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Rubber Banned: Upper West Side School Prohibits Popular Rainbow Loom Bracelets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A popular new fad has been rubber banned.

A school on the Upper West Side has banned Rainbow Loom, the colorful make-them-yourself rubber band bracelets, because they are distracting and have led to fights on the playground, the principal said.

PS 87 assistant principal Suzan Federici wrote a letter to parents announcing the ban of Rainbow Loom bracelets and kits. Any students caught with the offending items must hand them over to their teacher, the letter said. The bracelets will be returned to a parent.

As CBS 2's Cindy Hsu reported, Rainbow Loom bracelets are the latest trend sweeping the nation's elementary school students.

Kids have been bringing their Rainbow Looms to school where they make, trade, and sometimes sell the bracelets to each other.

Parent Kristina Louey supports the ban. She doesn't allow her daughter Charlotte to bring her loom to school, and that became a problem.

"She used everyone else's, which is part of the reason they were fighting," Louey told Hsu.

Nine-year-old Willa Schweitzer said she loves the bracelets, but admits they can make it tough to focus in class.

"I like making them at home, but sometimes they're distracting at school," she told Hsu. "Because when kids are playing with them it just makes me want to watch it."

Willa's mother said there's also the issue of some kids feeling left out.

"You also have to be able to play at the playground and not have it be something where one kid has it and another doesn't," Guthrie Schweitzer said.

Others said banning bracelets is ridiculous.

"They're not dangerous, they're not inappropriate," mother Lisa Green told Hsu. "Are we going to ban everything that distracts the children?"

"I would say you can bring them but when it's time to work, you just have to put them away," 10-year-old Paloma Kluger told Hsu.

The Department of Education said there is no citywide ban on Rainbow Loom, noting it is up to individual principals to prohibit items that may be disruptive.

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