East Tennessee stores sell out of ‘Fidget Spinners,’ teachers fear they’re distracting

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A recent toy trend has some parents scratching their heads and some teachers saying they’ve had enough.

They’re called Fidget Spinners. Most are made of plastic and they have different ball bearings. Some light up or have other extra features, but as the name suggests, it’s main function is to spin.

Smart Toys and Books in Knoxville has been selling them since mid-March and they’re so popular, workers say they’ve had trouble keeping up with the demand. It’s not just kids who love Fidget Spinners – teens and even adults are buying them.

The assistant manager of Smart Toys and Books admits he has a few himself.

“They’re just fun to have around. It’s just an easy distraction while watching TV and you can keep your hands busy,” said Titus Arthur.

Smart Toys and Books says 50 percent of their daily phone calls are people asking for Fidget Spinners and can range in price from $5 to $20 or even more.

Some teachers say they’re concerned the toys are a distraction. Officials at West Valley Middle School recently sent parents a note saying there have been “reports from teachers across the grade levels that these items are becoming a big distraction to the learning environment. If your children are bringing the spinners to school, please be advised that teachers may be making some rules regarding them in the near future – if they have not already.”

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