Look out, Sparklers; the Anti-Fun Brigade is back in force for the new school year, and this time, they’re coming after your accessories! The New York Times reports that a Colorado middle school has banned kids from wearing colorful jelly bracelets like these, after somebody became concerned that the bracelets were…well…they're not sure, but it definitely has something to do with sex. Per the article:
The rubbery bracelets look like the sort that became popular during the ’80s. But over the past few years, some schools across the country have banned them amid fears that they have become synonymous with sex. Indeed, myriad jelly- or sex-bracelet Web sites refer to the game snap, with some sites even providing color guides.
Did you hear that, guys? Myriad web sites! On the INTERNET! Where, as we all know, everything you read is real.
Much as we believe that a middle school is no place for actual sexual activity to be taking place, your SparkNotes editors can’t help thinking that all this brouhaha is an awful lot like the “rainbow party” commotion of a few years ago—when a runaway urban legend caused our parents to confiscate all our lipstick for fear that it might have something to do with sex. (These days, we all know that nobody was actually participating in rainbow parties; they're just another urban myth meant to inspire moral panic.)
Meanwhile, the school claims that the ban is meant to stop the conversation provoked by the bracelets, which they call a “distraction.” But we can’t help thinking that it seems a bit…illogical. We’re picturing something like this:
Scene: School principal's office, where two administrators are confronting an eighth-grader.
Administrator: Listen, Brittany, we know about the bracelets.
Brittany: What are you talking about?
Other Administrator: The SEX bracelets, Brittany!
Administrator: Those bracelets you’re wearing aren’t just bracelets! They’re a… a… secret code! A secret code for sexy, sexy sex!
Brittany: Okay, obviously you guys have been spending too much time on the internet—
Other Administrator: DON’T LIE TO US.
Brittany: But I just bought these because they match my Hannah Montana shirt.
Administrator: NO. You bought them because of the SEX.
Brittany: Um, no?
Administrator: Well, the jig is up, young lady! Because those are sex bracelets, and we do not permit sex bracelets in this school.
Other Administrator: Give us the sex bracelets, Brittany!
Brittany: (muttering) You guys are insane.
Administrator: HAND THEM OVER!
Brittany: (shrugs) Uh, okay, here. They were like a dollar anyway.
Administrator: There, you see, Geoffrey? Now that we have the sex bracelets, those kids will never think or talk about sex again.
Other administrator: Good job, Mildred! Way to nip it in the bud!
What do you think? Is banning jelly bracelets a good move, or a ludicrous overreaction?