On the naughty step - conduct that deserves a ticking off
In an age when young people are permanently glued to the virtual charms of Snapchat, you would have thought anything that sparked an interest in real-world handicrafts would be welcome.
But the latest playground craze in Australia, the Rainbow Loom - which students use to weave together small coloured elastic bands into bracelets - has not sparked a nostalgic longing for artisanal gifts among school leaders. The bracelets have been banned from several Australian schools because of arguments over unfair swaps and sales of the trinkets.
Teachers, one deputy principal wrote to parents, were increasingly wasting time unravelling `'the Byzantine nature of the deals made''. (Interestingly, the Byzantines were well known for their elaborately woven tapestries, although perhaps not crafted from elastic bands.)
But the ban on the bracelets - famously sported by the Duchess of Cambridge after being given one on her official trip to New Zealand - seems like a step too far. Surely getting kids' thumbs to do anything other than texting, tweeting and operating an Xbox is a good thing. And politicians never stop telling schools that they should encourage the mercantile spirit in their pupils.
So, enemies of weaving, to the naughty step with you, to craft all the loom bands you can before they go out of fashion next week.