Some days I find myself thinking that we really ought to just wipe the world clean and start over. After seeing
it’s safe to say that today is definitely one of them.
First it was the shatterproof ruler. Then came the compass with a soft point.
Now one of the UK’s biggest stationery manufacturers is redesigning the pencil sharpener to stop it being used as a weapon.
Helix is producing a tamper-proof version of the trusty sharpener, which has been employed by generations of schoolchildren, after complaints from teachers.
Schools have reported incidents in which pupils unscrew blades and use them to attack classmates. Some head teachers have been forced to ban them altogether.
In an announcement yesterday, Helix, which sells two million sharpeners a year, said it was redesigning its products to allay fears over their safety. The new sharpeners will have a special screw head which the company claims, cannot be removed, even with a screwdriver.
A primary school in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancs, has banned sharpeners after a pupil slashed another child’s neck and a Derby junior school imposed a ban after children were found stamping on them to remove blades.