School in New York Bans a Popular Toy

November 19, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. premises [PREM-is-es] (n.) – a portion of land or an area that includes buildings
Example: School guards make sure that no outsiders enter the school premises.

2. kit [kit] (n.) – a case containing a set or collection of articles or tools for a specific purpose
Example: The instructor gave each student a knitting kit for the crafts class.

3. stretch [strech] (v.) – to pull in opposite directions
Example: The rubber band was stretched until it reached the other side of the table.

4. discretion [dih-SKRESH-uh n] (n.) – the state of deciding based on one’s own judgment
Example: It is upon the school principal’s discretion whether Arlyn will be suspended or not.

5. disruptive [dis-RUHP-tiv] (adj.) – causing disruption or disorder
Example: The disruptive behavior of students alarmed the school’s authorities.


Read the text below.
A school in Brooklyn, New York has recently banned one of the most popular toys in the US, the Rubber Loom, from its premises.

Rainbow Loom is a plastic kit of rubber bands that are stretched and weaved into multicolored bracelets. An engineer named Cheong Choon Ng invented the Rubber Loom in 2010, which he originally created for his two daughters. Started with Ng and his wife’s savings, Rainbow Loom now has more than 800,000 users.

According to Sandy Paradiso, the one in charge with the toy’s purchases, Rainbow Loom is in great demand as some of the stores sell up to 400 sets a day. Each set costs $16 while rubber bands cost $3 per bag.

P.S. 107 in Brooklyn, New York banned the toy from the school premises because the school principal considers it a distraction in class. However, NY Department of Education spokesperson says that there is no official ban on the toy. It is at the principal’s discretion to prohibit items he or she thinks are disruptive to the students’ overall learning.

On another note, Ng believes that the toy sparks creativity among children, which can thus encourage students to spend less time on their computers.

The CEO of Global Toy Experts, Richard Gottlieb [GOT-leeb] believes that banning the toy will make it even more popular. He also thinks that this ban will not trigger the end of Rainbow Loom.

Gottlieb was amazed on how this toy became so popular even without spending too much on advertising and marketing. According to Paradiso, Rainbow Loom may be here to stay for an even longer time.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that toys like Rainbow Loom should be banned from school? Why?
·         If you have children in school, would you consider buying this kind of toy for them? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, can toys really become addictive to the point of distracting students at school? Please explain your answer.
·         How do you think parents can prevent their children from getting addicted to toys?


November 19, 2013