School Bans Loom Bands

Loom bands have been banned at a school over fears they could injure petting animals at a city farm.

Children at Sacred Heart RC Primary in Westhoughton, Bolton, have been told to keep the small, colourful bands at home because of the risk to sheep, goats, chickens, a turkey and a cat in the school's new outdoor learning area.

Headteacher at Sacred Heart, Martin Johnson, told the local paper: "The only reason behind our banning the bands is due to our city farm.

"The rubber bands were finding their way into the sheep and goat enclosures, and near to the chickens, turkey and cat.

"Obviously we don't want our animals to be eating rubber bands and getting sick, so we have banned the bands."

In the same city, Blackrod Primary School has banned loom bans from the classroom because they say they distract pupils during lessons.

The school said kids would only be allowed to take them into school on special occasions, in line with the rules for toys and jewellery.

Katherine Mead, assistant head, said: "It is a nice pastime for the children - it develops their fine motor skills, and it is not gender-specific.

"The children really enjoyed making them on a coach trip to France and teachers were given quite a few as presents.

"The children are really creative and go on YouTube looking for new designs."

But she added: "At school we have a no jewellery policy for safety reasons because we have an adventure playground, outdoor learning area and children have a minimum of two hours of PE every week.

"Children are not allowed to bring toys into school and the equipment for making the loom bands can be expensive, and we don't want it to break or get damaged."

What do you make of these moves? Common sense or killjoys?

Yes, there have been nasty incidents involving the nation's most popular playground craze (if you're unfamiliar, loom bands are multi-coloured elastic bands that children weave into jewellery with their fingers or on a plastic loom).

The worst of these cases involved a boy needing surgery after his brother accidentally pinged him in the eye when a band broke.

And in another, a boy's fingers turned blue when he fell asleep with the bands wrapped around his fingers (fortunately, his mum removed them in time).

But these events are rare so do you think schools should be cracking down on them?

In the past, schools have banned everything from conkers to Splat Balls because of fears over playground safety.

Will similar concerns for kids' safety bring an end to the biggest playground craze of all time – one which has just resulted in someone on eBay pledging to shell out an eye-watering £170,000 for a dress made from the loom bands?

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