Fidget Spinners Promote Distraction

Samuel Ganten, Staff Writer

Previous crazes such as Pokemon and Bey-blade have invaded the homes of Lamorinda students before, but none as obnoxious as fidget spinners.

Fidget spinners are a three-pronged weight centered around a circle in the middle, with bearings to make it spin. While the patent was granted in 1997 to Catherine Hettinger– as disclosed in an interview with Time– with the intent to help people with disorders, it languished in obscurity until late 2016. When youtuber Sam KenKnight released a video titled “Hand Spinner – Fidget Toys,” the trend exploded, with companies such as Hasbro rushing to make a profit on the sale of store bought spinner.

While marketed to help improve concentration, these toys have the exact opposite effect in classrooms. Their whirring sounds and the frequent dropping of the spinners is a distraction.

“They make me distracted and teachers think they’re distracting,” said freshman Julia Parsons, owner of a fidget spinner. “Though they are fun to play with.”

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states on their website that as many as 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Despite the medical ‘purpose’ of the spinner, many people without any attention deficit disorders have found themselves memorized by the spinner device.

“I think sometimes they help with our ADHD,” said freshman Genevieve McKenzie, another fidget spinner owner.

Butthere is no proven medical benefit. Scott Kollins, a researcher at Duke University, said in a recent interview with NPR that there is no evidence that fidget spinners are helpful.

“If their description says specifically that this can help for ADHD, they’re basically making false claims because these have not been evaluated in proper research,” Kollins said.

Hasbro and other companies are simply capitalizing on the desperation of parents who are eager to find a solution to their children’s attention problems, or people who desire to use them as a toy. The fidget spinner doesn’t help anyone but the executives who line their pockets while leaving behind those who need genuine help.

Mark Stein, director of the ADHD and Related Disorders Program at Seattle Children’s, said to The Seattle Post, “It’s not really going to help them improve in school performance or their attention.”

Campolindo needs to ban fidget spinners. They are certifiably useless. Some might claim that the spinners help them focus, but without scientific evidence or a doctors note, the school district can not be certain of their practicality.

Even if you believe that they are helpful, the benefit of allowing some students to focus is heavily outweighed by the distraction it brings teachers and students. They are yet another trend that exists for the sole purpose of making profits. Like SillyBandz,  or any other distracting trend, they should be sent to the garbage can, never to be seen again.