Fidget Spinners: boon or bane for Solon High School?

SHS+sophomore+Zach+Olgin+spins+in+class+to+focus.
SHS sophomore Zach Olgin spins in class to focus.

SHS sophomore Zach Olgin spins in class to focus.

Madison McGirr

Madison McGirr

SHS sophomore Zach Olgin spins in class to focus.

Vinay Bodapati

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You hate to watch them spin, but you love to watch them go. The fidget spinner: a craze that’s sweeping the nation!

Nowadays, these devices have become ubiquitous in Solon High School classrooms, with their presence becoming a foregone conclusion. Whether to help cope with anxiety and relieve stress, or simply to take a quick break from school work, these spinners have undoubtedly been the ire of much of our school’s faculty.

However, like all that is complex,  fidget toys are a multifaceted issue.

Take Sam Feudo, a sophomore at SHS, who is constantly distracted by his fidget-happy peers. Feudo argues that the spinners are quite a bother in classroom settings.

“I’ll be trying to focus in class, and instead of focusing on the the teacher, people are playing with these loud toys.”

Additionally, while Feudo recognizes the psychological benefits the devices may yield, he is skeptical of their usage by most Solon students.

“I think that fidget toys are intended to calm their users down. However, in reality, I don’t think it helps them in that way. At least in SHS, most of my classmates don’t have the stress and anxiety issues the spinners are meant for.”

SHS AP Government and World History teacher Bryan Ashkettle shared Feudo’s sentiments. Ashkettle contended that fidget spinners are not the problems in and of themselves. The problem arises when the spinners are used in a classroom setting..

He explained, “The problem arises when, as is most often the case, other students try to get their hands on the spinner and everyone wants a turn. That’s when my instruction gets disrupted.”

However, Ashkettle did not outright discount the potential advantages such devices can have.

“I’m interested in learning whether these toys neurologically relieve stress,” he said. “I know that other items like it have in the past.”

On the other hand, Aaron Lee, a freshman at SHS, proudly proclaims himself to be a fidget-lover. In fact, not only does he have a fidget spinner, but he has a fidget cube as well.

“I bought both [my cube and my spinner] mainly for entertainment purposes,” Lee stated. “Also, because all of my friends have them as well, they’re really fun to use. I know some people use them to destress, but I mainly use them to pass time.”

Though he did not initially buy the toys for anything but personal enjoyment, Lee did find the spinners to have some relieving qualities. .

“Personally, while I do use fidget spinners as a source of entertainment, I also find them to be really relaxing,” Lee said. “Both the spinner and the cube have certain soothing qualities that I find to be welcome distractions from the stress of school work.”

Through experience, Lee has found that many teachers view fidget spinners with a different opinion than his own.  

Lee stated, “Most teachers don’t mind when we use them, but some will take them away. It’s because the spinners can be kind of loud for other people.”

Undoubtedly, both sides on this issue have merit, and it’s important that all SHS students and faculty keep in mind the complexity of the matter. Students must be sensitive and aware of how their use of fidget spinners affects their peers and their teachers. However, it’s equally important that no one overlook the benefits that the devices can yield for their users — whether psychologically, recreationally or both.

Charlie Gortz, a junior SHS student, always carries his fidget spinner around.

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