Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards, a well-loved children’s game, have been prohibited in a West Auckland school while a primary school in the South Island has restricted the use of Crocs and Jibbitz. These popular shoe accessories have been the source of disruption due to disputes arising from unfair trading in the school playgrounds.
Wanaka Primary School is the most recent establishment to disallow students from wearing Crocs or engaging in Jibbitz exchanges. According to a newsletter disseminated at the beginning of term, the school identifies these fashionable shoes and shoe charms as a safety concern, while the trading of Jibbitz has been the root of numerous disagreements among the students.
A student from the school reported that the ban on Crocs was due to frequent disputes over shoe charm trading. Addressing an interview with the Herald, Principal Wendy Bamford revealed that the decision to ban Jibbitz from being brought into the institution resulted from issues of unfair trading and loss of the shoe accessories, which were causing distress among students.
Bamford pointed out that the predominant issue with Crocs was the unsuitability of the footwear for physical activities. She noted that children often tripped or slipped due to ill-fitting Crocs, resulting in minor injuries. The school, she emphasized, preferred safe and appropriate footwear so students could engage safely in active play and learning.
The popular choice of footwear seemed to be on the rise, prompting the school to address the issue in their newsletter. This is not an isolated case, as schools have previously prohibited popular trends: Whangārei Boys’ High School has also previously banned Crocs.
On a separate note, trading cards have been a perpetual source of dispute in several schools, leading to bans on Pokemon Cards, Countdown’s collectible DreamWorks Heroes cards, and most recently, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, based on the anime series. According to Hobsonville Primary School principal Anne Leitch, the cards were causing interference with bonds among students and their learning hours. Therefore, the school decided to stop students from bringing Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
Anne Leitch added that, unlike other situations, there were no issues concerning unfair trading or loss of cards in this particular case. She highlighted the school’s restorative approach in dealing with such issues, which usually resulted in students leaving the contentious items at home.
These bans coincide with the National Party’s election policy proposal to prohibit cellphones in school premises. Schools that have already implemented such measures commended the decision, observing increased interpersonal interaction among students during breaks. Other educators, however, opined that a blanket ban may not be necessary, expressing the need for schools to decide on such matters based on their unique requirements and the dynamics of their communities.