Zip-Ties Cause Classroom Disruptions

By Mara Shapiro

A bundle of zip-ties confiscated by the Deans.

Since September, freshman and sophomore boys have been pranking each other with a trick called zip-tying, according to the deans.

The zip-ties are zipper-like contraptions that the students use to tie other students’ backpacks shut or to tables. Some students who carry zip-ties with them said they are simply pulling a prank on a friend, but others say it is a form of bullying.

Dean Mark Rigby says he feels that the zip-ties aren’t harmful, but that they are disrupting classrooms.

“[Zip-ties are] an easy little prank to play… [they’re] relatively harmless, but [they’re] annoying,” Rigby says.

Rigby says that about a month ago the zip-ties became popular, and that the use of them wasn’t as rampant as it is this year. He says that the consequences for using zip-ties include minor punishments such as having them taken away, or in some cases something more serious such as a detention.

“We consequence kids because [zip-ties] have become a distraction in the classroom,” Rigby says.

Teachers have also become aware of zip-ties, but some teachers such as English teacher, Michele Hettinger, don’t find the pranks to be funny.

“[Zip-ties] can be very useful, but when it comes to tying up other kids’ backpacks… I find that a little bit disturbing,” Hettinger says.

Hettinger has seen it the most with her freshman classes and is concerned about the students who don’t stop tying other people’s backpacks up after they’ve been told to stop. Hettinger witnessed one incident in which a student’s backpack had been tied, so the perpetrator was told to stop. Then, within the next period he tied up the same kid’s backpack again.

“My biggest concern is they’re [zip-ties] disruptive and [they] waste time… it’s bullying. The victims don’t find it funny,” Hettinger says.

In response to teachers who said they feel zip-tying is a form of bullying, Rigby said, “Sometimes it is, and we address those situations differently in terms of consequences.”

Rigby said about three students have been enrolled in an anti-bullying program because of zip-tying incidents.

English teacher Jody Weatherington says it’s important for students to realize the affects of their actions.

“I agree, that [zip-ties are] bullying.. it’s not funny,” she said.

Hettinger says that her consequences involve detentions and calls home.

“Something more serious has to be done,” Hettinger says.

On the other hand, most student feel that the zip-ties are just a way to have fun with friends.

” I think [zip-ties are] a fun, a little prank you can pull on your friends,” said sophomore Jason Lupas.

Sophomore Isabelle Davis disagrees.

“They’re annoying,” says Davis.