigh elementary school, reporters were told that the bands are “a distraction” because the kids play with them too much. Additionally, school officials are also afraid of conflicts or hurt feelings erupting since the children also like to arrange “trades” of the bracelets in exchange for other small trinkets.

But are Silly Bandz that much of an issue that we need to prevent school children from having a little bit of fun? Oppression and limiting the freedom of speech of school children forces them into being something they aren’t. One of the main purposes of education is fostering creativity, but that isn’t likely when students are forced to abide by conventionalities that make no sense in the first place. Furthermore, teachers seem to be sending a contradictory message to their students: there is a rumor that some schools are using the popular bracelets as fundraising items and that teachers have also used them as rewards for good behavior