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I think using the traditional compass with those styluses that can literally be used to hurt or accidentally hurt someone are very dangerous. Most people don't use these in day-to-day life anyways, right? The school I used to work for formerly used "Slide N' Measure" compasses instead of the pointy ones.

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Here's the Safe-T compass:

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And here's an image of the traditional ones:

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Shouldn't we simply get rid of the other pointy ones like in the last picture above from schools?

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  • $\begingroup$ Compass is a navigation tool. Pair of compasses is a drawing/measuring tool. Are you afraid someone will punch through a heart with a 1cm needle? $\endgroup$ – Rusty Core Mar 18 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ well, yes I am afraid someone could do that. thanks for the clarification about the compass vs pair of compasses. $\endgroup$ – ytrkptl Mar 18 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Unless they are very young, the regular ones are fine. If they are very young, they probably are not ready for ruler-and-compass geometry. $\endgroup$ – Adam Mar 18 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ A better solution would be to get them some cork backing. That way the pin part of the compass stays in place better. That would both improve accuracy and the safety concern. (Which I think is minor.) $\endgroup$ – Adam Mar 18 at 17:43
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I started my class year with a combination of traditional compasses and a set of slide-and-measure compasses that last year's teacher bought at the end of the year before giving the class to me. I was extremely underwhelmed by their performance. Among the issues:

  • The pencil hole would slide while you were tracing an arc, which mostly defeats the purpose of the entire enterprise
  • Our workbooks were spiral-bound, and these compasses can only draw an arc if the entire compass can lay flat on the page, frustrating my students to no end
  • Being made of plastic, they would fall apart in the students' hands. (It is possible that the other teacher bought particularly cheap models, but it's not clear to me how the device could be made to last given the best intentions.)

I'd buckle in and live with it if stabbings were a frequent event in my classroom. But it simply isn't. And if a student were to stick a compass into a classmate, I would be infinitely more prone to hold the student accountable instead of the compass. As others have noted, the general education environment is full of nigh-equally pointed objects.

If you're dealing with a cohort of students with emotional disabilities, then by all means you should set up your classroom to restrict the ability to cause harm to oneself or others. Barring that, they are a bad solution to a non-existent problem.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I see now. No reason to completely remove them just yet due to all the issues discussed above. Thanks @Matthew Daly $\endgroup$ – ytrkptl May 25 at 23:59
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No. It removes the ability for so much delightful classroom mischief.

Only surpassed by the use of ten pointed dividers by navy QMs to jab each other:

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What are you going to do next? Eliminate dodge ball? Don't wrap the kids in bubble wrap.

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    $\begingroup$ Exactly... are we going to advocate for the removal of forks at lunchtime? $\endgroup$ – Chris Cunningham Mar 17 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ that's a good point and example @Chris Cunnigham $\endgroup$ – ytrkptl Mar 18 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ @guest I kindly want to let you know that your post could've been more positive. you might still be able to edit it. $\endgroup$ – ytrkptl Mar 18 at 0:36
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    $\begingroup$ This is my positive. You should see me, when I really let it hang loose. ;-) P.s. You'll shoot your eye out; you'll shoot your eye out! youtube.com/watch?v=qgjPa5JkecA $\endgroup$ – guest Mar 18 at 11:17

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