Schools across the country are banning the toy that every kid wants - the fidget spinner.
According to SpinnerList, which claims to be the biggest database of all fidget spinners and makers on the market, 32 percent of the top 200 high schools in the United States have banned the toys.
The press release arrived in my inbox at about the same time my Wake County middle schooler's English teacher included this line in her weekly email to parents: "Fidget Spinners: They are no longer allowed in class because they are a distraction. They have not helped any student stay focused (except for focusing on doing tricks during instruction)."
I've also heard from students, parents and teachers in other local schools that the toys are being banned, typically on a class-by-class basis. No school or system in the region have banned the toys entirely.
As I wrote late last month, the toys are all the rage at schools across the Triangle - and far beyond. The two- or three-pronged gadget rests on your fingers so that you can spin them. They are designed, according to manufacturers, to help those with ADHD, autism and other issues, joining other kinds of "fidget" toys that help some people focus.
In reality, teachers say they are a real distraction in the classroom as just about everybody has one - whether they need it to focus or not.
For the study, SpinnerList contacted the 200 largest high schools in the country - 100 public and 100 private schools. According to the website, 63 high schools indicated that fidget spinners are currently banned or will be by the end of the week. Of those 63, 27 are public high schools and 36 are private high schools.
Officials at three local school systems - Wake County, Cumberland County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro - say there are no district policies to prohibit the toys.
"According to our principals, some of our students are using fidget spinners," wrote Renarta C. Moyd with Cumberland County Schools in an email. "We have not seen any major problems with them because our teachers and school administrators are constantly reiterating to students the purpose of the tool. Also, central services has not addressed problems with fidget spinners."
In Wake County, Lisa Luten, the system's director of communications, wrote in an email that it's not a system-wide issue.
"Teachers set their own classroom rules. No school has banned them," she wrote. "... Some teachers encourage them. It really depends on the students and the teacher."