Lately, the McNicholas community has become inundated with a hot new item, fidget toys. Fidget toys are small desk items simply meant to help people, well, fidget. There are many different types of items, but the most popular are the fidget cube and the fidget spinner. Because of the recent popularity, the question of should fidget toys be allowed in school has arisen.
Fidget toys are made for adults and children with ADHD and autism, among others. Even though fidget toys can be distracting to others, they help those who struggle in focusing or seek comfort in sensory objects. They can even help relieve stress.
In a survey conducted by the McNicholas Milestone, 154 students out of the 291 who took the survey, said yes to school allowing fidget toys. “Fidgets really help kids with ADHD pay attention,” McNicholas senior Kathleen Finn said. “They keep us from playing games,” McNicholas sophomore Christopher Walter pointed out.
“I do think that fidget toys have a purpose to them, but they can’t be disruptive to other kids,” Renee Hendon, department chair of the SAIL program at McNicholas High School, said.
“I think that under certain circumstances they could be allowed in school, but the intention of the fidget was for kids with attention issues…But for kids without attention issues, I don’t think they should be playing around with it, because they’re just using them as a toy,” SAIL teacher Hannah Schwab said
On the other hand, fidget toys have become disruptive in class, “When other people are using the fidget spinners, it just causes a distraction for the other people in class,” McNicholas sophomore Hailey Bell said. “They’re annoying,” McNicholas freshman Ryan Gear said.
McNicholas freshman Casey Kuhlman even mentioned, “Someone put theirs in my hair and tore it out.”
“I highly doubt that these toys are actually made for kids with ADHD, it is a marketing ploy that appeals to parent and kids, but in reality it distracts the other kids in class and the person using it,” McNicholas senior Sofia DiGiovanni said.
Fidget toys are helpful to students that actually need them, but for students who want to play with them and distract the rest of the class, it is not appropriate. So, what should we do? Should they be banned or maybe incorporate a policy at school for them?
“I think fidgets are like anything else. If it’s a distraction, the teacher has every right to take it away, that is true of anything,” SAIL teacher Valerie Combs said.